Been There, Done That, Got The Soot

On this day in history in 1869, the Golden Spike was driven, completing the Transcontinental Railroad.

Okay, so in reality it was four ceremonial spikes and only the last one was gold. Well, really it wasn't pure gold; if you hit a small rod of gold with a sledgehammer, it would become the small pancake of gold in very short order.

How do I know this stuff? Because of my great education in the Chicago Public School system, of course! Didn't everyone get taught this stuff? Why would I need to travel to the middle of a God-forsaken desert in Utah to find out something that my grammar school teachers had already drummed into my head?

Because my teachers hadn't given me the whole story, that's why! Did you know that the president of the Union Pacific Railroad was so reviled, his trip to the ceremony site at Promontory Point was sabotaged by his own employees! And he (along with many of other celebrants) was drunk during the driving of the spike. On top of that, he missed!

David and I really enjoyed our visit to the National Historic Site. Apart from the titillating little scandals that make life interesting, it was simply a wonderfully alive park in the middle of complete desolation, with great displays (including reproduction, live operating steam engines), and very caring and knowledgeable park staff and volunteers. We can't wait to go back!

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