Golden Spike . . . back again for more!

Trip Start Oct 05, 2012
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3
Trip End Oct 06, 2012


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What I did
Jupiter and 119 Historic Steam Engines

Flag of United States  , Utah
Saturday, October 6, 2012















We rolled into Golden Spike early Saturday afternoon and started to say hi to old friends, met some new ones… got our RV into our space and set up….    Ready for the evening…  Rowdy even sniffed out and alerted on two bunny rabbits and several Hungarian Partridges . . .

Part I

Because of the length and detail that I wish to go into, the few days will roll into several segments of story….  All of which we hope will paint a picture of a very small slice of this great country…

As I start this, some photos sent to me by a close friend in New Mexico sent me some photos of the 747 and the space shuttle Endeavor as it landed in LAX for its last flight and move to a museum…  the technology to design, build and fly the shuttle and land a man on the moon…   only 100 years after the driving of the Golden Spike and the connection of the continent with the first railroad…   Only in the greatest country in the world…   

Back in the 1850's it was decided to bridge the county with a centennial railroad to improve commerce from coast to coast.  It was decided that 2 railroads would be offered the chance to build across the country and in the deal would receive land on both sides of the railroad right of way… in doing so the sale of this land would provide some of the funding for building roadbeds and the infrastructure for towns and rail stops along the way…

From the east the Union Pacific started and built mostly across flat lands and country easy to push a road bed across the country….  Starting in Sacramento the Central Pacific started East, building roadbed through mountains, and across hills, rivers, etc… a much harder task…. As they approached each other the decision was made to meet in Promontory UT, actually a  spot named Promontory Point…  Both railroads were slow and late in building their roadbed across the country…  The Central Pacific imported Chinese Labor and most of the cuts in the landscape and roadbed buildups were built by these labors…  

The two railroads met at Promontory Point on May 10, 1869 two day’s late… both had problems so a crowd of about 700 people sat around waiting for the Gold Spike to be driven into a special rail road tie especially for this event…  a telegraph line had been stretched from coast to coast and as the time drew near the key operator stopped all traffic on the telegraph and would send updates over the lines…  San Francisco, Sacramento, Boston, Wash DC, are just some of the stations on line listening as the ceremony continued and the driving of the Gold, Silver and special spikes for this ceremony….

There were people here from other railroads, governors, the president of both railroads, and other people of interest…  congressmen and senators…  and one of the people commented that he thought in a short time there would be a total of 3 sets of tracks… one east bound, one west bound and one as a spare as needed…..   of course most of the people thought that 2 tracks would handle all the traffic for years to come…  Little did they know..  The expansion to the West that the Railroad provided…

For more information on the driving of the spikes and the designs of the spikes please see the following  -- http://www.nps.gov/gosp/historyculture/upload/Spikes.pdf

Enjoy the slide show . . .

Jim & Connie & Rowdy
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