Antelope Island

19 Sep

With everything going on at the moment (move-related stuff), there’s no way I am going to be able to do a nice, logical/methodical description of the vacation. So I decided to just pick a date at random as time permits and share a few photos. With explanations, of course.

The first date I selected was September 11. That was the day we left Salt Lake City (SLC), which was really just a layover for us, and headed for Grand Teton National Park.

Annelies had never been to SLC. I had only passed through previously. Neither of us had ever looked into any of the Mormon history stuff. We’d never visited the Great Salt Lake either. In fact, I’d only ever seen it from a distance. Both of us, being the travel geeks that we are, thought it would be cool to not only see the lake, but touch it. So we selected a spot on the map that would give us lake access.

Hubby did the selecting for he and I. Annelies used her maps and GPS. Both ended up choosing Antelope Island State Park.

It really was chosen just because it looked like we’d be able to get to the water (as evidenced by the map at left). None of us knew a thing about the place in advance.

It ended up being the third really nice surprise location we discovered during our trip.

Why such a surprise? We had no idea we’d be seeing wildlife there. We just thought we’d stop, touch the water, and be on our way. For example, we had no idea that Antelope Island is home to one of the largest publicly owned bison herds in the nation.

While Hubby and I have seen bison in large numbers before, Annelies and Yves hadn’t. So they were very excited.

Hitch-hikers

I was already excited before we saw the bison. To get to the island, you have to drive across a causeway, both sides of which were chock-full of all sorts of cool water birds.

The island itself was gorgeous. Keep in mind, SLC is surrounded by mountains. And the island was named “Antelope” Island for a reason.

Pronghorn Antelope

We stopped at the visitor’s center and were entertained by a large flock of Cliff Swallows.

Curious Cliff Swallows

Inside the visitor’s center was a cute little gift shop, where I was able to purchase a new toad. (In case you missed the tragedy report, my frog was lost!)

My New Toad

When I went to touch the water, Hubby waited in the truck. That’s when I saw the brine flies, which I found quite intriguing.

Keep in mind, I had no idea what they were. I thought I was walking through dirt. But, as I approached, the “dirt” took off, en masse. Buzzing.

I stopped. They landed. I stepped. They moved.

It was the weirdest thing. Not only could I see them, I could hear them, too!

When I went back to get Mike, he looked at me as if I were crazy after I told him “you have to come and see these flies.”

Brine Flies on Ground

There’s a YouTube video (not mine) that shows these harmless creatures. The image below shows a swarm that launched itself when a guy put his kayak in the water.

Airborne Brine Flies (not on the water, flying over the boat)

Yes, Hubby was intrigued, too.

But the coolest thing about the island — REALLY cool — were the gazillion sunflowers gracing its shores.

Apparently, there are over 60 species of sunflower that grow wild in Utah.

Sunflowers!

I’ve never seen so many sunflowers. It was awesome.

Now, I am off to pack.

Maybe I’ll find a few spare minutes for more random images tomorrow…

If there’s anything specific you’d like to see, let me know.

2 Replies to “Antelope Island

  1. Fuzzy, I thought of you when I saw the sunflowers. I could have driven our rental vehicle into the field, but me in a big-ass Suburban wouldn’t have been nearly as cool as that shot of you on your bike in the sunflower field. So I just walked in. LOL.

    The flies were intriguing. It was pretty gross, though, once I stepped out of the lake and had dead brine flies all stuck to my feet!

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