We headed to Antelope Island today to swim in the Great Salt Lake. The Island is 75 miles long by 28 miles wide and has a 600 bison, pronghorn antelope, coyotes, badgers, bobcats and tons of birds living on it, but we felt lucky to get this close to this huge guy! There are signs all over warning people to not get close to them, so I love that the lady in the Jeep Cherokee is hanging out the window to get her picture. Look at how big he is! We had seen them up the hill to the left when we drove the road out to the original ranch and I commented on how skinny he was. Uh, maybe not! We watched him lumber across the road and when he turned his head toward us, I was hoping he wasn’t coming our way.
Here’s Nate and myself and Dan IN the Great Salt Lake. We did it! Please notice who’s taking the picture – the only smart one in the family. Seriously, we had read online about how gross the flies were at the beach, and how you should just go see it, but not plan on swimming. The brown stuff on the beach are dead bugs, interspersed with dead seagulls and other unmentionable things. To get to the water we had to walk through swarms of flies. They weren’t biting, but other big bugs did, right through our layers upon layers of OFF. There were 4 other families way down the beach taking their time getting in, too.
We were determined to get in, however, and I am so happy we did. When we were here years ago, we swam in the resevoir nearby, but the salinity was less than the actual lake, so we had to come back and try it. It was worth all the gross stuff, even the brine shrimp and algae IN the water didn’t stick to us. The brine flies were on top of the water, too, and would barely move as you swam. I was very careful to keep my mouth closed.
But the “swimming” for 20 minutes was still fun! It could hold you up in a sitting position without even trying, and to swim on your stomach, you really had to push your legs down, because they’d rather be on top of the water. We kept yelling for Eliza to come in, but she declined. She doesn’t mind that she didn’t swim in the Great Salt Lake, and she also didn’t have to take two showers afterward!
The view of the lake from near the car. We walked for about 15 minutes to get all the way out there to “swim.” The water levels change during the year, and right now, much of the water has evaporated. The 2.2 million pounds of minerals that are leftover are a light grey and are both heavy chunks and light oolitic sand. Not your normal beach. We did see tons of birds we didn’t recognize and learned that this is the Pacific Flyway stop for 9,000,000 birds each year. The funniest part was the marina with one boat – who would want to ruin their boat out here?!
The view on the drive back, a 7 mile causeway that joins the island to the hopefully brine-fly free afternoon we are looking forward to! Not the day at the beach we expected, but quite the adventure. You have to go see it for yourself – just don’t plan on swimming for long.