Getting done with SC12
festivities in Salt Lake City as planned let me with quite a bit of free time. And seeing the Great Salt Lake
in person was one of two things I had on my to do
list, checking out snow-clad sky-kissing mountains being the other one.
Thanks to an angel of a lady (an employee of The Grand America Inn), I was not only able to rent a car on honor system but check off both items on my aforementioned to do
Fourth to largest terminal lake in the world and the largest of lakes outside of the Great Lakes system in the US, the Great Salt Lake is the largest remnant of Lake Bonneville (a prehistoric pluvial lake that once covered much of Utah and portions of Nevada and Idaho). The three major tributaries to the lake -- the Jordan, Weber, and Bear rivers-- together deposit over a million tons of minerals in this lake each year. As it is endorheic (has no outlet besides evaporation), s mineral content is constantly increasing and the lake has very high salinity -- much saltier than sea water -- attracting the nickname, America's Dead Sea
Antelope Island, with an area of about 40 square miles, is the largest island of 10 islands located within the Great Salt Lake. The island, connected to the mainland via a causeway, becomes a peninsula when the lake reaches extremely low levels and houses a wide variety of wildlife: American bison, mule deer, pronghorn antelope (that lends the name to the island), bighorn sheep, coyotes, bobcats, badgers, porcupines, cottontail rabbits, jackrabbits, snakes, mallards, Canada geese, avocets, black-necked stilts, willets, long-billed curlews, sanderlings, American white pelicans, pied-billed grebes, killdeer, great blue herons, snowy egrets, white-faced ibis, ring-necked pheasants, California quail, burrowing owls, chukar partridges, rock pigeons, mourning doves, horned larks, red-winged blackbirds, bald & golden eagles, prairie & peregrine falcons, northern harriers, American kestrels, great horned owls, barn owls, ospreys and red-tailed hawks and more.
In a 10 mile neighborhood ...