One of the pictures I currently have as a random cover header photo on this blog is on the Spiral Jetty on the Great Salt Lake. It is a land art project located on the northern shoreline. Refresh the page a few times and it’ll pop up.
Few, in comparison to the population surrounding the lake, have ever seen it. Few still are the number of Utah natives that even venture out to this inland sea.
The Great Salt Lake is salty, with shallow, muddy shorelines. The mud under the wind and sun dried crust is smelly. When the wind blows and stirs the lakes waves, the smell can overtake the entire valley downwind. People call it the lake stench.
The waters hold no fish; brine shrimp are the lake’s only aquatic residents. Flies buzz along the shoreline and larger flies bite people visiting the dry, half-burnt, half-inaccessible Antelope Island. The place and its rumored bug problem are avoided by most.
But the same Island holds one of the pure strains of Bison. Mountain sheep and elk roam the Island’s highlands. Sandy beaches on its west shore allows the few visitors a glimpse of being on an ocean, fully equipped with sun sets to take your breath away.
Deer and Antelope roam free. Watch carefully and you’ll see one of the coyotes too.
The Great Salt Lake marshes and distant islands gives migratory birds refuge and thousands of pelicans a place to nest. Sea gulls freely roam the skies and salty breezes and if one closed their eyes and listened, you could be on almost any pacific beach you could imagine.
Kayaks glide high and smooth on ofttimes glassy waters. Sail boats set out and roam far enough away to disappear into the horizon.
The Great Salt Lake is magical. A world of its own. In the lights of the large metropolis, yet separated enough to be called wilderness. It is the last remains of a once greater lake, Lake Bonneville. A true endangered species.
The lake currently sits at its historical low, surpassing the low level set back in the early sixties. A prolonged drought and continued diverted water have the lake gasping for life. Some fear it might dry up completely and become nothing but a memory and a dust bowl.
I hope we’re smart enough to know we don’t want that. I hope were smart enough to know the lake needs its share of water. I hope we’re smart enough to figure it out before it’s too late.
The loss would be unmeasurable, the health risks would be uncalculatable, and the sin would be unpardonable.