out to the great salt lake

We adventured out toward the Great Salt Lake with friends. We stopped at Golden Spike Historic Site, where the transcontinental railroad completed it’s route across the western U.S. They brought out the two engine cars and we got to see (and hear) them driving along the tracks.

Spiral Jetty is not too far from there, out on a dirt road. It’s a land art piece that is at the edge of the lake, except with current drought conditions it’s about a half mile from the water line. The kids enjoyed walking the spiral path and looking for lizards who love to sun themselves on the dark volcanic rocks there.

The Great Salt Lake is very salty indeed there, so much so that the bottom of the lake is huge, hard crystals of salt that are tough on feet. It’s pink from the halophilic (salt loving) bacteria and very beautiful and strange looking. The pink waves and white land is so striking! I dug out a few crystals while I was walking around.

They make for sharp stepping and cuts and scrapes.

In a few places there was foam from the waves which was also sparkly with super high salt concentrations. Fascinating!

The kids enjoyed it until the salt began bothering their scrapes and cuts and stinging.

We even spotted some more wild horses!

Afterward we stopped at Willard Bay on the way home which is another part of the lake but is very much less salty so better for swimming. We washed off the salt and the kids played games in the water until it was undeniably late and we headed home.


Crystal Hot Springs & the Spiral Jetty

We made another visit to The Spiral Jetty, made by Robert Smithson out at the Great Salt Lake.


We saw some salt crystals on the sand near the Jetty.


The kids alternated between following the spiral path and detours to check out puddles, crystals, rocks, etc. We decided next time we go we’ll walk way out past the Jetty to where the lake’s edge is now.


Gavin and I walked out to the remains of a pier nearby. The lake has gotten smaller due to drought.


We spotted a hawk eating something on a post near the road so we stopped for a few minutes and watched.


On our drive we listened to many chapters of Mossflower by Brian Jacques.

Afterward we met other unschoolers at Crystal Hot Springs, a collection of pools fed by mineral springs.

The pools were differing temperatures and had fun features like waterfalls and shade umbrellas. The kids preferred the cool pool and I preferred the warm, but not hot ones. Gavin read about all the different minerals in the water. We’ll definitely go again, maybe in the winter when steam would be an added feature.

It was another full, fun day of exploring and enjoying and discovering.