Wednesday, November 21, 2018

Lakeside and Skull Valley

Tuesday I took a road trip. First stop was the Layton Utah Mission office in Kaysville where I dropped off a Thanksgiving delivery (medicine, new pajamas, thank you notes, Advent candles and holder, raspberry jam and lots of fruit) for Hermana Emmett. I got to meet mission president Call who had all kinds of good things (naturally) to say about Sarah's service. That was a great stop.

I then drove west on I-80. First stop Grantsville for Gas and a Dr. Pepper.

I then headed north to Lakeside off of exit 62.

The better maintained road to the left (which doesn't show up on maps) leads to facilities at the Utah Test and Training Range--i.e. bombing range.

The road to the right heads to Lakeside by traversing through the test site--which is part of Hill Air Force Base.

Air Force facilities

 Looking west across the salt flats to Desert Peak.

A lonely road.

End of the road--Lakeside.

Lakeside Butte. I parked and then headed east along the RR tracks.

Looking northeastward to the Promontory Range across the exposed bottom of a much reduced Great Salt Lake.

Not sure of the purpose of these wood pillars filled with rocks.

Self portrait from the RR bridge built to allow water to pass between the north and south arms of the Great Salt Lake.

Looking east along the causeway the bisects the lake. For an interesting book about back in the 1980s when the lake was at its highest read Terry Tempest Williams' book called Refuge.

The causeway limits the flow of water between north and south which leads to color differences due to a salt loving bacteria found in the northern arm..

 Lakeside is bottom left. I walked over the bridge and then about 200 yards further east along the causeway.I never got to a point where there were full lake waters on either side.

On a flight to Indonesia in July 2016 I took these three photos of the causeway. Lakeside is at the northern end of the Lakeside Mountain range (left center) right where the causeway meets land.

At the west end of the causeway (top) you can see the bridge with a thin meander of water flowing under it. Water levels are down from two years ago.

There's a train coming.

Head lights appear.

Not sure what these curiously shaped Styrofoam yellow things were. They were all along the track.

I tried driving up Lakeside Butte, but a local mining company had blocked off the road. The train tack is seen heading west across the salt flats.

Lakeside Range

Two I-15 exits to the east I turned south on state road 196 through the appropriately names Skull Valley. I drove north through this Valley a few years ago with the intent to visit Iosepa but I failed to find it. Coming from the south, this is the marker.

Coming from the north this is what I saw.

Iospea is a fascinating story. It was founded by Mormon Immigrants from Hawaii who for a few decades made a go of farming and ranching in the desert west of Utah.

All that remains of the settlement is the cemetery which is lovingly cared for and which now houses facilities for a large Polynesian gathering on Memorial Day.

Skull Valley

Looking southwestward to the tress and structures of Ensign Ranches. From what I could tell that is the area where the square-blocked town of Iosepa once stood.

For more information on Iosepa check out these articles:

 Cemetery is lower center.

The central portion of the valley includes vast holdings of the privately owned Ensign Ranches.

My presence was very curious to the cows. They just stood and stared,

South of Iosepa and Ensign Ranches is the Skull Valley Goshute Reservation.

In 1996 the Goshute tribe proposed using some of their reservation lands as a dump for nuclear materials (perhaps at this landfill site--from a photo from my drive two years ago).  Governor Leavitt of Utah said that Goshutes could do what they wanted to on their sovereign lands, but the State of Utah would not allow the transporting of any nuclear materials along state roads (state highway 196 is the only way in and out) which nixed the project. That was a curious reaction given the fact that Goshute land is surrounded by federal and private facilities dealing with hazardous materials.

For more about Skull Valley and the battle over nuclear waste read this interesting article (with accompanying map, above) from Outside Magazine:

From the south end of Skull Valley I then headed east along the old Lincoln Highway (199) up an over the Stnasbury Mts to Rush Valley then south through Vernon, east through Eureka and finally home. A great day.

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