Before leaving Utah we wanted to see Promontory Point and the Golden Spike National Historic Site. It was great and well worth the 36 mile trip out of our way. The museum is fascinating, and the $3,000,000 replicas of the engines that participated in the 1869 ceremony are just too beautiful to believe. They fired them up before we left and ran them down the track so we could see them in action
Jupiter, the engine that brought Leland Stanford's cars to the site, burns wood
, while 119, the engine that brought the Union Pacific's officials there burns coal
. There were other differences too. The Central Pacific had plenty of wood available in California and set up sawmills to cut ready made ties. Union Pacific coming from the east had a harder time getting wood to precut and they used hand hewn ties. The old rail was pear shaped. The steam demonstration was great.
A few miles up the road Thiokol Corporation has a big facility, and out front and open to the public is a fine display of the rockets they make and have made in the past for our space and national defense programs. It was interesting to see the actual rockets from so many weapons and space ventures we've heard about over the years.