The Great Salt Lake - A Dying Place

in travel •  5 months ago

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Salt Lake City, Utah

We drove fast through 70 miles of unrelenting flat lands, the mountains ringing far in the distance. Giant billboards edged the highway reminding us that drowsy drivers cause crashes. The land along the road is white and dusty looking, with tire tracks streaking the ground, tracing donuts in the vast salt plains.

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We get out near a huge yellow gift shop and begin walking toward the water's edge. Rushes grow along the bank and trick me into thinking the water is nearby. Looking past them, instead of lapping water I see more sand. Well, at first it looks like sand, but I quickly realize it is more salt than sand in the bottom of the dry lake bed.

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We set out to reach the water's edge far across the plain. The ground is oddly rippled and had a spongy texture under my feet. To the side I notice a darker spot, a hole in the ground and decide to check it out. The hole is about 1 foot wide and maybe 6 inches deep. I peer inside and see water moving gently at the bottom. Somehow, the lake is directly under my feet yet the salt/sand mixture still supports my weight.

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We continue walking across the seemingly endless lake bed. The water, like the mountains we've been driving through, doesn't seem to be getting any closer. However, the ground is becoming more rippled, like water frozen in motion. The peaks are stiff yet still look as if they are could fall at any moment.

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The closer we get to the water the more skeletons I see. Most of them look like bits of bone and feather, maybe scales. Some of the remains could be plant remnants, it's very hard to tell. After the tenth bird corpse, I realize there are no birds flying near this lake. I take a moment and scan the sky. Nothing. Whether it is the bird bodies littering the lake bed or simple intuition, the birds all know this is not a safe place for them.

We finally make it to the water's edge. The flies are so thick on the ground it looks as if the sand itself is crawling. (I have a video for you, but I haven't yet figured out how to post a video here on steemit.) I take off my sandals and wade in. The water feels normal on my toes, and I breathe a sigh of relief that the salt didn't immediately dissolve my feet.

Thanks for reading, and check in with me next time to learn about a magical energy vortex in Oklahoma!

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It is a smelly creepy place sometimes. But also the sunsets and the stark beauty is pretty amazing.

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Yes! Stark is a wonderful way to describe it. The creepiness was pretty neat actually. Have you been swimming in it? I hear it's not something that people usually do.

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Swimming in the Salt Lake used to be a standard on the bucket lists for American travelers.

The train would stop at Salt Air resort and people would float in the salty water. The lake is quite shallow and you can walk out into the briny waters for several hundred yards.

The lake seems to get a little more toxic each year. Swimming in the lake is less popular now than it was in the past.

It is salty and you float. You can start at the Salt Air resort and walk out into the lake

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I'd love to spend a little more time out there and actually swim in it. I'm curious how it compares to the Dead Sea, which I've also not been in.

I think I'll add it to my bucket list. 😀

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Thanks!

Hey! You made me read until the end and afterwards I wanted to see more incredible photographs and more text. What if you add more details in a next post? 😉

You do a very cool job 😄

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Thanks! I'll see what I can do about adding more detail. I'm quite glad you enjoyed reading it. That is my motivation to write more. 😀

That you take good photos you of the place, I like them

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Thanks! That's a great compliment coming from a photographer!