Down in the Mine

I bought a variety pack of global safety razorblades. I’m very taken by the packaging.

I bought a variety pack of global safety razorblades. I’m very taken by the packaging.

Today, I hiked along an old rail bed that was laid to move equipment and supplies to the Hoover Dam while it was being built. After 4 miles of desert trail winding along Lake Mead, you get to the dam. On the site, is a large celestial chart showing the location of all the stars and planets visible to the naked eye the night the dam was dedicated. The idea being, one day another civilization that could not read English would come upon the dam and know when it was made based on the star chart. They would also know that our civilization thought the dam was so important that we wanted to commemorate it in this way.

The chart itself is too large and covered with tourists to completely photograph but I put a small piece of it here. 

All this is just 30 or so miles from Las Vegas. And Las Vegas as we know it, and Phoenix and much of the rest of the West, would not exist without Hoover Dam providing electricity and  water to the region. You can imagine one day, far off in the future, aliens or just our descendants who had to abandon the West, probably due to environmental catastrophe, exploring the decaying hulks of Vegas mega-hotels and then following what is left of a road to the Hoover Dam. And like the chart’s artist planned, they may not be able to read all the commemorative plaques, but they’ll look down at the chart and then up at the desert sky and understand.

Today, I hiked along an old rail bed that was laid to move equipment and supplies to the Hoover Dam while it was being built. After 4 miles of desert trail winding along Lake Mead, you get to the dam. On the site, is a large celestial chart showing the location of all the stars and planets visible to the naked eye the night the dam was dedicated. The idea being, one day another civilization that could not read English would come upon the dam and know when it was made based on the star chart. They would also know that our civilization thought the dam was so important that we wanted to commemorate it in this way.

The chart itself is too large and covered with tourists to completely photograph but I put a small piece of it here.

All this is just 30 or so miles from Las Vegas. And Las Vegas as we know it, and Phoenix and much of the rest of the West, would not exist without Hoover Dam providing electricity and water to the region. You can imagine one day, far off in the future, aliens or just our descendants who had to abandon the West, probably due to environmental catastrophe, exploring the decaying hulks of Vegas mega-hotels and then following what is left of a road to the Hoover Dam. And like the chart’s artist planned, they may not be able to read all the commemorative plaques, but they’ll look down at the chart and then up at the desert sky and understand.

First of five old railroad tunnels on the path to Hoover Dam. (at Hoover Dam)

First of five old railroad tunnels on the path to Hoover Dam. (at Hoover Dam)