Friday, May 31
Even on a travel day we can make our day exciting and educational. Today was our day to go from Park City Utah to Jackson Wyoming for Grand Tetons National Park.
Our first stop was Promontory, Utah. This is 30 miles west of Ogden Utah and the location of the Golden Spike National Historical Monument. We took new roads to get there and observed a different area of the Wasatch Mountains.
Golden Spike is a location where the first transcontinental railroad line was completed on May 10, 1869. The Central Pacific Railroad built its line eastward from Sacramento California. The Union Pacific railroad built its line westward from Omaha Nebraska. We arrived just in time to see one of the two replica locomotives steaming down the track.
The federal government authorized the action along with financial incentives. Interestingly, the US government did not act until extremely late in the process to authorize the exact point where the two railroads would meet. This resulted in the two railroads building lines into each other’s area. (More track built, more financial incentives.) Once the final point was selected, they had to build track back to the connection point.
This line continued to serve the transcontinental railroad traffic until 1904 when a new location to the south was built. This new location was more direct, was built across the Great Salt Desert, and avoided the excess mileage resulting from the tracks circling around to meet the connection point.
We had to back track a bit to continue our trek to Jackson, WY. We had lunch in Brigham City at a local diner. It was recommended in Road Food and AAA. $10 for a pot roast meal with au gratin potatoes, fresh steamed vegetables, salad, a roll and the meat. Not bad. Plus the malt (Ed) and shake (Chris) was only $3 each for a large serving with cookie and whip cream!
Our journey to Jackson Wyoming went over the Logan Pass. Just after the pass, we came upon Bear Lake. This is a large, very blue lake straddling the Idaho – Utah border. The drive continued primarily through valleys and several small towns until we came to Jackson.
The first view of the Tetons was not overwhelming but as we drove around after checking in, we could see and appreciate their majesty. We will have more opportunities over the next two days to experience a greater portion of the park.
Our initial drive in the park resulted in views of moose, bison, and deer. We had only seen moose once before so this viewing was great. Bison are almost becoming blase by now.
Ed and Chris May 31 11 pm