Is there anything more satisfying after a hard day's work than a tall cool one? Just ask the 5,000 or so workers who completed one of the most challenging, massive and successful construction projects known to mankind. The Boulder Dam (later renamed Hoover Dam) was created in the proverbial middle of nowhere on the Colorado River in record time—from 1931 to 1936—in some of the most dangerous and harsh conditions imaginable. But before construction could begin, suitable housing needed to be created for all that manpower. So the U.S. Government carefully planned and built Boulder City from the ground up, one of the first "model" communities in the world. Its brave and hardworking citizens had everything needed to enjoy a modern lifestyle.
Well, almost everything. You see, all of this took place in the early to mid-1930s. If you paid attention in History class, you'll remember that this was the time of Prohibition. Pulling up a tall cool one was almost as difficult as drilling into the side of a rock canyon. As happened all over America, the illegal alcoholic beverage trade boomed. And in the case of Boulder City, most of the illicit activity took place in the hills and valleys just north of town. The area became known as Bootleg Canyon. The main dirt road leading in and out of the canyon even earned the nickname Hooch Highway.
These days Hooch Highway is used to shuttle gravity-obsessed mountain bike riders to the top of the Bootleg Canyon MTB Park. Hooch Highway was jamming this past weekend with a prodigious turnout for Round 1 of the 2017 DVO Bootleg Canyon Winter Gravity Series. This two-day soiree—Super D and Dual Slalom on Saturday, followed by Downhill on Sunday—also served as the USA Cycling Nevada State Downhill Championships. This ride spot's razor-sharp red rock and cool, blustery weather made it a hard day's work by anyone's definition. And I'll drink to that!
Additional images by Ian Cook.