The SEAT Dam Bypass Ride
The Mike O'Callaghan – Pat Tillman Memorial Bridge over the Colorado River at the Hoover Dam is an amazing piece of work. It is by far the most awesome Shortcut, Long Cut or Way Around in Arizona. Back when they were still putting up the towers Wanda and I decided we had to ride across this piece of Road Art, hence the SEAT Dam Bypass Bridge Ride was concocted.
We stayed immediately across the Colorado on the Nevada side of the river in the Hacienda Hotel and Casino with all the gambling games, bars, restaurants and if you are in the right rooms, a view of Lake Meade that is awesome. The Hotel does have quite a bit of Hoover Dam memorabilia in the form of life sized pictures on the walls and a constantly running documentary on the construction of the Hoover Dam. It was worth the watch.
Crossing the Colorado River on the new Hoover Dam Bypass was almost over before we were sure we were on it. There are at least two elevated sections of Highway 93 as you approach the bridge from the south that are pretty grand in their own right. It wasn’t until we could see probably several hundred people walking beside the road on the bypass pedestrian walkway that we knew we were on the bridge. The walls on either side of the bridge are tall, tall enough so that you cannot see the river or the dam from either side. Done on purpose by the engineers to keep the gawking down, a good idea.
With the wind in the 30s and 40s and rain imminent Wanda and I did not ride down to the dam and take the stairs up to the bridge. Fellow SEAT members Colleen and Chris Lester, who joined us for dinner Saturday night and Sunday’s breakfast, did drive down to the bridge and took some excellent pictures. We’ll just have to ride up to the dam and do the walkway another time.
All in all an excellent ride of about 1,200 miles round trip. We didn’t hurry and detoured off the main road several times. Oatman with their wild burros that give the town a definite patina of processed hay and carrots on Old Route 66 was one, down to Burro Creek Campground off of Highway 93 was another. Burro Creek was running and the campground was full. Very back woodsy and only a little over a mile of paved road off the highway.
You can find more pictures and construction history at www.hooverdambypass.org. Ride safe and keep looking for those Shortcuts, Long Cuts and Ways Around.