Today we went to Promontory Point to see a reenactment of the driving of the “Golden Spike” that joined the Transcontinental Railroad 150 years ago. At the time, completing on the rails from east to went meant that people could suddenly travel across the country in 6 days instead of 6 months. They reenacted the whole ceremony as if we were there in May of 1869, right down to attaching a wire to the final spike so that the strike of the maul hitting it would be transmitted across the telegraph wires from coast to coast, signaling the tracks were joined. It was an engineering feat that was celebrated far and wide, and one that ushered in a whole new era of transportation and commerce.
The celebration extended beyond Promontory Point to other towns, including Ogden, UT which hosted two huge restored Union Pacific locomotives, the “Big Boy 4014” and the “844”. We visited those yesterday on our way north. Really amazing to see how many people turned out at these events. Thousands and thousands! It was fun to be able to shift around a few things on our itinerary to be able to take it all in. Off to Idaho tomorrow!
Need to do a little more research on how to include a video, but for now, you can download if you wish. Shows the approach and the HUGE crowd gathered to watch: Golden Spike Video.