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  #1  
Unread 04-20-2008, 04:34 PM
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Default Ghost Towns & Railroad Run 4-19-08

Photo's and report curtosy of Jason (SAMI)

With the purchase of the new rig comes the immediate desire to get out on a dirt road somewhere. Buying my 4runner on a Monday was torture, as it would be 6 days until I could get out for an adventure.

I picked up my fiance Jacey at 9:30am, and boogied north to Brigham City to meet up with Paul R and his wife Mariko, heading down from Logan, and John (SLC97SR5) and his wife Brooke coming from Kaysville. We grab some gas and grub at the Flying J, and a last minute stop to buy a replacement CB antenna, then we're off to hit the Golden Spike National Historic Site at Promontory Point.







We grab a map or two, and triple the pictures. We use facilities and gear up for a fun day down the original stretch of the transcontinental railroad that ran along the northern tip of the Great Salt Lake.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Utah Backcountry Adventures
"Completed on May 10th, 1869, at Promontory Summit, the transcontinental railroad shortened the once expensive and arduous cross-country journey to four days at the relatively cheap cost of $100"

"In 1902, the Southern Pacific Railroad decided to shorten the route by crossing teh Great Salt Lake, which meant laying an additional 102 miles of track between Ogden and Lucin, including 12 miles of trestle over the lake. The route was not only shortened by 44 miles, it made the railroad track more level, saving fuel costs."





We headed out along the lake north, and north west. Along the side of the road lay countless railroad ties. Also littering the road, i mean everywhere, are big RR spikes, and nails left over from the RR that we would otherwise be driving on 139 years ago.







On down teh trail, we run onto a main road and get a bit dissoriented. We find some cattle ranchers, who were of absolutely no help at all. Paul did his best to explain to them where we were going, to which all they would say is that we were trespassing, which we weren't. Anyways, a quick look at our books, maps, and GPS had us back on track(no pun intended) in no time.




Last edited by Paul R; 04-20-2008 at 04:38 PM.
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Unread 04-20-2008, 04:39 PM
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We came up to a cool picture oportunity at a big rock sticking out into the salt flats... Paul or John might be able to add more about some history in this particular area.





The ladies in the crew.. Brooke, Jacey, Mariko


We move on, passing up on Locomotive Springs to make it further down the trail. Bombing down the original track, now road, we get outgunned by a Dodge Caravan doing land speed records, forcing us to eat his dust. Not be outdone for coolness, we posed for pictures on some of the cool bridges that are found along the way. These were super rad at first, but really you'll see them atleast every 10 minutes, usually more







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Unread 04-20-2008, 04:47 PM
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We made it to Kelton, which started out as a camp of Chinese workers. Later transforming into an important junction between the east-west rails and northern coach trails. This town prospered in the 1800's, to be later cut off in 1904 as stated previously.

The only real remnants of Kelton are some building foundations, and the Kelton cemetary.












From here, we looked at the time and the maps to see how we were doing. With only 1/4 of our journey over, and itabout 3-4PM Jon decided it best to cruise back home to make it to work rather than call in. So we escorted him about 5 miles out to Utah 30.

Thanks for joining us Jon!!!
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Unread 04-20-2008, 05:22 PM
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Paul coming around the corner on the start down Red Dome. There is a 'Y' section of track that was laid here for the helper engines that would aide freight trains up the long pass.





Finally we reach the anticipated stop of Terrace. Terrace was home to many settlers and permanent facilities before the Lucin Cutoff dealt the Local economies their deathblow.

To back up for a second, the Lucin Cutoff was an $8 million project enlisting 3,000 men and a year and a half to complete. When finished in 1904, it signaled the demise of the original line that ran around the northern rim of the lake. Though this line was not the primary route, it did see occasional service during bad weather. The tracks were pulled for scrap metal to aide in war efforts in 1942.

Terrace thrived in the latter half of the 19th century, also serving as the Salt Lake Division of the railroad company as a repair headquarters. Terrace was one of the last towns to be built along the transcontinental railroad. Wtaer was piped in from the Clear Creek Range, supporting the town. An eight track yard, and 16 stall roundhouse and thousands of occupants. This was a big town in the middle of nowhere.













