We started at the California State Railroad Museum, with its restored locomotives and railroad cars. I had chosen the museum mostly because I thought Ben would like it, but turns out that I think old trains are pretty cool too. The transcontinental railroad was conceived in Sacramento and construction began in 1863. It took six years to complete the Central Pacific Railroad, connecting Sacramento with the Union Pacific Railroad in Promontory, Utah. The railroad cut the travel time from New York to California to six days, a journey that took months on horseback.
The best part of our visit was our private tour from one of the docents. Ben wanted to better understand the mechanics of how steam engines work so we asked one of the docents where we could find an exhibit explaining it. He was so thrilled with our question that instead of taking us to the exhibit, he toured us around the museum himself, using the different models to explain steam locomotion.
For the rest of the afternoon, we walked around the touristy section of Sacramento ("Old Sacramento") with its preserved Gold Rush-era buildings and modern shops (we found this guy in an antiques shop). Then we continued west to ski at Northstar the next day.
|Old Town Sacramento|
|Along the Sacramento River|
|Dome at the California State Capitol|