Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Since today was our last day in Salt Lake City, we decided to head on up to Brigham City, look around and head back towards SLC and see what we could find. We didn't want to stay on I-15 so we detoured onto Utah 128 in Layton and proceeded north on that. This road parallels I-15 but is like a business route as it goes through all the small towns and communities that are forgotten by the interstate travelers. We stopped by the Lagoon Park in Farmington but it's only open on the weekends. After stopping for lunch in Brigham City, we headed south to take the causeway over to Antelope Island.  As we headed home, Debi killed more bugs than I ever thought possible in the entire State of Utah. Driving at night was like being in a snowstorm.....yes, I washed the car when we got home.....tomorrow is a travel day and Thursday will see us in Las Vegas.....

We started our day by traveling north toward Brigham City. Using backroads allowed us to see many of the small, almost forgotten towns in this area. Like most areas linked to pioneer trails and travels, these towns are about 25 miles apart and very distinctive. This spacing was not by chance. The towns were developed this far apart as 25 miles was the approximate distance one could travel in a single day by wagon.

Our first stop was Brigham City, the county seat of Box Elder County. It was established in 1851. It is famous for its' peaches and a parade is held each year to celebrate the harvest. We stopped by a roadside fruit stand to sample some of the local harvest and besides peaches, we picked apples and pears.

Besides the large arch that welcomes visitors to this beautiful city, it is also known for its' large bird sanctuary. A lesser known fact about this Utah town is it was the founding place of Flying J travel plazas. We found the town, as well as most of the small towns in this area, to be clean, tidy and well groomed.

Entering Brigham City brings you directly down Main Street. Here is a picture of Main Street just past the downtown area. As I stated above, these towns were tidy and well kept. Most of the homes, although very old, were well groomed and showed a pride of ownership.

 As with most towns in this area, there is a distinct influence of the Latter Day Saints. Brigham City is no different. There is a temple and a tabernacle right in the middle of town. Here is the Box Elder Tabernacle which was originally built in 1867, finished in 1890 and rebuilt after a fire in 1896. The rebuilding effort lasted a year and this building was completed in 1897.

The Mormon Temple is directly across the street.

We found the Hill Air Force Museum in nearby Roy, Utah. However, the gates were closed with a sign saying it would be closed today only. There was no reason given, and we were disappointed that we weren't able to visit.

There are 10 islands within the Great Salt Lake. Antelope Island is the largest of them all and is accessible by a causeway outside Syracuse, Utah. Wildlife on the island includes deer, antelope, coyote, bobcat and of course, Bison. We were fortunate enough to see all but the elusive bobcat. There are two campgrounds on the island.

Here is a picture of one of the campground sites on Antelope Island. While the lake appears quite a bit away, it really was a very short walk. There were about 40 sites and only a handful of campers.

I don't think this fella paid for this site, but he was occupying it nonetheless. I was not about to argue the fact either. He seemed friendly enough, but Debi wouldn't get out and pet him. Jasmine didn't like him either.

For you hunters out there, or for those who simply enjoy the beauty of wild animals, this beautiful buck paused long enough for me to snap several pictures.

 This is an view of the Great Salt Lake from a lookout at Bison Point. Because of the sheer size of the Lake, the hills and mountains in the background take on an almost surreal effect. The sky and air were crystal clear although the lake appears to be covered with a layer of fog.

There is a telescope and binoculars mounted on a stand at the lookout at Bison Point. Ever wonder what would happen if you took a picture through one of those. Well, wonder no more. In the center of this picture is a deer grazing. Double click on the picture to enlarge it and it's easily seen.

Another peaceful view of the Lake from a different vantage point.

This fella seems to be charging towards us with fire in his eyes. Actually, he was merely walking our way when I snapped the picture. I forgot to turn off the flash so it's reflected in his eyes.

Another successful day draws to a close. The sun has already set and we are still a bit away from the campground. Rarely is the day we get back to the coach before nightfall but we've done so the past two days.....ugh! Both days, however, have been well rewarding......

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