Go confidently in the direction of your dreams. Live the life you have imagined.

Henry David Thoreau

It’s further than it looks

Saturday July 23, 2011
Antelope Island State Park, Utah
Lakeside Campground Site #12

Today was the day to kayak on the Great Salt Lake.

David had been asking everywhere,
well all the everywheres there were to ask. 
The guy at the Fielding Garr House,
the guy at the Marina,
the ranger at the Visitors Center. 
And all had said
Oh you can put in anywhere along the shore you want. 

One nice thing about the island
is how Natural it is.
No roads going down to the water at all.

That means you have a lot of scrub to walk
through to get there from anywhere except
the designated beach for which there is a
”walk way” to the water.

After personally looking for a path to the water
down which we could bring kayaks in several places.
He decided we’d just have to use the marina.
I didn’t really want to do that because it was
right next to the causeway and far away
from the sections of the island I wanted to paddle by.

But the marina it was.
We set out about 9:45AM.

Kayking Great Salt Lake 001

When we got in the kayaks,
David suggested we go by the Egg Island Rookery
and then over to Fremont Island which had
been inhabited by a Utah Judge and his family
in the late 1800’s.  They were buried there.

From looking at the two in the distance it seemed
clear to me that both were pretty far away.
So since, in my mind, once you’ve seen a rookery
(rock in the middle of water covered with birds
and bird poop) you’ve seen it and don’t need
to see another one, Fremont it was.

So we set out from the harbor


and past the harbor guards

and straight ahead for Fremont.

Distance to Fremont 10AM
Kayking Great Salt Lake 008

There were a lot of birds just spending the
day on the water until we paddled through.
We did not see one other boat on the lake
the entire day so I didn’t feel so bad
about disturbing them.


Distance to Fremont 11AM
Hmmm, do you notice anything strange?


When things didn’t look significantly different by
11:40, we decided since we’d been paddling nearly 2 hours,
it would be tomorrow before we got there.
It appeared no matter how much paddling we did
the island was clearly walking backwards at the same rate.

So we turned around to go back toward Antelope.
The waves in both directions looked fairly large at times
but did nothing to help propel us along in either direction.
It seemed that we were paddling through a thin molasses.
Is that what 25% salt does to the water?

Kayking Great Salt Lake 020


Of course there are no fish in the Great Salt Lake,
so there were no fishermen.  The birds eat the
brine shrimp and their larva which are VERY plentiful.

It was a lovely day on the lake although we felt like
we didn’t actually go anywhere.  We just paddled in place
and spent nearly 4 hours doing it before we returned
to the guards at the marina.
Who were clearly laughing at us.
And probably saying,
We told you so.
It’s further than it looks.
Kayking Great Salt Lake 027

My advice – do what I had originally intended.
A lovely paddle around the shoreline.


  1. So, 25% salt gives you a 4 hour workout on the water. Could be worse :) At least you had a pleasant day and you were on the water! :)

  2. nothing ventured... nothing gained... sounds like you still enjoyed the day!

  3. Good to get the boats on the water even if you don't get far. I was wondering how the paddling was going to be on the GSL. Now I know - not easy but a good workout :)

  4. I understand what the water is like having taken a swim in the Dead Sea. It sure can be kind of thick.

    Hope all that salt doesn't mess you kyacks up.

  5. Oh, I got a good laugh out this, especially the pictures of how far away your destination was. I must say, you took it better than I could have. Thanks for sharing.

  6. Oh well -- at least it was a beautiful day. And just think of the great upper body workout you got!


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