The Pioneer Loop. Day 15: Antelope Island.

4 October 2018.

(Location: Salt Lake City, Utah)

(Editor’s note: struggling to get photos uploaded…sorry. They will be worth the wait…)

The day dawned, gray and wet. We had slept well, so well that neither of us wanted to get up. Nevertheless, we did, and we went downstairs and had breakfast in the hotel. After consulting the weather forecast, we decided to go to Antelope Island State Park, and perhaps walk around the city later.

We drove north up I-15, passing industrial areas, a double decker train, and then more towns of the Greater Salt Lake area. From Spanish Fork northwards, the valley appears to be a large urban area as you drive past on the interstate. We reached Antelope Drive and turned west towards the Park. After about 14 miles, we reached the entrance station and the causeway which crosses the Salt Lake and leads to the island.

Our first stop was the visitor centre, before going to the various viewpoints. The dramatic weather provided some great (dark grey, mean and moody!) skies for the photos. When we left the hotel Andrew had been slightly disparaging of my consideration of the need for leggings. I put on shorts but took them anyway…and promptly put them on at the very first stop! The temperature at this point was low 60s, but there was a cold wind today.

We decided that it wasn’t really hiking weather, in part due to the strong wind, so we did more of a driving tour around the island, with view stops.

There were occasional spots of rain, but we were lucky with the rain, at least until we reached the historic ranch. We were looking around at the ranch structure and the old tractors and equipment when it started to rain. After it eased, we moved to the sheep shearing shed, only for the rain to get a lot worse. Eventually we made a dash for the car.

At that point, the lure of a hot chocolate called and so we drive to the Island Buffalo Grill, where we had hot chocolate drinks and a toasted sandwich/hot dog as applicable. I was tempted to go for a paddle, but it was quite a long walk out to the water and the rain was menacing again, so instead we visited on final viewpoint and then left the island, catching the mountain reflection in the water as we drove across the causeway.

On our outbound journey we had spotted a Dillard’s store near the junction with I-15, so we set off in search of it. After a successful hunt, we went shopping for some jeans for Andrew. After detailed consideration, he chose two pairs and we returned to SLC. By then, there had been another downpour of rain and it was still raining hard, so the road conditions were fairly bad. We got there safely, in part by being able to use the high occupancy lane, which was less busy and moving at a constant speed with more spacing between cars. Our route back took us near the state building.

Back in the room, we relaxed and downloaded photos before going for a nice dinner at the nearby Olive Garden restaurant. It’s been a few years since we last went to one of their outlets (we think in Flagstaff) and they had digital screens which you could use for payment, right at your table. After that, we went back to our room and watched a movie, before turning in for the night. I need to repack everything in the morning to get it back to just 4 cases and hand luggage! Gulp….

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