Two of my Favorite Things

Two of my favorite things – lakes and salt – it should be great!

Just 25 miles from camp (38 including wrong turns) is the Great Salt Lake. It was well over 100 degrees when I arrived at Saltair, the third attempt to build a resort on the shores of the lake. The abandoned building now hosts just a tiny gift shop and the lake is now a mile and a half away.

The third incarnation of Saltair is all but abandoned. All that remains is a small, sad gift shop.
The third incarnation of Saltair is all but abandoned. All that remains is a small, sad gift shop.

The odor coming off the lake was near suffocating. I’d say it most resembled rotten chicken. I walked out about 15 minutes toward the lake before giving up and taking this shot:

The Great Salt Lake, over a mile from the closest parking. Be glad you don't have smell-i-vision.
The Great Salt Lake, over a mile from the closest parking. Be glad you don’t have smell-i-vision.

The signs say the lake is an important habitat for birds, however on the walk out and back I saw not a single living thing except a couple of flies that couldn’t fly and a few humans trekking toward the lake (on the other hand, I didn’t actually check them, they could have been zombies).

This shot, from the state marina. There were over a hundred boats parked in the lot, but only one car. There's a small channel that connects to the now distant lake.
This shot, from the state marina. There were over a hundred boats parked in the lot, but only one car. There’s a small channel that connects to the now distant lake.

Of course the other mandatory stop in SLC is the highly manicured Temple Square.

Temple Square, Salt Lake City
Temple Square, Salt Lake City

The Best Week

I just can’t do it justice here. It’s actually overwhelming. The week at Janet and Duane’s Lake Place at Lake Osakis was the best week of the journey hands down.

The Setting

You come through the town of Osakis before approaching the Head of the Lakes Resort. It’s just like you’d’ imagine Lake Wobegon (A Prairie Home Companion). You half expect to see the Statue of the Unknown Norwegian around the corner. When you get to Head of the Lakes your greeted with this amazing waterfront populated by some of the friendliest people in the world.

The Bomb

So, I’m totally having this great time chillin with Janet and Duane when the bomb drops. Out of the clear blue Wally drives up with his son Adam and granddaughter Ella. What can I say? It was the best surprise I could have had.

The Lake

Lake Osakis is this 6,000+ acre lake that’s ideal for fishing and recreation. When the locals say it’s crowded, they don’t mean crowded like Saguaro Lake on a summer weekend, they mean there are dozens of boats on this big lake. The pontoon boat, one of their four boats, not counting kayaks and canoes, can carry a dozen people easily so it was perfect to take the teens out knee boarding, circle the lake in a parade of boats on the forth of July, see the fireworks at night or as a swim and party platform.

The More and Even More

So much more. There’s Chef Duane and the wood pellet grill working overtime with inch thick pork chops or two pound porterhouse. There’s all the neighbors stopping by to see the new shed. There’s the fishing obsessed Brian. There’s the bright engaging teens Zack, Jake and Ella. The cribbage match with Wally. I can’t go on; I’ll go on. The you betchas. Meeting Pam, who’s only been a Northern Exposure esque story to me. Red, white and blue tutus. The “adopted daughters”. Scotch. Dogs. Beer…

The Ungraceful Perfect Exit

A heavy rain overnight, just right to wake you up and help you drift off again, saturated the ground where I’d been parked. Wood planks weren’t working so, naturally, the resort owner came out with a tractor and pulled Roamward Bound free of the mud. Perfect, you betcha.

Thank You

I really can’t thank Janet and Duane enough for making this such a great week.