We're home for the rest of the summer so that means the boys will have to play with a hose in the backyard for fun, and we'll take an occasional day trip to check something off the list of Still To Do And See In Utah.
The good news is, our boys love playing in the hose. Toddler Child insists on wearing his fast swimsuit [Speedo], and Mary joins our nearly-mistaken-for-Jamaican children while they play with water. They wear plenty of sunscreen. We're proud of our funky whiteness.
[Click on all photos to enlarge.]
A couple of days ago, Chris and I took the boys to Antelope Island State Park at the Great Salt Lake. We've lived in Utah nearly seven years and had never taken the time to visit the lake for which the state is so famous. I called for information and was told by a Very Nice Woman, that there was a beach, paddle boat rentals, a bistro, public restrooms and outdoor showers. I was told the salt content in the lake is 3% higher than the ocean, only brine shrimp live in the water, and there are several brine flies at the water's edge. The Very Nice Woman said the brine flies create a black ribbon on the beach and they will separate as you walk through them. Don't worry, she said, they don't bite, and once you get beyond them it's just you and the buoyant waters of the Great Salt Lake!
We weren't expecting Maui, but I envisioned a long day on the "island".
We spent two hours on Antelope Island, and one hour would have been plenty. There is a beach, but it should be called something different because the connotation that goes along with "beach" left us all feeling confused and disappointed. The bistro was run-down and closed. The three paddle boats available for rent were filthy and full of dead brine flies and live wolf spiders. We passed on the paddle boat rental.
There were BILLIONS of brine flies. BILLIONS. The ribbon the Very Nice Woman described, was several feet wide in places. The flies didn't bite; that part was true. But they peppered the top of the water as far as my eye could see. They were... icky. Middle Boy, lover of all living things, shrieked as he high-stepped through them to get in and out of the water.
Chris and the boys getting ready to enter the lake.
[Chris would like it known that he does not appreciate this picture, but he won't use his Blog Power of Veto. I think it's the outfit, old swim trunks and Super Friends t-shirt. I reminded him he was about to enter a cesspool so it was important to wear disposable clothes.]
If you click on the following photo to enlarge, you might be able to see the brine flies [that the Very Nice Woman said would only be at the water's edge] all over the lake.
I brought my bathing suit, but couldn't get beyond the smell and the flies. I kept my clothes on and waded in to my knees, but was miserable as I shooed flies, took pictures, and looked at my watch every 30 seconds hoping the kids would tire of the experience as I tolerated it.
Luckily the boys didn't need too much time bobbing in the brine fly water, and Toddler Child got salt in his eye. We told him prior to getting in the water to be careful of his eyes, and we also told him there were brine shrimp living in the lake. He confused the two and cried as we walked back to the car, "I have shrimp in my eye..."
I'm glad we saw the lake and swam in it [shudder], but I don't think we'll be returning. It's big, salty, and interesting, but if you want to check this site off of your list of places to see, call me for information instead of the Very Nice Woman.
Still To Do And See In Utah: Antelope Island State Park
[The Great Salt Lake from Antelope Island State Park]