Friday, September 11, 2009

Golden Spike in Promontory

For the long weekend we decided to go somewhere. We went to Promontory, Utah to the Golden Spike National Historic Site. Rob had been as a kid and remembered it as a big dusty spot in the middle of nowhere.

I wanted us to see a reenactment that they do over the summer. They had one scheduled at 1:00pm and we made it, barely. I was glad that we saw it. I think the kids really got into the history and significance a lot more seeing the people in period costumes, hearing the speeches given and telegrams sent and even the prayer that was said; of course the two locomotives made a big impression as well. Even Joss took notice when they blew their whistles and rang their bells and belched steam.
Afterward the kids got to meet the actors and hold the spikes and race the locomotives as they rolled down the tracks.
The kids worked hard to get their junior ranger badges at the site. One of the rangers noticed Will's shirt, which was in German and so Ranger Ott gave the kids the whole junior ranger spiel auf Deutsch. We learned a lot, like the two companies who met at Promontory, the names of their trains, who missed and who hit the golden spike, how many miles each railroad had to come, and the name of the restaurant in Promontory (it was called "Restaurant").
Then we had a picnic out front. Joss was not much of a junior ranger, but he was all about the eating. He loved the watermelon almost as much as he loved the huge knife we brought to cut it. Somehow it always managed to find its way into his hands . . .
All told, we spent nearly three hours there. It was definitely worth going for a reenactment, and the kids also liked the Peanuts film that they show inside. I was glad we did something new in Utah, and was nice since Will is learning Utah history this year in school. We need to work harder at doing things here and visiting our own tourist sites. Why know more about Vienna than Utah?!
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1 comment:

Brenda said...

What is it with boys and knives - Doug used to empty out the steak knife section in the drawer and line them all up end to end along with any nails and any other sharp items he could find.