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Salt Lake Valley — “The valley that no one else wanted”

Posted by on August 19, 2012


FRIDAY, August 3rd.

We woke up so late, we hardly made it to the breakfast buffet. Which
would have been a huge mistake.
Complimentary breakfast in this hotel means a breakfast playground
with make-your-own stations for fresh squeezed juice, waffles,
pancakes… cooked-to-order omelets and pretty much every
breakfast-related food you can think of. Trying to use our travel time
efficiently, breakfast had lately turned into an on-the-go meal. This
one was worth sitting down for.

The first Western experience on our agenda was Antelope Island State Park.

The spectacular views started before we reached the destination. The
blending of the blue sky and water made the mountains and their
reflections look like floating illusions. Add the white salt beach…
It looked surreal.

“Floating mountains”

The historic Fielding Garr Ranch on Antelope Island is the oldest Anglo-built house still
on its original foundation in Utah and holds a 150 years of Western
ranch history. The best part of touring Garr Ranch is the access to
everything that catches your interest. Nothing is roped off or hidden
behind plexiglass.

Sweet ride

If only this car would have had a full tank of gas…

Every horse at the ranch looked like a show horse.

The horses at the ranch were stunning.

As we were driving around the island, there were buffalo everywhere.

Moms and babies

They fit so perfectly into the scenery…

Lone traveler

…and sure looked like they owned the island.

These guys are massive!

You could easily spend couple of days exploring this island without
getting bored, but since we had other plans, we had to cut our visit

Of course,we weren’t going to leave before swimming in Great Salt
Lake. I had heard about floating in Salt Lake, but it’s one these
things you need to experience yourself to actually believe it.
Well, I am now a believer.

As we got out of the car at Bridger Bay Beach, the sun was blazing.
The sand was HOT. We couldn’t wait to get to the water. And once we
did… it was all worth it! Swimming in Salt Lake feels exactly like
floating around on an inflatable lounge chair, without actually having
one. It’s weird and so much fun.

We floated around long enough for me to know that in just a matter of
days my nice and even California tan will resemble a pattern of a
fawn’s butt.

The water in Salt Lake is five times saltier than the ocean. As it
dries in the sun, you can feel the film of salt cracking on your skin.
By the time we reached the showers I felt like I was ready to be
served well seasoned and cooked medium rare. Definitely an experience
not to be missed.

We headed back to the hotel to get ready for the Rodeo.

The Deseret Peak Stampede Pro-Rodeo

The Rodeo seemed to be a highly anticipated event among locals. I’ve
never been to a gathering of so many pairs of cool cowboy boots.

Happy crowd, cold beer, gorgeous stallions… everything was exactly
how it was supposed to be.

Classic yeehaw!

As the setting sun colored the whole arena with soft golden light, it
looked like a scene from a Western.

But quite frankly, the two of us were not there for the hunky cowboys…

Sunset at the arena

or daring bull riders…

The fearless ones…

We were there, cheering for the little calves… the ones that got away!

Thankfully, it happened a lot. It almost looked like the word spread
fast once the first little escape artist got back to the holding area.
Every calf after that looked faster and smarter.

Maybe next time…

The cowboys didn’t look happy, but hey, maybe you shouldn’t wrestle with babies?! I’m
sure tie-down roping takes some serious skills, but I’m just left
wondering what are these skills supposed to compensate for…

With the Bellamy Brothers entertaining the fairgoers, we called it a night.

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