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

Henry David Thoreau

When do the Buffalo cross the road?

Friday July 22, 2011
Antelope Island State Park
Lakeside Campground Site 12

Answer?   Whenever they want to.

We were up early and out on the trail.
Well actually,
we were up early and started out for the trail.
Then David wanted to see what time the visitor’s
center opened so he could ask which was the
best trail to see the buffalo herd(s).
So we drove over, doesn’t open until 9.
So back to the trail head.
Just as we got to the left turn to the trial head,
there they were, on the beach just down the
road from us.
David stopped the car to get out and get
some pictures and I said no drive on down closer.
Here’s where they were.
Dooly Knob Trail 033


We drove down and got out of the car.
David stayed near the car.  I walked further down the road.
And here’s what happened.

Dooly Knob Trail 034

And then everyone decided to get into the act both
in front of me and behind me.

Between David and me.
Can you see him?
This photo is not zoomed.
Notice how far away “my hero” is!  :-)
Notice how close the buffalo are.
Dooly Knob Trail 060
This picture is zoomed from his position.

There were the dancers,
Dooly Knob Trail 052

the gallopers
Dooly Knob Trail 054
Am I getting the evil eye??
Dooly Knob Trail 084
Here’s the whole family photo
Dooly Knob Trail 060 
And Major Domo
who took just as long as he wanted to saunter  across.

Nearing the end of the parade
Dooly Knob Trail 100
Can you tell which one of the herd is Ruby?
Well here they are on the other side,
until they decide to change their minds of course.

And they are still keeping their eyes on me.
Dooly Knob Trail 088
Ok I know, enough buffalo.
But they were SO COOL!!!
You just had to have been there.

We finally got in our car and turned around
and went back to the trail head.  Several cars came after the
herd had crossed over but no one was there
but us during the big move.
David’s checking out the trail head
for Dooly’s Knob.  He reported that the trail is listed
as easy to moderate.  After the hike we
decided that the easy part was reading the sign.
And we’d like to see their definition of strenuous
if this straight up hill climb is moderate.
Luckily, it was only 9am.
Dooly Knob Trail 111
Sherry’s still checking out the buffalo
on her way up the trail.
Can you see those tiny brown dots there??
UP up up
that’s the parking lot there on the left.
 Dooly Knob Trail 123

Dooly Knob Trail 139

Oooppps trail sign fatigue – generously donated repair
Dooly Knob Trail 140 
Dooly Knob Trail 141
Dooly Knob Trail 142

All good deeds get rewarded.  Around the bend
a Pronghorn Antelope



From the top of Dooly’s Knob

I saw this guy.
Talk about handsome
And some zoom lens to get this
8 point Mule Deer Buck
It’s the snack spot
With views from both directions
Actually from all directions.
360 degrees up here.
Including snow capped peaks
View from Dooly Ridge

Time to start back down
operative work – DOWN
but it is a long trail
Dooly Knob Trail 170
And who should we spy taking a rest on our way back?
Really blends in doesn’t he?
 Dooly Knob Trail 177


What a face!
What views!
Even the road out was steep.
Dooly Knob Trail 192
David, ever the got to do it all one,
wanted to go on down to the  Fielding Garr Ranch
House which is the only residence remaining on the island and
it can be toured.
I’m not much for house tours any more and after
my extreme buffalo and antelope morning, I just
wanted to relax.  So I did and he toured.
The ranch is located at Garr Springs one of the strongest
and most consistent of the 40 springs on Antelope Island. 
Most of them on the East side.

Fielding Garr had been assigned by the Mormon Church
to establish a ranch on the island to manage the church tithing herds.
He built a small  log cabin in 1848 and the ranch was continually
inhabited from that time until 1981.

The Mormon church operated the ranch until the mid 1870’s.
By the turn of the century John Dooly Sr purchased the entire
island for $1 Million.  WOW –what a sum at that time.

He introduced the bison to the island at a time
when the bison population in North American numbered less than 1000 head.
The ranch turned to sheep under his son and when that became
unprofitable in the 1950’s, it turned again to cattle
and continued to function as part of one of the largest commercial cattle operations
until the island became a state park in 1981.

All of the ranching buildings are still standing and they number several dozen.
David took 94 pictures around the ranch.
But don’t worry.  Here are just a few.
You’ll definitely be able to tell that David
didn’t do this section since there are no
pictures of the machinery and tools and outbuildings
included.  :-))

The house was very small.  Even the blacksmith’s
shop was bigger.


We have a rope bed at the farm even nicer
and older than this one.

You were encouraged try out the beds but it’s
a good thing he didn’t or it would have taken much
longer than the hour he spent.


The bunkhouse for the 4 ranch hands

To close out the day we went by the visitors center,
finally, and saw their videos and exhibits
including  assessing the weight of both a
buffalo and a big horned sheep horn.
No wonder we haven’t seen any big horned sheep.
This one horn is really heavy, they probably can’t
walk around much with two of them on their heads.


They had information about all the bugs and when
to be here to avoid them.  So far, they haven’t been
nearly as bad as Utah Lake.  And the ones
that are here now don’t bite.  Halleluiah!


The visitors center also has a very nice short out door
trail with great views.


Including this one of the 7 mile causeway to the island.

Dooly Knob Trail 200

We’d managed to spend much of the worst of the
heat of the afternoon 4-6pm inside the center in the air conditioning.
But it was now time to head on home for dinner.
Things cool off about 8pm, sunset is at 9
and bedtime is at 10.

Maybe a kayak tomorrow.
Have to find out what paddling in 25% salt water is like.


  1. Have you ever heard of 'TOO CLOSE FOR COMFORT!!'?? If they wanted, those buffalo could have made you into a tossed salad ;o(( But oh, what a great photo ;o))

    Nice hike in an interesting area!! Really beautiful views!! The causeway is a little bigger than the one at Huntington Beach!!

    Question??? With such a high concentration of salt, does floating in the Great Salt Lake cause your blood pressure to go up??? Inquiring minds want to know;o))))))))

  2. What incredible views from up there! I absolutely think buffalo are the coolest animals. We got to see lots of them in South Dakota when we were there last year. You were brave to get out amongst them!

  3. Wow!! That must have been a very spiritual moment amongst the bison. And then the antelope not to mention the gorgeous views all around. What a great day!

  4. I agree with Nancy and Bill. That was just a bit too close for comfort! What massive creatures they are!
    This area looks so beautiful, I can hardly wait to see it in person.

  5. No wonder the buffalo kept their eyes on you, you are very intimidating when you pull yourself up to your full height! ;c)

    Great pictures, too bad you couldn't capture their smell on camera...

  6. That would have been cool to be there for the big buffalo parade.

    Incidentally, I love your hokey pokey t-shirt. I had to zoom in to see what it said. What a hoot!


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