Sunday, June 29, 2008

Visiting the Spiral Jetty

So I've been reading this book called "1000 Places to See Before You Die" (both that and the version limited to the U.S. & Canada), and was surprised to learn about cool places, close to home, that I'd never heard of before. One of these places is the Spiral Jetty, and I was excited to visit it along the way home from the Conlin Reunion.


As you can see, it's a big piece of stonework "art" that is along the shore of the Great Salt Lake. It was built by Robert Smithson in 1970. At the time he built it, there had been an extended drought, but within a few years the water level rose and the jetty was covered by water for the next 30 years! The extended drought of the last several years has made it visible again, but with the addition of lots of caked-on salt acquired while it was under water, which makes it even more cool. Here's a photo showing some of the salt encrusted rocks that make up the jetty:
To get there, you first drive to the Golden Spike National Historic Site, where the eastern and western railroads met back in 1869. While we were there, we received a phone call from our sister Suzy that she had just had her third baby! Hooray for Suzy and Rick and their girls! (I'll write more about that in the next post). Here's a shot of the trains meeting:






I must confess, when I was at the Golden Spike park, I felt that we were truly in the middle of nowhere. But that wasn't really true...we needed to drive for another hour, on roads that got progressively worse until we finally ended up needing to walk the last 1/3 of a mile so my Honda Accord wouldn't get high-centered, until we were *really* in the middle of nowhere. The road was so bumpy and rough that I said "I'm never doing this again!". But, that was before experiencing the Jetty....it's such a cool place that I'm not sure that's true! Next time, I'll just plan to get there in a big pickup truck!!!


Here's a video I took as we were approaching the Jetty on foot:


video



Here's a video I took while walking on and around the Jetty itself:

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Here's me trying to wade and saying "ouch! ouch!" because the salt crystals were too hard and uncomfortable to step on with my bare feet. I tasted the water, and it was *way* salty....just like you'd expect in a place like that. By the way, if you ever plan to go and want to wade, I'd highly recommend bringing flip flops to wear in the water, and a towel to clean off your feet. I wasn't successful at balancing on one leg while I put my shoes back on without getting them wet or covered in rock-salt, but I was successful at entertaining Tracy as I tried to do that! After taking several photos of my balancing act, she took pity on me and helped steady me so I could get my shoes on again.



Here's one more video, showing the pink waves lapping against the jetty. The water is pink because of the brine shrimp (they are small enough that you can't see them).

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Finally, here's my yoga pose in the center of the spiral, with the jetty and the "salt bergs" visible in the background:


It's a cool place...definitely worth visiting at least once in your life!

1 comment:

HW said...

What a cool adventuress you are! I especially liked the yoga pose. Hugs to you and your fam!