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A year and a half ago, I wrote about iceboating on what I called “Lake Shangri-la . . .”   The foto below appears to be a smooth frozen lake . . . although the white-hatted cowboy standing in the middle of the road might be puzzling.

And those do look like icefishing diehards with

novel ice shanties on wheels.

Drift ice on a frozen high plateau lake?

Close ups of the ice chunks?

Uh . .  guy walking on water?

Except it’s almost 100 degrees out . . . and just down the road–I-80–is GSLSP  aka

Great Salt Lake State Park, and one selkie who takes briny deep to extremes.   Ever wonder why the word Bonneville is used in reference to places out here?  Answer follows.

And that outrigger seems to float pretty high in the water.

More on this place–as salty as the stuff in your kitchen–soon.  All fotos today by Will Van Dorp.

I wonder if anyone has ever tried sails on craft with runners for a Bonneville time trial . . .   And “Bonnevile” was the name given to places here by Grove K. Gilbert for Benjamin Bonneville, French-born explorer of the West.  If you read only one link in this post, read his biography here.    I enjoyed his Washington Irving/NYC connection.

So I was an especially gullible kid who wished in vain that my parents would let me buy some sea monkeys that I saw advertised in Popular Mechanics.  Never happened.    Hold that thought.

Below is a foto of the Great Salt Lake.  And before I came here, I’d heard that it stunk and held

no life.  But how

then was it also a major bird migration path. 

Doubleclick on this foto and see all the birds.  And yes the water near shore was black with flies and other insects that–unlike gnats–disperse when you approach.  All this brings up this

display outside Dave’s Gonzo Kayak rental on Antelope Island. To my amazement, I learned that Great Salt Lake has a fishery and this is an older, obsolete vessel used in the harvesting of brine shimp . . .

aka sea-monkeys!!  Click here for a foto of a more up-to-date vessel, the likes of which I’d love to see.

Click here for a feature from High Country News on the fishery, here for the site of the GSL Brine Shrimp Cooperative, and here for some starter economics on the industry.

All fotos by Will Van Dorp.

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My Babylonian Captivity

Reflections of an American hostage in Iraq, 20 years later.


June 2022