Following GPS time estimates, we left early enough to make it out to the Island visitors' center when we told them we would meet them. HOWEVER, it took almost nearly an hour less time! So we were there really early. We drove into the island to explore while we waited.
Antelope Island is a Utah State Park and on the Island they raise a herd of buffalo and, of course, some antelope. There are other small animals and birds that make up the wildlife to see. This included the thousands and thousands of flies! As we drove out and back in, there were literally pillars of flies. So many of them we could see them as we drove. They would hit the car and windshield and it sounded like the pitter-patter of the rain as they splattered guts all over Mongoose! Lady Hiva and I were both glad we were not biking. Can't be a pleasant experience having them splatter on your face! haha.
There were plenty of bikers, runners and horseback riders out of the trails though. It looked fun to be out in nature and the sun. We saw our first pack of buffalo not too far in the gate. Lucky Dragon loved watching them eat, roll in the dirt and to count them. As we were driving around the island they have statues of buffalo decorated (much like Berlin has decorated bears and other cities have different animals). The first one we stopped at was just inside the gate and Tau'aho walked over to it to take a picture with me.
|Riding on Bob the Buffalo|
|Another Buffalo statue (but clearly not Bob)|
|Watching Lake Bonneville fill up and drain|
|Brine Shrimp that lives in the salt water|
|Display of artifacts you can find around the island|
|More Brine Shrimp|
|Exploring the lady bugs|
We went to the historic farm house on the South East corner of the Island. It was fun too see the barns, the old corrals, and farm equipment that the kids could explore and play on. It all reminded me of growing up on a farm. The old houses with rock foundations, the creaky barns, the animals, the endless woods promising endless adventures and even some of the farm items. Tau'aho and our friends' son went running off through the grassy pasture finding and commenting on every pile of manure they could see. Then would run off laughing about some "poop" joke they had shared to find the next pile. (Must be a boy thing!) I was surprised how nostalgic the old house made me. I felt like I was walking into my Great-grandparent's house. The cupboards looked just like the ones Grandpa White built and the eclectic furniture looked familiar too!
|Blowing bubbles out the window of Mongoose as we waited for the rest of the group|
We ate lunch in the wind off of the lake and then went to explore the beach. We had fun rolling up our pant legs and wading in to throw rocks. It was not long before our Lucky Dragon that loves water was soaking wet. Which we should have expected because as soon as he saw the Great Salt Lake in the morning he started begging to go swim--that only increased when someone mentioned the beach. Sadly, beach at the Great Salt Lake does not mean the same as beach in Hawaii that he is used to! But there was plenty of sand and salty water to enjoy so we didn't complain!
|"Daddy, I'm hiding"|
|Stepping on Daddy's shadow|