A Day in the Life

A Photoblog by Joel

Great Salt Lake Adventure

June 25, 2023

Emmett and I have been wanting to take a camping trip with just the two of us for quite awhile now, and this weekend it finally happened. After considering a few different destinations, we decided to tent camp in Davis County and then head out to the Golden Spike National Monument, Spiral Jetty, and Pink Lake.

We left Friday after work and arrived at our campsite for the night at Willard Bay South Marina. Gotta be honest, I was pretty disappointed. The photos of our site online looked much, much better than what we ended up with. Online our spot was grassy and green; in reality it was patch and very dead. Spending the night on grass is great! Spending the night on patchy grass is not so great. We didn’t have any level ground, and the best spot we could find was bumpy. Despite all of us (we brought a friend for Emmett) having good pads to sleep on, it was still pretty rough sleeping.

Also, mosquitos. EVERYWHERE, and so very very many of them. When we pulled up Friday evening it wasn’t too bad, but then I set up my lantern to light our spot during setup and they flocked over to us, arriving by the hundreds every minute. We quickly threw all our gear in the tent and zipped us up safe inside and managed to only have a few enter.

I set up my lamp inside the tent so we could see for set up. On the outside, this made us a huge, orange lightbulb to attract everything. All the mosquitos landing on the tent sounded like rain. It was crazy! And then, I made a mistake. I needed to go to the bathroom, and I opened the tent door as fast as I could and WHOOSH the army started working their way in. Coming back in from the bathroom invited many more. I then spent the next ten minutes in the dark tent with just my flashlight to attract the mosquitos and killed off as many as I could. And then we slept – as good as we could.

The sun was coming in strong from the right, and in the morning casted some large mosquito shadows on the outside of the tent.

We bugged out early Saturday morning and headed for our first stop of the day – Golden Spike National Monument. This is the place where the East-West connection of the railroad across the continental United States met thus connecting both coasts. It was a big deal! The monument has 2 working steam-engine replicas of the two steam engines that met that day, and it was SO COOL to see and hear them pull out and park in front of us. Shortly after both trains came out, there was a re-enactment of that ceremony that took place wherein several spikes of precious medals were ceremoniously hammered in to the final track thus completing the railway. That was actually pretty cool to watch. I came in to this with medium expectations, and left with high praise. Totally worth doing.

Once the ceremony wrapped up it was time for our next destination just a handful of miles down a dirt road that became a washboard bumpy dirt road – the Spiral Jetty.

I had medium expectations for this and left with low satisfaction. It was pretty … whatever. I flew my drone around for a moment and took some neat photos but really there’s no big wow moment about it. While there, two women were leaving in a sedan that ended up having a flat tire from the drive out there, so we helped them figure out that situation. I say figure out instead of putting on the spare because this modern Ford sedan didn’t have a spare; it had an airpump that would also fill your tire with fix-it goop. But we had some problems getting set up because somehow the battery also died and we needed to jump the car… but really she was trying to start the car (to run the pump) with her foot on the gas instead of the brake. Anyway, they limped away, we left shortly after and caught up with them and progress was going fine and I think they were set!

Neat! Right? I guess.

Next, it was time for the last stop – the thing I was most excited for! There’s a train track causeway that crosses the whole Great Salt Lake, on the south side the water is blue, and on the north side the water is pink because of the bacteria. Super cool, right? Well, it’s an hour drive to get there, and half of it is more bumpy dirt road. And then you end up on UPRR land and can only drive so far… and it was a complete let down. From where we had to stop the car there was no pink water to see anywhere. But there was stench, and there was mosquitos. I sent my drone up to scout out further west hoping I’d quickly see the good stuff. A mile away I finally saw some red water, that looked kinda dirty, and was really anti-climatic. I had high expectations for this stop, and this was by far the biggest let down.

This was actually the best part of the drive. The view here was quite stunning on such a clear day.
A mile away from where we parked this finally came in to view, and yes there are two colors of water but I was expecting a more vibrant pink and just less… disappointment.
Not worth the drive to see this only from a drone.
This was kind of a neat view on the way back from the drone. We’re parked at the faaaaar end of the train track there.

We lasted about 15 minutes here before getting back in the car for the long drive back to the main road for the long drive home to Utah County. On the way back though, we did stop for a quick water break and I took some photos of the gorgeous farm fields that we were driving past.

We ended up home pretty late in the day, around 6pm. It took a good 3 hours to get home. We spent a lot of time in the car and I was pretty wiped out afterwards. Overall it was fun, and some good memories with Emmett.

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