Wednesday, March 20, 2013

A New Hampshire Yankee, Home on the Range...

My first trip to the wild west!  I've never been out west, other than to Burbank or San Francisco, so we took advantage of a free day to see the sights in Utah.  My first choice was the Golden Spike National Historic Site, part history, part beautiful scenery.  This is the famous spot in Promontory, Utah where the Central Pacific and Union Pacific Railroad companies met up with their work crews.  You've seen the famous photograph and painting below, or seen this re-enacted in movies.  The famous Golden Spike was driven into the railroad tie here, or actually TWO golden spikes, one silver spike, and one iron spike covered in gold and silver.  None of these valuable spikes are still here, but one of the Golden Spikes is on display now at Stanford University in California. 

This is the famous spot.  There are still four holes drilled into this wooden railroad tie because in the summer months the ceremony is re-enacted on weekends.  You can ride one of the reproduction steam rail cars, and watch the golden spikes being hammered into place. 

"Oh, Give me a home where the buffalo roam,
and the deer and the antelope play!"

The National Park Ranger at Promontory's Golden Spike Park suggested we stop at Antelope Island State Park on our way home to Salt Lake City.  What a terrific suggestion!  We saw buffalo, deer, antelopes, and beautiful views of Salt Lake and the mountains.  

Isn't this beautiful? The mountains reflected in the Great Salt Lake... 

You don't see this in New Hampshire....

 Back in Salt Lake City, just in time for sunset from "The Roof" restaurant on the tenth floor of the Joseph Smith Memorial Building in Temple Square.  We not only saw the sunset, but we saw the lights of the city after dark, and the temple illuminated.  It was a very wonderful day in Utah.

Copyright 2013, Heather Wilkinson Rojo


  1. Beautiful photos Heather! Thanks for posting them and sharing with those of us who cannot attend.

  2. The mountains would be great wallpaper for your iPad.

  3. Sounds like you are having a wonderful time there in Utah. Thanks for posting these photos. They're beautiful.

  4. We unexpectedly got to see the Golden Spike re-enactment a few years ago and it was delightful. There were re-enactors portraying all the notables, who spoke their famous speeches; the trains steamed in (magnificent!), and we onlookers got to play the onlookers of that historic day--although when we were there there weren't a lot of people, so to remain historically accurate, wehad to applaud and cheer as if we were each seven people!

  5. We are almost opposites, in a sense. I was all over most of the west as a youth and didn't get back east, beyond Chicago, until after college. There is definitely a "sky" and distance difference.

    Lewis and Clark did a good job of telling us early about the northern part of the west. You could drive up to where they were in a mere few hours (western hours, let's say).

    How families filled in the US map is an interesting topic. Are you thinking of putting Labels so that we can see where people went and when?

    Your photos and arrangement are spectacular.

  6. A day trip out to the Kennecott Copper Mine is well worth ot. also.

  7. Here is an old video that depicts one of the many St. Louis to San Francisco train routes that were used in the 1950s.

    Trains were important to early settlement in the west, but they are still a big deal for moving material long distances.

    My great-grandfather (the Irish immigrant), grandfather, father, great-uncles, uncles, brothers, cousins, and myself all worked for railroads at one time or another. I spent one summer while in college out on the rails with a track crew when there was still a lot of "manual" work involved. It was a nice indoctrination to work.