On Friday, May 10th, we had two charter buses to transport the 107 members to the Golden Spike National Historical Park. It was officially named a national park at the celebration. The reported estimate was 15,000 people at the visitor area. Traffic was backed up 11 miles when we arrived, but we arrived just before the program began.
We had reserved seating, which was nice to have someplace to sit, but unfortunately the topography of where we had seats was below the grade that the spur track. People were lined up along the track making it difficult to see from a seated position.
Many of the R&LHS members jockeyed for positions elsewhere and managed to see much of the program. Or we could walk around the grounds and visit display tents with vendors or informational exhibits.
The program ended around 1:30 PM and members were asked to return to the buses for the trip back to Ogden. Some members elected to visit the 223 shop at the Union Station. The City of Ogden had granted the Golden Spike Chapter to have tours for 2 days during the festivities at Union Station. There was also the opportunity to walk along Track #1 and see the Big Boy at the other end. It had been turned on the wye and was coupled with the 844 in position to leave on Sunday morning for Cheyenne.
In the evening, members assembled at The Monarch which was a former parking garage for the Bigelow Hotel in the 1920’s. The building has been put to many uses, auto repair, auto sales, restaurants and even simply abandoned. A new owner is re-purposing the structure to a multi-use facility including art studios, large group events and a restaurant.
We enjoyed a catered BBQ dinner from Smokey’s, consisting of beef brisket, pork, baked beans, potato salad and corn bread. The overall experience of the dinner was positive.