Sunday, June 24, 2007

The Last Spike

The completion of the railway across Canada meant that the farmer's grain could be transported to the west coast and shipped overseas. This was a great boon to the prairie grain farmers, although the Crow's Nest pass was so expensive to build that the government levied a fee on all grain transported through the mountains.
Today there stands a special commemorative marker where the last spike was driven to mark the completion of the railroad. (Click on the heading for more details.)
It's a little known secret that the location of the last spike in Craigellachie, BC contains more than the marker and gift shop. For a privileged few, it's possible to go back in time and stand where Smith stood, grab the hammer and pound on the last spike, while at the same time, having your picture taken. We happened to time it right when we drove through there this month. For a fee, which I'm not allowed to divulge, I entered the time machine and was transported back to the very moment when Donald A. Smith was posing with the hammer over the last spike. For those of you who've gone back in time, you realize how important it is not to mess with the moment, or the future could turn out quite differently. So, with modern technology transferred to 1885, the moment was frozen and I was able to walk into the scene, replace Smith, grab the hammer and wait till the camera clicked. Then I was transported back to the Gift Shop. It all happened so quickly that I assume the people back then didn't know the better.
It's an experience I'll never forget. Luckily, a photo of me in Smith's place was transported back with me. I'm sharing it with you knowing I can trust you to keep this a secret.
Okay, I do have one confession to make. I didn't really hit the "last spike". I just pretended to. It makes for a better photo op.

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