223 Crew: Saturday Field Trip

Our first destination was the small rural town of Tremonton, Utah, about 45 miles north of Ogden. We went to the home of James Martin to see his collection of railroad artifacts he’s prospected with his metal detector. He gets permission from private landowners to prospect and doesn’t tread on public lands.

James was born in England but immigrated to United States, joined the Marines, and is currently serving as a Utah State Highway Patrolman. You can see some of James’ incredible discoveries on his YouTube channel, Bullets and Buttons.

To share some of his items, James set out a table on his back patio and then took us down to his basement where he had more small items such as old Chinese coins, bottles, and other interesting things he’s found along the transcontinental route nearby. We spent about 90 minutes with James and then the 4 of us went to a local eatery and had lunch. 

From there we headed for Golden Spike National Park. From Tremonton to the Corrine, you travel up over a low mountain. As you descend from the pass you come onto the back portion of the big Northrop Grumman rocket plant.  We stopped at the display area to see all kinds of rockets and parts. The largest is one of the booster rockets used for the former space shuttle. They are made at this plant and shipped to Cape Kennedy and other military facilities for testing.

Then we turned off on a road that leads to the Golden Spike National Park and along the way stopped to hike along the old Central and Union Pacific road beds to an area known as the Big Fill (Central Pacific construction) and the site of the old trestle (Union Pacific).  The trestle is long gone but the earth ramparts that it was anchored to on both sides of the valley are there.

We arrived at the Golden Spike Visitors Center; our friend Klaus from Germany enjoyed seeing both locomotives that were on display.  We know the steam engine manager, Richard Carroll, who is a Golden Spike Chapter R&LHS member. We took a short trip out to the engine shop and visited where they maintain The Jupiter and 119.  Richard took us on a tour of the engine shop and then it was time for him to bring in the locomotives in for the day, so we watched him drive the 119.