Never ask a local about the Great Salt Lake, because most have never been there. It’s bigger than the state of Delaware, and yet hidden in plain sight.
Unlike the places described by Yogi Berra as “so crowded, nobody goes there any more”, the huge lake occupying a large part of the northwest corner of the state of Utah is an unpopular and unknown destination among Utahans. Most will tell you that it stinks and that there are too many flies. And if you press for directions anyway, even more will have no idea where to access the lake. Surprising to again even more, the lake hosts two of the top 5 visited state parks; the Marina and Antelope Island- visited, just not by locals. We went to the marina today.
The small marina is home to a small community of sailboats who set out onto this Inland Sea and find open waters and little traffic. The occasional motor boat is alone in its class, and kayakers, like we were today, have the lake’s shores and shallows to ourselves.
The slight breeze seemed to sufficiently fill the sails of the three sailboats we watched disappear into the horizon and yet it gave us little to no resistance in our paddling efforts. We stopped only when we found a sandbar emerged from the waters where we could beach our kayaks and get out to let out toes sink into the cool sand and warm water. It was as if we had found our own tidal atoll in the Florida Keys.
Part of me hopes that people learn of and enjoy this little big lake, in view and within 30 minutes from literally millions of people. The other part loves having this little salt water heaven to myself.
And in the lake’s defense, most can’t point out Delaware on a map either.