Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Antelope Island

We spent a couple of fun days at Antelope Island State Park. It's close to Salt Lake City, but miles away from traffic, noise, crowds, etc. Instead, it has great views, peace and quiet, salt, spiders, a few mosquitoes, and more salt :)

Our first evening came with a beautiful sunset, so we put the back door of Howie down to cool off the trailer and bring in the rays.

A view toward Fremont Island to the north:

From the top of Howie, a photo of our wonderful, calm campground:

It almost looks like the sun is going down inside the trailer:

The next morning we inflated our "Sunny" canoe and set off on an adventure to Fremont Island. We paddled across the bay, watched sea birds (who seemed to be curious about us too), and marveled at the buildup of salt on everything. Paddles, gloves, clothes, fingers, the boat, our faces... all very salty. I guess that's why we didn't see any other boats (motorized or otherwise) on the water all morning.

It took almost 2 hours, but we made it to the island and pulled up for a snack. The seagulls gave us a wide berth. I would have taken photos, but I was afraid to pull out the camera from its hiding place in the dry bag! Paddling back took almost as long, and it was enjoyable until the end when brine flies got in the way. Then we portaged across a sandbar (aiming for the shower house) and realized it was coated in seagull poop. Then the gear-lugging up the beach wasn't too much fun. I was a bit whiny but John was patient with me. The highlight was getting out of the boat to float in the salty water along with the tourists and discover what it felt like to be more buoyant. Even John floated (and without a PFD on)!

We were very excited about the outdoor showers where we could rinse everything off. We were salty! Then as we were schlepping our stuff back toward the campground we caught a ride with some park employees - very nice of them.

I made a boo boo - forgot to put sunscreen on my feet before wearing sandals in a boat for 4 hours!

Luckily they only hurt that afternoon and didn't bother me on subsequent hikes... but they still look pretty funny even now!

That afternoon we took a bike ride around the island, partly on the trail and partly on roads. Here's a view of the causeway connecting the island to the mainland:

Don't feed the animals!

One reason we didn't stay on the trail the whole way (John was a gentleman and led the way):

We made it to the ranch where we could look around, although we didn't stay long when we started to hear thunder. The ranch was pretty and had some interesting things to look at:

Like this "Dr Seuss" machine:

And this one I decided was designed by Da Vinci:

An amazing old tractor:

A herd of buffalo hanging out down by the water - cool!

Pronghorn antelope - I love the way they hop/run:

The following morning we hiked up toward the highpoint of the island, Frary Peak:

Pretty monarch:

We had awesome views of the Great Salt Lake in all directions:

What a very nice way to spend a couple of days. Antelope Island is made for adventure racing, or at least training for it!

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