Saturday, November 28, 2015

Spiral Jetty and Bear River Bird Refuge

On Friday November 27th we headed out, not to Black Friday shop, but to explore around the Great Salt Lake.  It was a clear, brisk, windy, wonderful day. First stop was at a supply shop in Salt Lake City to pick up a part to replace in our leaky refrigerator. Next stop were the restrooms at the Golden Spike National Historic Site (which we visited a few years ago: From there we headed south west to Rozel Point where the Spiral Jetty juts out (right of the Pelican on the map) into Gunnison Bay. This was uncharted territory for all of us. I remember when the Jetty was built and over the years have noted when it was submerged or beached. It has always been on my list to see, so we finally went to see. We were not disappointed.

 Some of us chose to follow the entire spiral to its center, while others did not. Over the years rocks have settled and sand and salt have filled in so the jetty is no longer as rocky and prominent as it once was.

 The center.

After years of drought, the water line is now about 200 meters out from the jetty.

Salt flats of the lake bottom

The red coloring comes from the high levels of salts and other minerals that are more concentrated in the northern part of the lake which is cut off from the southern half (with more fresh water sources) by the railroad causeway that bisects the lake.

 Looking south

Looking east to Promontory Range


We picnicked in the car while driving back to Brigham City. For desert we enjoyed delicious shakes (peach for Joel and me) at Peach City Drive-In. Second stop was for some Idle Isle candy (to eat the next day).

We then drove by the Brigham City Temple and the home of Bill and Veara Fife where my mom grew up. Then we headed west to the Bear River Migratory Bird Refuge. I remember visiting there once as a child when we stayed with my Grandparents for a few days. We decided to visit this time of year because it is when the Tundra Swans are passing through.

 First sighting of some swans.

Wellsville Range of the Wasatch Mountains. Cache Valley and Logan are on the other side.

Cropped close up. Standing on ice. We took binoculars which were a big help. A telephoto lens would have been nice.

Brigham City and the white LDS Temple (center) in the distance.

Looking west to Promontory Range. Parts of the refuge are open to limited bird hunting. It is duck season so we passed many pickups with bird boat trailers and heard distant shots being fired.

Tundra Swans

Stone throwing onto the ice while dad takes photos.

Big sky and swans in flight.

1 comment:

  1. Ammon and I went to the Jetty just last year- loved it. So glad you enjoyed it to.