Als ich wisse das Morgen der Erde enden wuerde, immernoch wurd ich mein Apfelbaum pflanzen.

Even if I knew the world would perish tomorrow, I would still plant my apple tree. - Martin Luther

"Factory work's easier on the back, and I don't mind it, understand, but a man becomes what he does. Got to watch that. That's why I keep at farmin' although the crops haven't ever throve. It's the doin' that's important." Madison Wheeler in Blue Highways by William Least Heat Moon

Friday, January 23, 2015

Antelope Island and Golden Spike

 When we left Dinosaur National Monument we headed to the Great Salt Lake.  We were all very excited about being able to float in the lake.  I may have been looking forward to going more than the rest of us because we had run out of time to visit when I was a kid and my sister and I had spent many conversations lamenting the fact that we'd never been able to float without sinking.

Sometimes things that you've anticipated for a long time turn out to be worth the wait, other times you wish you'd never managed to fulfill that dream.

Antelope Island State Park was the biggest, gnat infested, desolate place I have ever been.  The lake shore looked like something from another planet - dead birds, cracked earth and salt residue.  The water itself was full of tiny brine shrimp, and was covered with huge clouds of gnats.  So many that the surface of the water looked black.  But, we were there, and we were going to float.

The floating part was enjoyable.  It was impossible to sink, but I just couldn't get past the sheer disgustingness of the whole experience.  After about 15 minutes we were all done.  Once we got out the salt residue immediately began to condense on our skin.  I have never felt so foul.  We showered, changed and headed into town for the best meal of our trip at a Mexican Restaurant called The Mellow Pepper.  

The excellent meal, the buffalo and the magical sunset helped ameleorate the horror of the afternoon.

See what looks like wind on the water towards the shore - those are the gnat clouds!

After a near sleepless night (the wind coming off the lake shook the camper so intensely I thought we would wind up in the lake), we were up before dawn and headed away never to revisit.

We left so early that we managed to get to the Golden Spike National Historic Site just as it opened.  
During the summer Golden Spike runs reenactments of the meeting of the trains during the building of the Transcontinental Railroad.  This was an amazing stop.  Well worth the drive off the main path.  After spending a wonderful morning, we headed on to our next stop and more adventure. 

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