The tracks out of Terrace heading West.

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Unread 04-20-2008, 05:36 PM
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After another 10 miles or so of high speed desert action, we came to Lucin. Lucin began the same as so many other towns, alongside the transcontinental railroad as a work camp, then into a flourishing town. The town moved 2 or 3 times over it's history finally resting on the west side of the tracks a few miles from it's original location. Lucin was renamed Grouse, and later dismantled and deserted in 1907. Suprisingly a couple moved back in who had grown up in this small rail stop, moving away in the early 90's. Not much is left of this town, but there were some intersting items to explore.

Two grain cellars are still in tact.





An old telephone booth still stands...





Aired up here, and caught Utah 30 about 5 miles away. Paul and I both had about a quarter tank of fuel, and no spare fuel cans. I know, I know we should've brought some, but neither of us really thought that in depth i guess. I know everytime I saw a 5 gallon can in my garage I had the thaught to grab it.

The GPS showed 70 miles to the nearest gas up spot. So, on we cruised for the 70 mile trek running on fumes. My gas light popped on about 15 miles into the paved road adventure portion of our trip. At about the point my gas light came on, we passed the cattle ranchers that we'd seen earlier who wouldn't help us with directions. So I wasn't going to stop and ask for a gallon of gas even if my motor died right there. Not knowing the acccuracy of my gauge, I knew i'd be lucky to make it under my own power.

On 'E' for nearly the entire time we actually make it to a gas station, where i filled up with 15.04 gallons. If i'm not mistaken, my '99 4runner has a 15.4 gallon tank? So, yeah we cut it close.

Awesome day trip! I think the next time we do it, we'll make it a two day'er. Camp near Lucin, and head south to Wendover via the dirt tracks, with loads more history.

-Jason

Trails/Places Visited:
Golden Spike Monument (monument)
Kelton (town)
Ombey (town)
Terrace (town)
Lucin (town)

Last edited by cruiseroutfit; 04-21-2008 at 11:06 AM.
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Unread 04-20-2008, 05:49 PM
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Excellent report, looks like you guys saw some neat stops!
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Unread 04-20-2008, 06:32 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cruiseroutfit
Excellent report, looks like you guys saw some neat stops!
Yeah it was a great trip just scouting out the area.
I would really like to make it a multi day trip and explore more on the west side and try to get to a Ghost town called Boston Terrace

Over all it was ~130 miles off road most of it was narrow raised railroad beds.
Here is the path we took via Google Earth Highlighting...


Here are some of the pics I have...

Near Red Dome


Jaw bone of a sheep near Red Dome


Terrace Cemetary


Lizard in Terrace


Pile of spikes near Lucin
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Unread 04-20-2008, 08:20 PM
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Next time you guys go on a trip like this, call me (that means you Jason)!
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Unread 04-20-2008, 11:55 PM
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Veeeery nice thanks for sharing.
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Unread 04-21-2008, 04:56 PM
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Looks like you all had a good time. Too bad I didn't take Jason up on his offer to go with!
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Unread 07-15-2010, 05:33 PM
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Looks like a great time. Have made that trip several times myself and always enjoy it, though on two separate trips, flat tires!
Spikes got TWO tires on the F350 and a large nail in the xterra tire.
I always carry two spares in the truck out there, and the plug kit & compressor in either vehicle out that way.

Have finished up the trip in Wendover usually and then back home to the Ogden area.
LONNNG dayyyyyy!!

If anybody is going that way this fall again, I'm in!
Dave
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Unread 07-19-2010, 02:48 AM
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This sounds like the trip I'm planning! I was hoping to do it this fall but doesn't look like I will have a rig ready in time. It will probably have to wait til next summer. I am planning on a 2 nighter, but instead of going south toward Wendover heading north through Grouse Creek and up to the City of Rocks then working my way back through Yost back toward Corinne making a full circle. I am really looking forward to it and it sucks that I will have to wait. As It gets closer I will post it better and if anyone wants to join us that would be great.
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