February 22, 2018

Warm before Storm

With a storm in the forecast, we took advantage of a beautiful Saturday to ride Antelope Island.
We started at White Rocks Bay and rode a 27 mile loop around the island, with 3100 feet of altitude gain and loss.
We saw a small herd of bighorn sheep.  We knew the sheep live on the island, but we had not seen them before.
Salsa was on high alert, looking at those sheep. She was convinced that they were about to attack at any moment.
On the east side of the island, we passed rock formations that have been shaped and smoothed by thousands of years of erosion caused by wind, sand, and perhaps wave action from the lake. The rocks are at least 100 yards from the shoreline now.
The lake level has been as much as 20 feet higher in the records kept since the Mormon pioneers arrived in 1847.  The Great Salt Lake volume is down about 50% over 180 years.  Today, 50% of the water that used to feed the lake is now diverted for agricultural irrigation, of which about 10% is used for watering lawns and other human use. Some of the decrease may be due to global warming and less rainfall. In any case, one wonders what will be left in another 100 years.
The Sentry is the name of the mountain behind Steve and Salsa.  It does seem to be standing guard.  The snow-capped peaks in the distance are the Oquirrh Range, which runs N-S on the western side of the Salt Lake valley.
As we completed the loop on the other side of the island, we saw quite a few buffalo in small groups, grazing on the winter grass. When we were within sight of our trailer, 2 buffalo crossed the parking lot, weaving through cars and trailers.  They acted like the owned the place -- and they can feel pretty confident that no horse or human will challenge their rights.
It was a great day for all critters everywhere.
We chose a good day, because the next morning, this was the view out the kitchen window!


  1. What an adventure you had. I have always been fascinated by Antelope Island. We used to drive by it on our way to visit relatives in southern Idaho.

  2. I'm glad you went on Saturday rather than Sunday, although the snow at your house did look pretty. i didn't realize that Great Salt Lake had shrunk so much over the past 100 years. I, too, hope it is still around 100 years from now.

  3. Fascinating views!!
    It's interesting what you say about the buffalos- "they acted like they own the place". It reminds me of a recent discussion with someone on Chernobyl, the radiation stricken region in Ukraine. It appears the animals have completely taken over the region, as humans cannot survive long there.

  4. What an amazing place; sheep and buffalo? I'd be in heaven. It does make you wonder what the landscape will look like in 100 years. Bone dry?
    From my air conditioned home in sunny FL, the view from your kitchen looks marvelous.

  5. I like the comment on the buffalo too. Like the bulls on the home place - you don;t draft them; you merely persuade them that they want to go where you're sending them.

  6. Incredible views all - the hills, the lake, the amazing rock formations,the bighorn sheep & buffalo & finally the overnight snowfall.



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