I was in North Salt Lake City during the middle of June for a couple of weeks. Most of the time, I spent running errands (including getting new tires for my RV). I picked an RV park close to town so I would be fairly close to stores and businesses. When I saw that Pony Express RV Park was right on a biking/walking path, I decided it sounded good. The sites were way too close together, as is typical in parks close to towns. But I loved the path.
I walked and/or biked part of it almost every day (early in the morning while it was still cool). The path is part of the 40 mile Jordan River Pathway in the Salt Lake City area. I not only enjoyed walking and biking, but also watching nature – including birds and beavers.
In addition to the not so fun stuff, I visited Antelope Island State Park several times and one day I took a scenic drive into the mountains. I enjoyed both very much. It was quite hot while I was there, so I didn’t do much hiking in the state park – just a few short walks. But I saw a lot while driving around the park. Including this interesting site I saw on my first day at the park.
A deer on a truck! Of course, it was a statue but it was kind of funny coming across this.
On a future visit, I took the picture below.
The statue had been placed close to the visitor center, which is up on a hill on the island. Behind the deer, you can see the lake and the bridge that leads to the island.
Antelope Island is particularly known for one mammal. Anyone like to guess?
Yep, Antelope Island is known for it’s Bison. Apparently a long time ago some people were on the island and saw some Pronghorns, so the island became known as Antelope Island. Later a few Bison were released on the island and they now have a large population of Bison. A bit of education – a Pronghorn is not really an Antelope, but people do call them Pronghorn Antelopes. A Bison is not really a buffalo, but people here call them buffaloes. Buffaloes are found in Africa and south Asia.
My first day I only saw a couple of Pronghorns, but on later visits I saw quite a few. Below is one that found me just as curious as I found him and let me take several pictures before running off.
I saw many birds on the island, including a couple I had never seen before.
I saw quite a few Chukars while on the island. This one had a nice view of the Great Salt Lake behind him.
The island had a lot of Meadowlarks. While I had seen them before, I don’t think I had seen a Western Meadowlark this close. They sang quite a bit for me.
A Loggerhead Shrike --
A Willet (I think) --
I saw a few Long-Billed Curlew which I had only seen once before --
I had seen Avocets before, but never as close as this. On my first trip, I saw a few and got some so-so pictures. So I hoped on my second trip I would see them again.
It’s a bit hard to see in the picture above, but just below the center of the picture you can see a row of birds in the Great Salt Lake. Most of these are Avocets. A close up of some of the row is below.
A not so good close up of 2 Avocets --
Of course, while here I had to at least put my foot in the Great Salt Lake. So I parked and headed down to the beach. This picture is on my way down to the beach. There are a few people in the picture below (almost in the center), so you can tell it is a bit of a hike to get to the water.
My foot in the Great Salt Lake--
I don’t know if it was just the area I walked to or all of the Lake, but the sand/silt was extremely fine. While trying to take this picture my foot kept getting covered with sand before I could take a picture. I finally found these rocks that helped me get my foot shot. Also while at the lake, I had to see how salty the water is. I stuck my finger in the lake and tasted. It was like I had put my finger in water and then in a bowl of salt -- it was very, very salty. It is from 2 to 7 times saltier than the ocean. Please don’t tell me what other nasty things were in that taste, I decided to tell myself that the salt killed everything else!!
While I was there, Salt Lake City’s Farmers Market opened up. I enjoy going to local farmer’s market and craft shows. It supposedly opened at 8:00, but I was told to get there early to find a place to park. I got there about 7:45 and most vendor were already open and it was busy. The picture below was taken about 8:30. I am glad I got there early, I would not have wanted to be there a couple of hours later when it was busier.
I’ll blog about my scenic drive in a few days!! It was great.