Our first stop of the day was Antelope Island, the largest of ten islands on the Great Salt Lake, which is also a state park and nature reserve. It was quite a place, and we spent far too much time there. I had planned it to begin with – our hotel was on the same road as the causeway that leads out to the island.
The causeway begins going by vast salt flats left behind by the evaporation of the lake – this is a periodic cycle, since the lake is in the bottom of a huge bowl, with no outlet to the sea, so the salt accumulates to the point where you don’t swim in the lake – you float. The lake smells a bit like the salt marshes of home at low tide – decaying and dying. The largest ‘fish’ in it are brine shrimp, tiny little things you can barely see in a fish tank. The lack of fish hasn’t kept the seagulls away, or other seashore birds that swarm on these salt flats, sustained by the unceasing swarms of flies that breed in the marshlands along the shorelines.