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Golden Spike Nat’l Historic Site

September 25, 2010
Being sworn in as Jr. Rangers

Because my life doesn’t have enough excitement, I decided to take all four boys up to the Golden Spike Nat’l Historic Site by myself today.  That was on our “summer of fun” activity list and we just never made it up there this summer.  Today was National Public Lands Day so we got in for free and they also were reenacting the driving of the last spike in 1869. 

DH called at 10:30 a.m. to ask where I was as I wasn’t home when he dropped by.  I said I was on the freeway headed for Promontory Summit and he just laughed.  I vaguely remember taking three little boys up there by myself several years ago and it was kind of crazy.  Several years make quite a difference though.  They all sat through the reenactment ceremony just fine.  I didn’t have to worry about anybody running away or onto the track.  E even had a good time.  We had great fun looking at the trains and hearing them blow steam.  It was the wrapup for studying steam along with D’s Five in a Row book this week. 

The flag flying there has 20 stars.  With two railroad companies and numerous government officials on hand in 1869, not one remembered to bring a flag so someone here in Utah had a 20-star flag from about 1818 that they ended up using. 

Driving the final spike:

Two bigwig officials both missed the spike with the hammer so they had to have a real railroad man actually drive in the final spike. 

After the reenactment ceremony, we watched the Charlie Brown “This is America” film about the Transcontinental Railroad, then the boys wanted to do the Jr. Ranger program so we spent about an hour answering all those questions and doing the activities.  D just couldn’t do it though and was quite upset about not getting a badge until the ranger finally told me that there was a much easier booklet for the 5 and under crowd.  So why didn’t he give us that one first?  I don’t know, but D whizzed through it and was very happy to get his own badge so all was well.

We thought we’d get through much of our audiobook today, except that I left it at home.  You don’t realize how wonderful audiobooks make long drives until you don’t have any to listen to.  It was still a great outing however.

5 Comments leave one →
  1. Mandy in TN permalink
    September 26, 2010 12:28 pm

    What a great day!

  2. September 26, 2010 12:50 pm

    What a great field trip! My children loved studying the Transcontinental Railroad and would have thoroughly enjoyed that trip.

  3. September 26, 2010 11:39 pm

    Oh! We’ll definitely have to go there sometime… my little guy is passionate about trains! Thank you!

  4. October 1, 2010 12:27 pm

    How fun! We visited last year on the same day by accident. Free was a nice surprise. My girls love trains. Real size ones were very exciting. So were the train whistles we bought.

  5. Stephanie permalink
    October 5, 2010 11:36 pm

    Wow, that must have been a really great day!!

    My two little ones LOVE trains!

    I’d love to have more details of where this is located.

    Most of our family trips lately revolve around trains, if there is no train in the equation our kids get a little disappointed 🙂

    And little E is getting so big!!

    That picture of the 4 little brothers in front of engine 119 is so cute.

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