Tuesday, October 4, 2011


Our stay in Utah was nearing an end, so we took Sunday to venture out with just our little family. Nick had done some research online, and found Antelope Island State Park. It was promising and right up our alley, so we decided to check it out. It was about an hour drive, then once we paid an entrance fee at the gates, we had to continue on for another seven miles or so to cross Salt Lake and arrive upon the island. It was lunch time when we got there, so before exploring we found a little shady spot with a table and had a quick picnic. We also made a furry friend, although very briefly.

Sister feeding Brother some puffs. I love her little perfectly pursed lips.

After our bellies were full, we climbed up a short little mountain to overlook Salt Lake.

There was a lot to see on the island, with many places to park and get out an explore. Unfortunately, kids attention spans and schedules limited the amount of time we were able to stay, so we decided we ultimately wanted to check out the historic ranch and homestead, and play in the lake. We had to drive a ways before coming upon the ranch, but the payoff was huge.

Nugget thought this old stove was pretty interesting.

There is a lot of history behind this ranch which you can learn about here. But in a nutshell, the ranch was established in 1848 by a man named Fielding Garr. He had been assigned by the Mormon church to establish the ranch on the island to manage the church tithing herds of bison. The Mormon church operated the ranch until the mid-1870's. It changed hands many times after that, and expanded its focus to sheep and cattle. It was run until 1981, when it was then bought and became a state park. It's pretty interesting stuff, and you know Nick and I love history, especially in the form of old houses.

Moving on, the scenery was gorgeous as we wound our way over to the beach.

These rocks are said to be the oldest rocks on the island, and some of the oldest found anywhere on earth, at 2.7 billion years old.

Here you can see the causeway (road) that brings you across the lake to the island.

Sunflowers! And if you look closely smack dab in the middle, there is a buffalo.

The Great Salt Lake is the largest natural lake west of the Mississippi river (Whoop whoop Minnesota!) and is several times more salty than the ocean. Which of course we had to taste test to be sure, and yep, it's pretty salty!  Because of the high salt, it cannot support fish life, but it does have brine shrimp, otherwise known as sea monkeys. They were super easy to catch, and a fun thing for Nugget to bring back home to show Nana, Jay and Jack. I tried to get a picture of one up close, but they are about the size of my pinky nail and move all over, so my lens just couldn't pick it up.

We forgot our swimsuits, but we were able to wade in quite a ways as the water was really shallow. The water was only ankle deep out to this sand bar, and still pretty shallow for a ways after that.

Catching Shrimp.

Right after this, my camera battery died, and I missed getting shots of Nugget playing in the water. But she and Daddy had lots of fun playing, while I headed back up to the car to nurse the babe.

We sure squeezed a lot of fun into our few free days in Utah. Come Monday morning, it was time to say our goodbyes and snap a few last pictures.

Then it was time to hit the road. We decided to head out of Utah during daylight, as it was a little challenging coming through the mountains at night. Our plan was to drive 11 hours back to Rapid City, South Dakota, followed by another 8 hours home the next day. But as we previously learned, plans change. It took the kids an hour or two to accept that they had to be strapped in to their car seats for a long time again. And you know how when you're ready to get home, you're really ready to be home? A little last minute decision led us to drive all 19 hours straight through. Although it was challenging, we enjoyed getting home at 5am, instead of 5pm. We survived, and in hindsight, it wasn't that bad.

Driving out of Utah.

Antelope were everywhere alongside the highway in Utah.

My sweet baby boy. What a little trooper.

Nugget has never had so much screen time in her life! It made her happy as a clam though to watch The Little Mermaid and Dora for hours on end. Whatever it takes, right?

And there you have it. It only took me a week to get it all on here! I'm ready to shift gears into fall now...I have some darling fall photos to share. Stay tuned...but I'm gonna take a few days off first :)


  1. Beautiful photos! And yes, whatever it takes to keep them happy in the car. So thankful that portable DVD players were invented. :-)

  2. You have such a sweet little family! I love following all of your fun 'adventures':) You sure have some lucky little kids! What a great Mommy and Daddy you both are! And- I can't believe how old Mile looks!!! Is it all the hair he's getting, or what?!