#96 PNW - Promontory, Utah

2007 July 24
354 miles
PNW Trip
Day 17

After yesterday's heat, I was expecting more of it today so I geared up wearing mesh. But I decided that I made an error in judgment about 20 miles down the road. It was 70 degrees when I left the motel at 7am but, wasn't warming any as the sun came up. Matter of fact, the sun didn't even seem to be coming up. Instead of sun, the eastern sky was full of clouds...rain clouds and the temperature was dropping. So I pulled over and switched my mesh for my textile, and even zipped up the vents before getting on down the road again.
It must have been the right decision, because a few miles further, I hit a Jackpot...the town of Jackpot that is.
Then comes Idaho...I took US93 north from Wells, Nevada to Twin Falls, Idaho where I turned west onto US30.
This is where the roads starts getting interesting again as I close in on the Snake River for the remaining 30 miles to Hagerman.As the sign shows, there were many waterfalls spilling into the Snake River.
This is just one...Along the Buhl area, there is an definite change in of landscape. Suddenly you see green fields on both sides of the road. It was obvious there was an irrigation system in place. From what I could tell, it seems they flood the fields using ditches rather than using large sprinklers. I took a few shots of what appears to be an important part of this system. I doubt that they are called "bubblers" ... but they could be. I collected two stamps at he Hagerman Fossil Beds visitor center in downtown Hagerman, Idaho.When I left the Snake River behind, the green, irrigated fields gave way to more dry, barren land for miles.But at least it wasn't hot. Matter of fact, the temperature dropped to 66 degrees with rain still in the area.
Here you can see that I am trying to race ahead of a storm...but it didn't work. I was caught in a short, but heavy downpour for about 15 miles. Ahead of the storm again, I cross into Utah on I84 heading to Howell where I'll turn off the Interstate onto a state highway. Down UT83, I come across a HUGE complex. As I rode along the perimeter, I try to figure out just what kind of place it is out here by itself so far away from anywhere.

Who knew that Utah was hiding a huge Rocket company right out in the middle of nowhere?!At the ATK propulsion place, I turned for the last leg to my next stop ... Where the "Last Spike" was driven on May 10, 1869 providing "a rail link ocean to ocean."

Entrance to the Golden Spike NHS near Promontory, Utah. Golden Spike NHS visitor center.The famed "Golden Spike" was driven in for the camera and all watching...then was promptly pulled out and replaced with a common iron spike. The original Golden Spike is currently on display at the Stanford Museum.Promontory Summit -- Where the Union Pacific and the Central Pacific come together to link ocean to ocean by rail. Two train engines are spit-polished and fired up for daily shows.
After the last train whistle blows, I head to Brigham City for the night. Since I haven't eaten anything today, I find a place down the road from my motel to enjoy a buffalo steak dinner.

Maddox Ranch House. http://www.maddoxfinefood.com/

This is obviously a popular place as proven by the number of people waiting for a table on a Tuesday night. Of course, July 24th is Pioneer Day in Utah and that may have brought more people out to eat than usual.

http://saltlakecity.about.com/od/pioneerday/a/pioneerday.htm The storm closes in on me as I unpack and get settled into my motel room.
As close as it got (just around that hill), it never made it to the motel parking lot.
It stayed dry all night at the HoJo Motel.

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