Sunday, May 1, 2016

Salt Lake City. May 1, 2016.

Rana, Rhonda and I met for breakfast at 6:45 this morning, and left the hotel around 8. There was very little traffic in town, this being a Sunday. We easily got on I-15 heading north. Once we got past Ogden the speed limit jumped up to 80 MPH. That would have been great, but there was a wicked cross wind. There were signs ordering trucks and other high profile vehicles to EXIT NOW. 50+ MPH WINDS.  Most of the larger vehicles complied with the order and there was a long line of semis and RVs waiting to exit. It was stressful driving in that wind. I was glad (for once) that I was not on my bike.

We arrived at the Golden Spike National Historic Site around 9:30. Considering how hard it was to find information and directions, it was not a bad drive--when we got close there were plenty of signs.

This was my first visit to a National Park that charges admission since I became old enough to qualify for a National Parks Golden Ager card and I was thrilled to purchase one! Now I can enter any National Park (accompanied by 3 others) FREE for the rest of my life. All this for $10!

There is a "golden" railroad tie in place of the original golden spike, which connected the Union Pacific and Central Pacific Railroads creating the first transcontinental railway May 10, 1869. Too bad we missed the 147th anniversary celebration by a week.

The replica locomotives were in the maintenance shed today, but they allowed us to drive there to see them. The National Parks engine was parked outside and the locomotives were inside with a crew of workers doing their maintenance routines.

We got our fill of trains (as if one ever could) and headed north. We drove through some beautiful countryside on our way to Idaho. I could look at these mountains every day for the rest of my life and never get tired of them.

We exited at the first small town past the Utah-Idaho border (Malad) and drove through town finding every restaurant and store closed. Fortunately Rhonda spotted a little restaurant down a side street and it was open. Even better, the food was really good and came out from the kitchen piping hot!

After lunch at "Me and Lou's" we got in the car and headed south back into Utah. The high wind warning was still in effect. There were more trucks on the road than on the trip north, but they were in the slow lane with their emergency flashers going. I felt safe enough passing them since the wind was from the east.

We wanted to make one more stop to see the Pony Express Monument in Salt Lake City. It was really hard to find directions, and once we had them (on Rhonda's phone) we could not see the monument from the road it was supposed to be on. I asked a cyclist where it was and he told me he's lived here all his life and never heard of it. On our third pass down the same road Rhonda saw it peeking over the tree tops behind the fence in "This is the Place" Mormon PioneerHeritage Park.

We walked around the site and found out that the sculpture was made for the 2002 Park City Olympics and moved here afterward. One would think the information on line would mention that it's in this park... the street address on the website is different than the one on the entrance to the park.


After the Pony Express monument we walked around and looked at the Mormon Pioneer sculptures, but did not go into Pioneer Village.


We were only minutes from the hotel, and I was so glad to park that car! I've been driving for 2 days and that's enough. When I called Bill I told him that I don't know how he does it--he can drive all day, day after day, and not suffer. Or maybe he suffers and just does not tell me?

Rhonda called Sarah to let her know we were back and found out that Sherry is still in the hospital. When Sarah went to visit her today she was out of the room for more tests. I sure hope she recovers soon! I took Sarah's photo so we could have one without the barf tube.

Rhonda brought down some instructions on how to access US Immigration and Naturalization documents for Rana. We went in to the restaurant, but Sarah had already eaten so she just socialized. We're all that's left here of the group of 11 from DRGS. Sherry is in the hospital and the 6 others went home today. The 4 of us plan to stick together, so we discussed which floor of the library we will each be on tomorrow and where we'd like to go for lunch.


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