Friday, August 26, 2016

RonnieAdventure #0218 - Northern Utah, Part I 2016

Have you ever wondered why and when time zones were established in the United States?

Historically, in the 1800s "sun time" was used in the United States and towns could pick their own standard time, resulting in over 300 local "sun times' to choose from.  Since it took so long to get from town-to-town, using a "sun time" standard did not cause many problems.

However, things changed dramatically on May 10, 1869. That is the day that the Union Pacific and Central Pacific Railroads met at Promontory Point in norther Utah Territory. Now, a trip across the United States that had taken six months by covered wagon, could be made in less than one week.

Because people had to be at the train depots on time to catch trains, the railroads pressured the Federal Government to establish standardized time zones across the continental United States.

On November 18, 1883, time zones were adopted in the United States and standard time zones were adopted in other parts of the world in 1884. So, we can thank the railroads for standardized times.

After the railroads met in Utah, a marker was placed at the site; but over the years the marker deteriorated and was severely vandalized. Then, in 1965, the National Park Service assumed ownership of the monument and started on a restoration project that would take a number of years to complete.

The Golden Spike site now contains a visitor center, a few miles of track, and two steam engines that are almost exact replicas of the engines that met on May 10, 1869. Several times a day the steam engines are "fired up" and driven up-and-down the tracks to reenact the meeting of the two railroads.

A short distance up the road from the Golden Spike Site is the Orbital ATK complex that contains an outdoor display of some products that ATK, or one of their subsidiaries, has manufactured for various space and military programs.

Photographer Unknown

Although we drove by Hill Air Force Base in Ogden on this trip, we did not stop for a visit; but we have visited the base on several past occasions. For people interested in airplanes, they have a great Aerospace Museum that even contains an SR-71 Blackbird.

SR-71 Blackbird
Once a year the Base has an open house so that you can get close to, and in, some of the planes.

During the annual open house, the Air Force Thunderbirds typically perform various flying movements.

Friday, August 19, 2016

RonnieAdventure #0217 - Southwest British Columbia Part IV

No trip to Southwest British Columbia would be complete without a ferry ride over to Vancouver Island to visit the world famous Butchart Gardens.

The Butchart Garden site was a worked-out Portland Cement quarry when Mrs. Butchart starting landscaping the grounds as a hobby in 1904. Over the years the Bucharts traveled extensively and kept adding rare and exotic shrubs, trees, and plants to the site that they personally collect during their trips.

Today, the gardens cover more than 55 acres of land and are viewed by more than a million visitors each year.

After learning how much a Taxi cost for a ride into Victoria, I decided to take the local bus into town for about two dollars. Although I will have to admit that it did take awhile to reach Victoria, on the ride we had the opportunity to view a number of local neighborhoods and meet some interesting people as the bus stopped at almost every street crossing. Anyway, we arrived in Victoria in time to have a great dinner at a restaurant with a patio overlooking the bay. And yes, I did catch the express bus back to the ferry, which was nice because the bus drove right on to the ferry and also went to the parking lot on the mainland where I left my car.