We have both been to Salt Lake City before, but not to the Salt Lake. Kat found a campground at the South lake on the marina and it is fantastic. There are only 5 sites that line up along the parking lot near the visitor center. Luckily the gates close at 5 so there are no more people showing up. We back right up to the lake and it is a wonderful view out the back window. The weather was 60 degrees and I was able to remove some of my layers and go for a nice walk. I went down to the boat dock and checked out the tiny little brine shrimp swimming around. These are the sea monkeys I loved as a kid, but not in the little plastic tank that they come with! We had read reviews about the smell and luckily it really wasn’t bad at all. It comes from the dried up part of the lake and the brine shrimp corpses, but since it is a bit cooler without the hot sun baking the ground it isn’t too bad. As long as we shower we will know the smell is not coming from us. We were sitting outside enjoying the sun when a guy on a little ATV drove up and asked if we needed anything. His name is Pahoe and he works and lives here full-time. We asked if he lived in the really big camper at the end and he said “no way, that is a white man’s camper.” He is a Navaho Indian and very amusing with his stories. Another interesting person that we have met on our travels that we won’t forget. He has a couple of boats parked at the marina and three campers, but lives in the 1973 camper that doesn’t even run. He bought them all super cheap from local people who are looking to get rid of them. He told us all about the lake and the surrounding area and also that there was free wood over by the yacht club. We went over and got some with his help bringing it back to the campground and after our dinner of monster baked potatoes (cooked in the oven) we started a nice campfire and enjoyed the sunset.
Friday morning started early because there were all of a sudden at about 7am a lot of people were talking outside. It seems a bunch of people decided to come see the sunrise. I got up and opened the shades in the back window to see a few people standing right there outside the window! I knocked on the window and waved which surprised them and they quickly scattered. It could have been my leopard skin robe and crazy morning hair or they just didn’t know we were in there? Apparently they get a lot of tourist buses. There are tour buses full of Asian people on trips to see the American West. It was pretty chilly out I briefly considered making hot chocolate and oatmeal and selling it to make a few bucks! The sun came up quickly over the mountains and it started warming up fast. Sunrises and sunsets aren’t that different really and I think I would rather see a sunset since it is warmer at that time of day and I am already awake.We are headed into Salt Lake city to volunteer for the Salvation army food bank and of course go to Starbucks and walmart. I have a good feeling we will probably see Pahoe again too. I think another campfire is in order for this evening.
We volunteered at the Salvation army for the afternoon. This was yet another variation of how people get food from a food bank. There were shelves set up with items like canned goods placed on them, then some tables with meat, bread and pastries. Depending on the family size people were able to go “shop” and pick a certain number of items from the shelves and tables. It was a much slower process than just handing someone a bag of pre-picked food, but people got what they wanted. We helped clean up and then off to Walmart we went. We have to make sure we stay on top of our Walmart visits in every state!
Saturday we didn’t do too much except go shopping.
Sunday we were headed to Albuquerque and we went to the airport super early so we could watch football. We only had religious and spanish channels in the camper, so we had no choice if we wanted to see any of the games. It was kind of nice not to have to hurry and catch a flight. Traveling for fun is somehow different from doing it to go to work. I like it a lot better, but I do miss being able to expense food. It is crazy expensive even for a bottle of water and a sandwich.
Albuquerque was worthy of its own post, mostly for the pictures, but I will continue on with the rest of our stay since I posted that visit separately. Our stay was nothing super exciting, but we enjoyed the views and the quiet of the area, except for all the visitors during the day. After the gates closed at 5pm, it was nice. Friday was windy and cool so we went to the movies and to do our laundry. The winds the night before were 35 MPH and the camper was rocking. It was nothing compared to the next night with 65 MPH winds which really freaked us out! Pahoe says they have winds up over 100 MPH sometimes! We did notice that the harbor master and another worker who lives there had their campers tied down. Throughout the weekend we took a few walks along the beach and in the evenings we watched TV shows that we had downloaded. We really like the British cooking competition shows. Sunday we went to use the Starbucks internet and then to Buffalo Wild Wings to watch football for a little while.
The lake and the whole area was pretty interesting. The views were beautiful and the minerals and salt made some really interesting formations. Just across the highway, nestled at the base of the mountains was the Kennecot copper factory which gets its copper from the Bingham canyon mine. It is the second largest producer of copper and has the cleanest smelter in the world. Other than the trains in the middle of the night, the huge smelter tower and how brightly it was lit up at night it was pretty innocuous. The harbor master, Dave, is also part of the rescue team and one night when we were talking with him and Pahoe he told us that most of the rescues they do is from planes crashing into the lake. It’s not that people drown it is the temperature of the water that causes hypothermia and that’s the real danger because you can float easily in the salty water. By coincidence the night we returned from Albuquerque we saw news vans at the entrance gate and Kat asked what was going on and that afternoon there was a plane that crashed into the lake. The Harbor master rescued him after the shrimp boat spotter heard his distress call on the radio!
Brine shrimp are the prevalent life form in the lake. Not much else can live in that salty water! Their corpses are also mainly responsible for the smell. They sure are cute though. Growing up I used to order sea monkeys (brine shrimp) from the back of comics and magazines and I just thought they were great to watch. I had lots of other interesting pets in my life: guinea pigs, rabbits, dogs, cats, hamsters, mice, fish, and hermit crabs, but the sea monkey and fish are the only ones that never escaped their cages and left me looking and listening for them in the corners of the house and under furniture. Down by the marina off the dock was a great viewing spot for the brine shrimp, so I spent some time staring into the water and trying to get some good pictures.
On our drive from Idaho we almost finished listening to our audio book of Steven Tyler’s (of Aerosmith) autobiography. I got a notice one morning from the library that it had expired and I said to Kat “Steven Tyler just expired” she got this shocked look on her face and asked to turn on the hot spot so she could read about how he died. I cracked up laughing and explained that the audio book borrowing period expired, not him! Who says someone expired, I would say they died. Hahaha The look on her face was priceless.
Headed through Nevada to stay in Reno for a bit. Stay tuned…