This post is dedicated to the memory of our good friend Alan French who passed away yesterday. He loved trains, I wish he could have seen some of the photographs. Rest in peace Alan.
The delayed trip to the Great Salt Lake Marina happened one afternoon with great weather still prevailing. It was an easy drive and we passed by the Saltair and proceeded to the marina. The gates were open this time. The Great Salt Lake Marina is located on the south shore of the lake and has 340 slips according to their Web site.
The Great Salt Lake Marina
Although there were some visitors, the marina was generally quiet. A few people went to the observation deck but I managed to find an empty period to photograph it against the vast lake. There was a lone sailboat moving quietly across the calm waters. Elif, Jan, and Mina went down to the beach but the path was a bit too challenging for me and I stayed at the parking level.
Utah has the bluest skies I have seen anywhere. It may have something to do with its generally dry weather and the high altitudes around the Salt Lake area. That rich blue reflected on the water giving both of them an amazing color quality. The girls, including Josephine the dog, enjoyed walking up and down the beach, dipping their feet in the waters of the Great Salt Lake and eventually returned to the parking level.
The following day, on Sunday we spent some time at home. Elif completed carving a pumpkin for Mina to display for the Holloween at the doorsteps. After the Jack-O-Lantern was ready to shine at night we got in the car and Elif drove us to the Golden Spike National Historic Site. It was a little past Ogden and the road was not too crowded.
The Golden Spike National Historic Site
On May 10, 1869, the two railroad companies, the Union Pacific and Central Pacific connected their respective tracks that tied the continent coast to coast. That happened at the Promontory Summit where the current historic site has its guest facilities are located. We arrived there a little before their closing time, and I showed my senior pass to all the national parks and we quickly went to the storage where the replicas of the two locomotives were on display.
The replicas were quite convincing and were built around the 1970’s. During the summer months, they have daily runs, demonstrations, and reenactments of driving the last spike that created the first transcontinental railway in America. Jupiter was the more colorful with the Union Pacific 119 displaying a painting of Johnny Appleseed on one of its stacks. The park ranger offered some narrative and answered questions. It was almost their closing time and we got back in the car.
There are two auto tours, the East Auto Tour and the West Auto Tour. We decided to take the East Auto Tour because we were told it was more like driving on the old tracks, and they were right! As Elif drove, the vista was one from a western movie, a vast expanse of land with a few scattered clusters of buildings. We approached a cut on a small hill for the train to go through although it was turned into a road for the cars. I could almost visualize bandits perched on the small hills ready to pounce on the passing train. When you see the photographs these words will make more sense! For a detailed pace of laying the rail track with interesting historic photographs visit the Union Pacific special page. The Promontory Summit is towards the end, and as you scroll down you will see the steps leading to the connection. There are photographs pretty much at all the stops.
Zucca Italian Restaurant and The Speakeasy
After the tour was complete, Elif drove to Ogden where she had made reservations for dinner at Zucca Italian Restaurant. Its lower level was converted to simulate an old-fashioned speakeasy with padded doors and walls decorated with period imagery. As we parked the car outside Zucca, we saw a lot of people in Holloween costumes, and I don’t mean just children. In Utah, adults seem to be more into the Holloween at least as much as the kids, maybe even more. On the streets, we saw some children in costumes but the adults stole the show.
We went downstairs a little before the reservation time but the place was empty anyway. The food was good but Mina’s pasta bolognese was not to her liking, a little too much pork in the sauce. But we enjoyed the meal as a whole. When we got out, both sides of the street was getting filled with people apparently waiting for a parade. Before it started, we got in the car and returned home. Another enjoyable day.