The Last Spike: A Trip to Golden Spike National Historic Site

The Last Spike: A Trip to Golden Spike National Historic Site

The Golden Spike is something that I’ve
always heard about in Utah. The two railroads came together at Promontory.
2019 is the 150th anniversary of the Golden Spike and so we thought it would be
really cool make this trip from Salt Lake’s promontory to see the reenactment
and to find out more about the Golden Spike and the Transcontinental Railroad. So we thought it’d be neat to leave our
house in Salt Lake City along with a bike and take this trip using a train: Get on
FrontRunner [commuter rail], take FrontRrunner up as far as we could go, then get on a bus
and ride our bikes out to Promontory. It’s just really neat understanding, you
know, the whole aspect of trains in our history. We’ve been building a
lot of train lines lately and so we’re almost rediscovering the rail here in Utah. When you come into Ogden on the train you realize that’s really how
you’re meant to come into Ogden. Coming to that huge rail yard across the
Weber River, the Ogden Union Station and 25th Street, and you see the wall of Mt. Ogden behind it and you’re, like, “Oh this is how you’re supposed to arrive in
Ogden. So then when we went into the train museum, it gave us a different
perspective on that whole history there. With the bikes it allowed us to explore
Bear River Valley in a lot more detail and just slow things down a little bit. It
allowed us to poke into places that we might not otherwise have stopped at.
When you’re traveling with an 8-year-old you know you want to make sure that your
days aren’t too long … Crystal Hot Springs is a really cool
place. It’s been visited as a Hot Springs by people in Utah really ever since the
time of the Golden Spike. We found ourselves on the shore of the
Great Salt Lake, on the playa. It was right along the railroad grade from the Southern Pacific and so we could see a lot of those ruins. It was a
really cool experience to camp out on the playa like that. When we finally got to Promontory, there’s
that last, steep hill that we went up and so we really
understood what the railroads were up against making that last push up the
hill to Promontory Summit. So you see these black and white photos and it just
doesn’t do justice to how colorful the train engines are. You had all these
people from San Francisco and other big cities literally in the middle of
nowhere with these colorful railroad engines, it just really brought it to life. “The driving of the last spike is at hand.
At this point, we wish to commend both railroad companies and their workers.” [Officials cheering] So it’s always fun to have people come out here and they may not know
why they’re out here. They see the reenactment they see the locomotives they get an idea of
the history and then to actually realize why this is such an important part in
our nation’s history. This was something that captivated
everybody, that the whole country was watching Utah, waiting for this moment
when the last bike would be driven in

4 thoughts on “The Last Spike: A Trip to Golden Spike National Historic Site

  1. this year it is going to have a meaning it had not had since 1969 and 1994. hope to catch it live here or it TV.
    this is a trip your daughter will never forget. you are a good dad. I take it mom was doing all the filming?
    2:13 – 2:16 – the UT night sky shot over your tent was magnificent.

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