We have never been out to see the Spiral Jetty (a massive piece of land art – all mud and rock and salt -- stretching into the northern end of the Great Salt Lake). It’s understandable of course. It’s only been there for about 50 years, and, you know, . . . it’s an hour and a half drive so . . . naturally we’ve had very little opportunity. (???)
(In our defense, for an incredibly long time the Great Salt Lake was so high that the jetty was submerged, so we didn’t grow up going out to visit it.)
I nearly began to cry when we arrived and I pulled out my camera . . . only to realize I’d left its battery charging at home. I had my cell phone, but it was incredibly harsh and bright light to be dealing with, and I just couldn’t quit moaning my disappointment until Goldie told me to snap out of it and enjoy our adventure. Twice. (But for some time I’ve been wanting to visit both the Spiral Jetty and the Bonneville Salt Flats SOLELY to take pictures . . . so it wasn’t easy for me to accept my sad situation).
Still, we read various things about the place on the drive so we knew to look closely at the oolitic (tiny tiny pearl shaped) sand. And we knew to look for the monster with the head of a horse and body of a crocodile that some salt works’ employees claimed to have seen (and been attacked by no less) on the Great Salt Lake’s northern shore in 1877. (The account made no mention as to the whether or not alcohol had been consumed prior to this sighting . . . but we naturally assumed we’d spot it first thing and were disappointed to see not even the slightest hint of lake monster. [In all my years, I’ve never managed to see the Bear Lake monster either. Some folks have all the luck.])
And Hans got heavy and was set free to crawl and bungle about in the salty, wet sand. And some of the kids ran off so far on the flat stretches of sand that, while I could see them clearly, they absolutely could not hear me yelling for them and Abe had to be sent to retrieve them. And the kids found lots of cool chunks of salt and crystals of salt. And one time, when Jesse found an especially big and smooth one – but was unsure if it could really truly be salt – I went ahead and licked it for him to confirm. And walking back up the semi-steep, rocky hill to the parking area Goldie and Jesse nicely carried shoes and bags for a lady I noticed struggling to prod little ones up the hill while carrying an arm load of stuff. And we liked how impossible it was to find any point where you could clearly see the horizon. The lake just curved up and around and into the sky.
(Despite the many opportunities he gave me, I simply could not capture Abe clicking his heels [though I think Daisy managed it with her phone] but this picture does make it appear that maybe we weren’t so unlucky after all in our monster sightings. In fact we might be the first to have seen Bigfoot at the Great Salt Lake!)
And of course, we stopped at the Golden Spike place to see the historic spot where the Union and Central Pacific Railroads officially joined up in 1869. We weren’t at the right time for any of the train showings. But we mashed a few pennies flat in their little press and read a bit of history and walked out on the old tracks. So that was something.
And even though I still, several weeks post-adventure, find salt sand occasionally appearing around the house (it sticks – impossibly – to shoes and anything else it touches), it was a good little family outing, and I’m glad we went.