There were never enough hours in the day to see and do all the things that we had planned during our trip to Utah. We had already spent several hours at the Natural History Museum in Salt Lake City, the rain having chased us inside, but by the time we were finished in there things had cleared up somewhat and it was suggested that we head over to Great Salt Lake.
We weren’t quite sure what to expect. Various people had mentioned that the place had rather a distinctive odor to it, but we were curious to find out for ourselves just what Antelope Island was all about and so we took the road along the causeway that leads to the largest of the ten islands in the lake.
Our first impression when we stopped along the causeway and opened the car windows was not encouraging. Apart from the smell, which was pretty awful, we were inundated by flies and we quickly closed them again. Thankfully it didn’t deter us because once we got onto the island everything was fine.
Antelope Island covers about 42 square miles, most of it native grassland. The size of the lake fluctuates during the course of the year but has lost quite a lot of its water due to evaporation. It is the largest salt water lake in the western hemisphere but because of its extremely high salt content it cannot support fish although large amounts of brine shrimp attract many waterfowl which were very much in evidence as we drove along the shoreline.
It didn’t take long for us to spot some of the many species of wildlife that roam about Antelope Island State Park including pronghorn antelope, for which the island is named, and bison. The bison herd may include anything up to 700 animals and there is a yearly round-up to take count and make sure they are all healthy.
The sun had put in an appearance by this time and we decided to take a short hike along Lady Finger Point Trail. The scenery was awesome and we could see the bison grazing in the distance while at our feet some kind of lizard scurried away as we approached. Magpies are a common sight in Utah and we were closely watched as we made our way along the trail.
But time was growing short. The rest of our days in Salt Lake City were already spoken for so we knew this was our only opportunity to see the island and now the light was fading fast.
And once again the storm clouds rolled in. I was sorry to leave with so many wonderful things yet to see and photograph but it was as though the island was closing ranks on us. It seemed to be saying, “That’s all you’re getting. Come back another time. Goodbye.”