Leaving Salt Lake
We’ve had some input from readers who think we should not be giving out camping places that we find. What do you think? Comment or email us your thoughts on the matter. We’re torn.
After leaving the city yesterday, we headed out to Promontory Summit, which marked the end of a race between the Union Pacific and the Central Pacific to complete a transcontinental railroad. They actually ended up passing each other, but finally agreed on this site to join. We expected to see the original golden spike, but it’s in a museum in Palo Alto, CA. We were able to drive on a piece of the original train bed, which was a little scary, since we were towing Randy’s trailer.
Trains no longer go on this route; they now go through Salt Lake City and south of the Great Salt Lake. The reason for this original route was that steam engines needed fresh water in order to operate. There is plenty here, none there.
We visited nearby Thiokol where rockets are made. Then we began to look for a campsite for the night. We selected rural exit 16 off I-84 and drove northeast, trusting fate to provide a nice spot to park. We found a great one about a mile in, as you can see from the picture.
All day we had been noticing a ridge, which was the shoreline of ancient Lake Bonneville, which at one time covered the northwestern part of present day Utah. This vast lake broke out and drained itself about 14,000 years ago at Red Rock Pass south of Downey, ID, sending catastrophic amounts of water down the Snake River. We were surprised to learn that as huge as this spill was, ancient Lake Missoula dumped 30 times this volume into the Columbia River when a glacial ice dam broke not long afterward.