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The Journey . . .

    Arrested on the Hoover Dam

by Maricia Mlynek


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We arrived at Hoover Dam at dusk. With miles of desert behind us, the view of Lake Mead was very fulfilling. Hoover Dam is truly a spectacular sight. I had seen it once before during the day, so I was very excited to view it at night.

We cautiously drove through security and, as luck would have it, we were flagged and had to stop for a thorough check. After police determined our vehicle was safe to continue, we proceeded down a narrow pass to a beautifully lit dam. It was majestic in the twilight.

We drove across and parked on the opposite side to begin our journey out onto the dam. On our way down the path, we noticed a sign that clearly stated that the dam was closed after dark. This is where the trouble all began. Truthfully, it was not quite dark. The sun was still setting and “dusk” felt more fitting than “dark.” The Nevada State Police, however, interpreted the time of day as dark. In fact, I wonder if they have ever even considered dusk as a possible noun.

Well, we were only a few yards away from the National Historic Site and Civil Engineering Wonder when, 600 feet above the Colorado River, we were stopped by the police.

That’s right, only a few feet away from the 1,244-foot dam and we were stopped. I had a choice to make. Run for it and risk being arrested--or back down and be a law abiding citizen. I chose to run for it. My husband chose to save me from myself and the police. I was powerless as he marched me back to freedom and our truck.

We were younger and more determined than those police officers. I was sure of this. I really wanted to take the chance. Andy was quick to remind me that you can’t outrun bullets. So, we returned to our vehicle and skirted our way back to freedom. We did get some photo opportunities (that weren’t mug shots) and we got the best postcards of the dam on our way back into civilization.

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