It felt good to sleep in a little this morning before I picked up the rental car and headed to the great Salt Lake to do some paddle boarding and floating. It’s a short 15 minute jaunt to the lake. I was pretty excited and when I got there, I must say it was a little disappointing. The park and marina are pretty run down and the salt lake looks like no one has taken care of it in a few years.
You do have a self pay $3 fee to get onto the park grounds. My guess is that most people don’t pay it and so they have no funds to keep the place decent. I met Gonzo Boat Rental (click here) for my paddle board rental which was $35 for two hours. He was a really nice guy and gave me a few tips on where to go to see some sights. He also gave me a heads up about the brine flies that are on shore. Soooooooo….many of them. They don’t bite. They just land and are a nuisance. The big black spiders that are all along shore eat them. They look super scary but do not bit and are not poisonous.
I haven’t paddle boarded in a few years but it’s like riding a bike. It came back quickly and I enjoyed myself. I couldn’t believe I was the only person on the lake. No other boarders, boats, sails or kayaks. I headed back in as the wind was picking up and it was becoming more challenging to paddle.
There were a few other people on the beach now and they were floating so I decided to give it a try. It was a fun experience to float so high in the water. I’ve done it once and must say I don’t ever need to do it again.
That afternoon I headed to Timpanagos national monument for some cave adventures. This park was absolutely stunning. I drove around for an hour getting out at various places and taking pictures.
After a brief safety briefing from the park ranger about rock slides and high altitude trail safety I began the 1.5 mile trek up to the cave entrance. The hike is amazing and a bit terrifying looking down and seeing the drop-offs.
The caves are completely worth it. There are 16 people to a tour, they do this to manage temperature in the cave. It’s only $8 and the tour goes through .5 mile of cave. You are guided by a ranger and there are lights the whole way. I ended up with a few Massachusetts residents on the tour with me. I also met a few on the trail. Wearing a Red Sox hat was a good decision.
Timpanagos is a national monument because some of the stalagmites in their biggest cave look like a corral reef. It didn’t drip straight down creating an icicle look but rather spread out like octopus tentacles. Scientists don’t know yet why this has happened. They have a theory that water pressure in the rock has caused this to happen. They are currently studying this to find out.
After a long day and a good hike it was back to relax and then head out for the local gay nightlife. I wanted a local flavor and to hear different stories. The people in SLC are very friendly and are happy to just chat with anyone. It was much more relaxed than the New England nightlife.
I find it so fascinating talking to people to get a sense of how different cultures can be in this massive country of ours.