“Let’s get this day started!” Ric calls from his chair.
I am lingering in bed, body not wanting to move, but we are only in Utah for one day of exploration, so I’d best push myself.
Following the advice of our hosts at the RV park, we take a drive up to Snow Station, where apparently some events of the Winter Olympics were hosted once. Our campsite is set at the foot of the Wasatch mountains, so figuring out which way to go is not difficult.
Freshly bloomed trees creating an archway mark the ascent up the mountains, followed by green rolling hills, and of course the snowy peaked caps that draw us upward. The contrast between the summer green of the grass and the white of the snow is remarkable. We stop to take some photos.
From here we decide to drive into Salt Lake City. The big tourist attraction is apparently Temple Square. We drive within sight of the city and decide instead to visit the lake. Checking google maps, I realize the lake is huge. Then I spot Antelope Island – another place recommended to us.
“Let’s go there!”
We turn around and take the short drive through Syracuse, Utah and across the bridge to Antelope Island State Park. The road into the park forks after entry and we decide to go left first, in search of wild bison.
The views from here are spectacular. The lake itself is quite shallow, and there are salt flats that extend quite a distance. The hilly terrain and contrasting colours of the landscape all blend to make this an idyllic setting.
Then we spot bison – out on the salt flats. We stop to take photos and also discover the island is also swarming with small flying insects. We pop back in the truck, but there is no stopping them from following us.
The brochure for Antelope Island indicates that there are prong-horned antelope, deer, and big horn sheep as well as the bison. We continue our drive anxious to see more.
At the end of the road we are on is a ranch where visitors can interact with bison. As we approach it, we see several herds. Warning signs remind guests that these animals can be dangerous and ask us to remain on the roads, although there are no fences separating us should they decide to charge. They are looking pretty docile today, but there is no denying these are powerful beasts.
We decide not to get out at the ranch, so turn around to drive to the other side. On the way, three prong-horned antelope appear at the side of the road. They shyly check us out and then slowly carry on, unperturbed.
I ask Ric to slow down so I can see the birds at the water’s edge. It is a little too far for pictures, but I see some geese, a duck and many gulls. Then we spot a large bird with a red marking on its head.
“It looks like it has the body of an emu,” Ric says.
Then we note that there are two – they are sandhill cranes. Our first sighting!
The other side of the island has a beach and a restaurant and public washrooms. We realize we are hungry, but have arrived too late for the grill. We take some photos of the beach and a swallow lands on a nearby wall and poses for the camera too.
Choosing to visit the Great Salt Lake was the right choice. This lake, as its name suggests, is a salt water lake. Its concentration of salt is greater than the oceans, and according to the posted information, shrimp and briny fish flourish here, attracting many migratory birds…as well as migratory humans.