Waste not, want more

No variations on a theme.

Utah: Another blip in the Minor American Roadtrip

I admit that this is painful installment 4 of 74 of my boring summer vacation. I somehow feel the need to document. I understand if you somehow feel the need to ignore me entirely.

I had already entered Utah in my last Minor American Roadtrip post. The state, to some, is the new “it” place. Where people still sound un-mainstream for going and there’s tons of cool, outdoorsy things to do. It was pretty easy to understand why. We planned to go back before we even got there so our 30 or so hours in Utah didn’t entail much except a promise to return. Its national parks are still calling my name.

The next stop (after the Bluebird Cafe) was Antelope Island just north of Salt Lake City, apparently referred to as just “Salt Lake” when you’re  in Utah, not to be confused with Great Salt Lake, which is the actual lake where Antelope Island is. Confused yet?

I had read about Antelope Island before we started our trip. Somehow I pictured some sort of uber-Okanagan wonderland with piles of kids just pouring out of doors, windows, holes in the ground and beer cups; 20 year olds in boats and hip bathing suits sounding ever-so-vaguely obnoxious on the water; lots of retirees; and a healthy dose of sunscreen and goofy hats. Maybe I had Antelope Island confused with a Kissime St. Cloud commercial mashup with a Florida-style spring break. At the very least, I thought, being 45 minutes from a city in the dead of summer would mean there’d be some traffic and maybe even a full campground. I was pretty dead wrong. P.S. This is always okay by me. People are minor irritants at the best of times. I love seeing everyone out enjoying beautiful places, I really do, but I love near solitude even more.

After 7 miles along a narrow causeway, we reached the actual island. I had never seen a campground like ours; the photos are pretty inadequate to show the surreal views of the lake, cheeky sunflowers dotting the landscape, and blessed metal shelters giving my pale skin a refuge. Aside: the downside of the metal is that creatures arriving in the night sound an awful lot like a band of toddlers playing jingle bells on pots and pans. After setting up good ol’ Mr. Wet Tent, we ventured to the lake for a swim.

The rumours are true. Great Salt Lake is greatly salty, and consequently stinky, but also very warm. It was great fun to swim in and a huge reprieve from the heat that day. That said, I did gain an appreciation for freeze-your-toenails-off glacier fed lakes. They feel and smell so incredibly clean and have a crispness that you just can’t buy in that heat!  Post-swim we were on the hunt for bison and antelope, which the island still has both of, strangely. I may or may not have driven around screaming “Home, Home on the Range.” Probably not. The relaxing, warm evening with accompanying sunset was just what the doctor ordered.

In classic bad tourist fashion, the next morning we moseyed to Salt Lake for a quick glance at the capitol building and Temple Square, the Mormon complex with piles of volunteers guiding tourists around the awe-inspiring grounds. I then got religio-skittish and we drove like we were getting paid…all the way to L.A.

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September 17, 2011 - Posted by | Minor American Roadtrip, Photography, Travel and intrigue | , , , , , ,


  1. I’m with you. When I’m in a natural location, I hate it to be overrun by people. That’s what I loved so much about the beaches we visitied when we lived in Vietnam–so non-commerical and nearly vacant.

    Hope you had a great weekend!


    Comment by Kathryn McCullough | September 18, 2011 | Reply

  2. Add me to the “loves a bit of solitude” list. That campground looks beautiful!

    Comment by Dana | September 24, 2011 | Reply

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