Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Golden Spike

We chose to stay at Golden Spike RV Park in Brigham City, Utah to visit the Golden Spike National Historic Site.  Our stay here was a bit of a mixed bag; a pull-through site has never been so painful to get into!  Not to mention the fact that despite concrete pads, we still had to level.  The sites are narrow and super close together, and it is busy!  I have to admit that it is a bit disturbing when someone else's alarm goes off in the morning, and you can hear it in your own RV.  Of course, you could also hear every time any of your neighbors opened or closed a door.  Nonetheless, the bathhouse was nice and clean, with really great showers.  They also have a garden that you can pick produce from!  We got a giant zucchini for making zucchini bread, a couple tomatoes, and a watermelon that was soooo incredibly good!  They have laundry facilities on site, but we had enough laundry that we chose to go to the laundromat just across the street with varying sizes of washers, Mt.Logan Laundry---super clean and I had the place to myself!  Who knew the laundromat could count as good quality alone time??!? :)

We drove to the Golden Spike National Historic Site and really learned a lot!  It is the site where the Golden Spike was placed in a railroad tie to commemorate where the rails from the Central Pacific Railroad met the rails from the Union at Promontory Summit on May 10, 1869, making 1,776 continuous miles of track..  I am really loving this living history; it sticks so much better than simply reading about it!  They have multiple videos that you can watch by request at the visitor center.  The kids were able to watch a Charlie Brown version as well as the regular version.  We also went on a tour of the replicas of the original locomotives, Jupiter (the Central Pacific locomotive that ran on wood) and 119 (the Union locomotive powered by coal).  Truly stunning machinery that even today require massive amounts of maintenance just to run for a short time each summer season!  And of course, three little girls acquired another Junior Ranger badge.  

This was a big deal at the time.
   There were fireworks in San Francisco and New York to celebrate.
This is a replica of the real spike; it is made from the same mold.
The real  one is in Stanford, CA.
This is an original poster from the ceremony.
This is the very spot where the spike was nailed.
Sacramento is 680 miles this way.
Omaha is 1096 miles this way.
This is the old telegraph line, probably a replica.
This is a replica of the 119, a coal burning steam engine that came from the East.
This is the Jupiter, a wood burning steam engine that came from the West.
We really enjoyed the tour, the ranger who gave the tour did an fantastic job.

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