The Hendersons       National Parks Tour - Getting to Western Utah


A Western States National Parks Tour

Journal Pages
 Click a pic

Early Days

Capital Reef

Bryce and Zion



Grand Tetons

The Trip Home


Getting to Western Utah

We had visited some of the National Parks in the western states before but wanted to revisit some and see others for the first time. We set out on May 29th on a tour of National Parks in western states and would cover 4,000 miles in 15 days through Washington, Idaho, Utah, Arizona, Wyoming and Montana. This is our route map.

We stopped in Walla Walla our first night and in Boise, ID on the 30th. Our hotel was near the Basque area of Boise and we walked to dinner in a little Basque restaurant. We like a dry white wine and made a new friend in a Spanish wine called Verdejo. The next day we continued to the Golden Spike National Historic Site. This is where the first transcontinental railroad was completed with the driving of a golden spike. Two engines - The Jupiter and The 119 - met there. They have faithfully reproduced replicas of these beautiful steam engines and do a reenactment that, frankly, drags on a bit.

The Jupiter - Note the round part on top of the engine aft of the bell. This is called a sand drum and if you look closely you can see a brass tube that extends down the side of the engine to just forward of the front large red wheel. If the engine was having trouble getting traction on an incline they would open a valve and let a bit of sand down the tube onto the track and that would help the wheel gain traction.

        The Jupiter and The 119

From time to time they had to clear sediment out of the steam tank and would do a blow down - let a big blast of steam out to blow out the sediment.

    The blowdown

They do a reenactment with folks in period costume. It's interesting but, frankly, it does drag on.

    The re-enactors

Top of Page