We drove by the spot in Promontory Point Utah, Transcontinental Railroad joined the Eastern part of the United States with the Western Part. To mark the occasion, a golden spike was driven. It’s just a little ways North of Salt Lake City, Utah. We were too late to visit the monument site, which would have added two hours to our drive, so we are just putting a note in our blog because it’s so cool. We will try to visit the spot the next time we are in Salt Lake City. May 10, 1869 the Union Pacific and the Central Pacific met in what was the Utah Territory and made it possible to travel across the entire country by train. The actual golden spike is held at Stanford University.
Salt Lake City is named after the Great Salt Lake that is here! This lake is salty like the ocean. Many years ago, this area was covered by an ocean. When the ocean evaporated, salt was left in the mountains. That salt washes down when it rains and when the snow melts. Parts of the Salt Lake are saltier than others, depending on how much additional fresh water is added. In the north, the lake is almost 35% salt. The amount of salt in the lake takes up more room in the water, and makes your body more buoyant. You float much better – even here in the southern part where there isn’t as much salt as the North. We went to Antelope Island State Park. This park has a special bridge that was built to get to it. The smell is pretty bad as you cross the bridge, but it isn’t as bad once you get to the lake. Very few things grow here; mainly special shrimp, bugs and the birds that eat them. You can see all the bugs on the ground as I’m running through them on the “beach”. The birds fly by with their mouths open and scoop up the bugs if you scare them. We didn’t see any antelope, but further back on the island there are both antelope and bison. It’s really nice, but this is “no-see-um” season so we had to watch out for the bugs. Yes, we were covered in salt when we got out of the lake.
The Bingham Canyon Copper Mine is the largest and deepest open pit mine in the world. It’s one of only two man made things that can be seen by astronauts from outer space (the other is the Great Wall of China). The visitor center here is closed because they had a rock slide! We found a back, secret way into what was supposed to be an overlook. You had to go around a mountain, through a canyon. We got about 2 miles from where the actual lookout was supposed to be. It was so scary to drive it, that we abandoned the trip until Dad could drive us! The pictures of the trees are what I took of the long way down from our road! We were on a narrow, mountain road winding around the mountain with no railing. Only one car at a time could fit, and mom didn’t want to have to back down the mountain if someone came! We found a picture of what it looks like INSIDE the mine. Since this is just a little bit south of Salt Lake City we hope we will come back and see it next time we visit. For now, we are going to post someone a photo someone took of the inside. You can see the huge trucks coming around the outside of the mine carrying ore.