Sunday, May 20, 2012

Salt Flats

Like these bikers and the pioneers of who settled the west coast of the United States, we headed across the great salt flats of Utah.
But unlike them we were comfortably inside a large metal vehicle. We had protection from the biting wind that the distant white cloud told us was coming.
Due to an extremely fluctuating Lake level the shoreline of the shallow Great Salt Lake is almost deserted.  A building could be built right on the waterline one year then be hundreds of feet from the shore the next. The white in the photo, below is a line of hard mineral deposit that must be crossed to reach the lake.
Saltair is a resort that has been rebuilt and re-imagined several times through the years. The first version was in 1893.
photo used from wikipedia
At that time, a railroad was specifically built to take travelers to the resort.  Some of the wooden pilings were still visible as we drove by.
Today Saltair III is a concert venue but it has had its share of troubles.  When first built in 1981 flooding occurred shortly after it opened. The lake receded after several years allowing Saltair to reopen.  The problem was that the lake kept receding until it was far from the venue which rested against Interstate 80. Very few events are held there anymore. The water you see below is a small wet area formed from building the interstate exit.
Another drawback to people enjoying life along the lake shore is that there is sometimes a funky odor left from the bodies of stranded water-life, left as the lake recedes.
For now the lake entertains boaters and fishermen and supports plenty of waterfowl.
For now, we left the lake and kept our car pointed toward the high peaks in the west.
Those mountains meant Nevada to us, our last state to cross before being reunited with our children.  But first we had to cross the Salt Flats. 
Oh, have I mentioned that it was getting very windy?
This was just the beginning of what was going to turn out to be a very long day.


黄清华 Wong Ching Wah said...

Very long drive!

Kate/High Altitude Gardening said...

Once you get out onto the Great Salt Lake the odor of the brine shrimp goes away. I've sailed out there. Because it's so salty, not motorized boats are on the water so it's a very beautiful, peaceful place to sail. :)