West Coast Road Trip

October 2010
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Tuesday, October 19, 2010, Yosemite to Mount Shasta, California

This was our longest travel day. Starting early in the morning we decided to first stop at Hetch Hetchy Valley just down the road from the lodge before we started our long drive up toward Portland. We managed to get to the entrance to the valley road at 9 AM, just as they were opening the gate for the day, and took the windy road down to the O'Shaughnessy Dam. After walking across the dam and reading all the informational signs about the dam while admiring the scenery of the valley, we decided to continue walking through a tunnel and along a the valley wall to view the valley from a different viewpoint. I took lots of photos of the dam and the valley, but unfortunately I lost all of them as I deleted them from the memory card when I needed more space thinking I had already copied them to my laptop.

After viewing the dam, we got back on the road heading to Mount Shasta. Rather than driving all night we decided it would be best to break the trek into two days with a stop in Mount Shasta to sleep. Around lunch time we decided it would be a good idea to stop in Sacramento, the state capital. After having a bite to eat we decided to visit the California State Railroad Museum which is located in the Old Sacramento Historic District. This ended up being a great idea as we both learned a lot about how the railroads got started and how they changed the country.

This is an excellent museum that contains many original artifacts including the Central Pacific Railroad No. 1 Gov. Stanford, the very first locomotive on the Central Pacific Railroad. The Gov. Stanford was built in Philadelphia in 1862. As there was no railroad connecting Philadelphia to Sacramento and the Panama Canal hadn't been built, it had to be sent by ship around Cape Horn. We also learned about the creation of the nations railroads and the joining of the Central Pacific Railroad to the Union Pacific Railroad which happened in Promontory, Utah on May 10, 1869, as well as the creation of Standard Gauge and Standard Time.

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