If you watched the 2002 Winter Olympics, you might have caught a glimpse of Ogden Utah. Snowbasin Ski Resort, which was the site of the Olympic Alpine Ski Events, is located in Ogden, Utah. If you are visiting during ski season, Snowbasin is worth a visit. Don’t be fooled by the oriental carpets and crystal chandeliers in the cafeteria. Snowbasin has some extremely challenging terrain as well as trails that are suitable for beginners and intermediates. Skiers and riders of all level will enjoy the warm gondolas in the cold weather. Ski Magazine refers to Ogden as “the Best Little Ski Town that nobody has heard of.” However, snow sports are not the only reason to visit Ogden Utah.
In March of 2002, Sunset Magazine bestowed Ogden Utah with the honorable distinction of having the “Best Access to the Outdoors” in the West. This is the place to go if you want to hike, kayak, mountain-bike or golf. Monte Cristo Campgrounds in the Wasatch-Cache National Forest offers excellent camping facilities. Not only does Ogden, Utah offer excitement for the body. Culturally-minded visitors will find stimulation with the thriving Ogden theater scene. For example, the building that houses Peery’s Egyptian Theatre is an Ogden theater featured on the National Register of Historic Places.
After the fiery demise of the Arlington Hotel in 1923, two of the Peery brothers devised a plan to build this grand Ogden Theater. On July 3rd, 1924, the Perry’s Egyptian Theatre opened with Zane Grey's "Wanderers of the Wasteland." This silent film was accompanied by the "Mighty Wurlitzer", which was the Egyptian Theater’s famous pipe organ. The first "talking picture" was "In Old Arizona." When it was shown in 1929, the role of the house pipe organ was downgraded. However, it was occasionally used during intermissions and other programs. In 1960, the organ was put into storage.
In 1953, the 3-D movie "It Came from Outer Space" was shown. A four-channel high-fidelity system was also installed to accommodate the popular of stereophonic sound in movies. Today, the Egyptian is the only Ogden Theater to make use of an atmospheric ceiling, where a daytime or dusk ambiance can be transformed into one of a star-filled nighttime sky.
Aside from outdoor sports and theatrical events, Ogden, Utah is an interesting place for history buffs. On May 10th, 1869 the first of the transcontinental railroad celebrated its completion by the driving of a symbolic golden spike at Promontory Summit. Today, Promontory Summit is a National Historic Site that is managed by the National Park Service.
The golden spike itself contains 17.6 carat gold, alloyed with copper. Its total weight: 14.03 troy ounces. Additionally, the golden spike is engraved on all four sides with the following words:
- The Pacific Railroad ground broken Jan. 8th 1863, and completed May 8th 1869."
- Directors of the C. P. R. R. of Cal. Hon. Leland Stanford. C. P. Huntington. E. B. Crocker. Mark Hopkins. A. P. Stanford. E. H. Miller Jr."
- Officers. Hon. Leland Stanford. President. C. P. Huntington Vice Presdt. E. B. Crocker. Atty. Mark Hopkins. Tresr. Chas Crocker Gen. Supdt. E. H. Miller Jr. Secty. S. S. Montague. Chief Engr."
- "May God continue the unity of our Country, as the Railroad unites the two great Oceans of the world. Presented by David Hewes San Francisco."
Top image: sirrobot (flickr)