Sunday, August 28, 2011

Utah - Part 8 (final) - Antelope Island

SLC is famous for its large Great Salt Lake. A very large, and mostly a very salty lake. It is so salty, only brine shrimp can live in it. There are also lots of brine flies, lots and lots of them.
The day started with thundershowers, but it cleared up after a bit. Pretty funny how we managed to get two days of rain in one of the driest places in North America... Antelope Island is known for its bisons, antelopes and deer and of course its many, many birds. It's a famous island for migrating birds to fill up on brine shrimp before they head further south (in the fall) or north (in the spring). 
We also came across some other creatures...

Distant rain

All those black dots are birds

Our first bison!

A deer with a huge rack!

More bison

We went into this shed, which was part of an old farm on the island, and we saw this snake. At first I thought it was fake, but then it moved. Definitely the largest snake I'd ever seen in the wild. 

You can somewhat make out the clouds of brine flies flying away in front of the running boy. we took some footage as well, that I'll try to upload somehow as well.

At the end of the day, we had to return the rental back, and we found a really nice Mexican restaurant where we had an awesome meal with even awesomer (!) guacamole! A good way to end our fantastic vacation!

This is it for Utah, now back to our normal life :)

Utah - Part 7 - Uinta National Forest

After a night of great sleep in Richfield, we decided to head up north towards Salt Lake. We took some back roads, and ended up in Uinta National Forest. There we took the 'scenic route' through the forest, which got us up to over 9000 feet!

You can definitely tell how it's starting to get greener out there.

An interesting thing happened in Uinta National Forest though… We took a little side road, which ended up on a campsite but provided a good view of Mount Nebo, the tallest mountain there. We got out of the car to take some pictures (still didn’t have enough!) and we were approached by an older lady in a car. She told us that she lived nearby and loved this area. She also told us about a bridge crossing a small creek with a nice area on the other side, and if were where to go there, she wouldn’t mind come with is since it had been a while for her to visit that spot.
All fine and all, but then she pointed to a truck with two guys and she mentioned how they had been following her. All of a sudden I had this really weird gut feeling, and I just wanted to get away from there. We politely said that we had to go, and before we knew it she took off. We left the campsite area as well, back to the main road. She was nowhere to be seen, and the guys in the truck didn’t follow us. I’m not sure what it was all about, but we were wondering if they were trying to get us away from the car, so they could rob us? Not sure, but we felt a bit uneasy for the rest of that trip, despite the fact we climbed 3000 feet and you could see the road below us with nobody on it. Nothing happened, and maybe there was nothing weird about it, just our imagination, but it just didn’t feel right.

Anyway, we were still able to take a few photos. It's 'open range', which means that cows can roam freely. Hence the cows.

Guardrails anywhere??

Even here you can find those red rocks.

Dreams get broken in Vegas

Close to 3000m

Photo op!

Lake Utah

Just to make sure we're going the right direction.

Are you sure we need to turn right??

After we left Uinta Forest, we decided to do something else. We checked the CAA book (which proved pretty valuable in the past week), and looked up stuff to do in Provo (just south of SLC). It turns out they had an aquarium. SInce we were getting a little tired of driving, and the temperature started to climb again, we headed to the aquarium. It was pretty fun actually. Of course, more photos were taken...

Also, did you know that scorpions glow in the dark?

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Utah - Part 6 - Capitol Reef National Park

Wednesday - Hump day!
After a bit of a disappointing dinner in Green River, but good night sleep, we headed south towards Capitol Reef National Park. The highway there was very similar to what we had seen the day before; lots of nothing! But that in itself is so impressive. How often do you see something so 'empty' but still so full? I was really intrigued by it, and just loved the vastness of the landscape and the ruggedness. The numerous rocks of which none looked the same, the colour and the shapes. All in all just very different to what we are used to, and I loved it!

Really, really dry, in case you were wondering

A tree trying to survive

Another Arch, although they called it a bridge, this time in Capitol Reef National Park. Still impressive.

Cool colours and lines

Wild wild west!

The gooseneck at Capitol Reef NP

After Capitol Reef, we planned on driving to Richfield, but we saw a little side road to Fish Lake. After seeing all those rocks and deserts, it was somewhat weird, but also very familiar, to see a lake and trees! In a way very familiar to what we have in our own 'backyard', but here it just seemed somewhat out of place!

Fish Lake