Depending on the time of year, it can be a buggy, nasty, smelly mess. Or it can be a stark, dynamic, beautifully unique piece of heaven.
I have missed it.
It is so serene and remote, in the middle of the Great Salt Lake, less than half an hour from home.
Had I not shattered my ankle, I'd have run my first 50k out there in October. As I did shatter my ankle, the island and I have unfinished business. I love it out there. So when I signed up for this years Secret Wrangler Exchange, and I listed Salt Lake County and Davis County (including Antelope Island) under the places I was willing to go. I was mentally begging to be sent out there.
Larry must have heard my mental pleading.
The email came with a list of clues. Links to be exact.
Best hints ever. I was already thoroughly entertained, nervous, and excited. 5 miles out meant 5 miles back as well. I'd not gone more than 7 miles on my hardware, and I was itching to try.
I had worked a busy 8 hours on my feet the day before, and my legs and ankle were sore. But Aaron agreed to go out there with me, so we made it long-needed date, and headed out on the late morning.
The first mile on the ankle is always a little uncomfortable. It just so happened that we were also being scrutinized my large land mammals during that mile, so there was motivation to keep up the pace.
Once we got in the groove, rock hopping, taking pictures and playing around, it started to feel good. Really good. For the first time in a long time, it started to feel light and loose and playful. No ankle rolling, not a single thing in 9.8 miles that I had to stop and sit out for!
My leg muscles began to burn long before my ankle did. The island swallowed us into its little time warped world and took all the pressure off, soothing my frazzled brain and my battered soul. Dirt, sun and laughter. In the middle of the winter desert, on an island, in December, with snow-blanketed mountains in the near distance we lost ourselves to the landscape and the weather. It was just awesome.
We arrived at the old wild horse corral and with a little effort found my hidden gift, divided it into our packs and headed back the way we came.
When we came within view of the car, we realized there was a herd of bison directly in the trail in front of the gate between us and it. Thankfully, they were feeling lazy and just sort of moved along as we moved in. After a few nervous minutes, we made it to the car.
I can't say my legs were sorry to be done, and my ankle would probably agree with them, but the rest of me could have stayed out there for days!
Beautiful day with my favorite guy!
1018 ft of vert.