Great Salt Lake Utah – September 2022 – A Unique Setting

The Great Salt Lake is, as the name suggests, a large body of salty water.

The lake is fed by 3 rivers, and a few streams. Because it has no outlet other than evaporation, the water collects over a million tons of minerals per year.

The water has a far higher salinity than the oceans. In addition there seems to be an ever-present strong smell.

Because of the shallowness of the lake, it’s overall coverage can, and has, changed dramatically over the years, leaving the boat docks high and dry – sad for the boat owners, but interesting photography opportunities.

The views across the grasses towards the now much smaller lake provide excellent contrasts.

Since the late 1800s there has always been a large event center along the lake known as the Saltair. While the first one was an impressive, massive structure, it was eventually destroyed in a fire. Today’s building is the third on this location. It too is suffering from the receding lake levels, leaving it far from the shore.

Provo, Utah – September 2022 – Utah Lake

Least you forget the name, Utah Lake is in Utah County in the state of…Utah. It is the largest freshwater lake in the state, covering approximately 148 square miles, but only up to a depth of 14 feet.

At one time there were thirteen different types of fish native to the lake, but after the settlers arrived in the late 1800s they introduced carp into the lake, along with pollution and over fishing. As a result only 1 native fish remains, the Utah sucker, with the carp being well over 90% of the fish in the lake, although birds seem to like it.

Situated in the Utah Valley (of course), mountains surround the lake.

Being the only lake around it is a popular place for sailing.

Utah Lake, Utah Valley, Utah County, Utah.

Bombay Beach and Slab City, California – July 2022 – Free Spirits in the Desert

The Salton Sea is a biological nightmare located about 100 miles east of Los Angeles. Created by mistake by people making an irrigation channel from the Colorado River to the Imperial Valley, only to see if massively flooded in the early 1900s, creating this ‘sea’.

By the 1950s the lake should have dried up since it has no natural source of water, but the farmers continued to flood it with diverted water. At this point developers decided this was a perfect spot to create some resorts for the Angelenos to come hang out at.

With contaminated run off from all of the agricultural chemicals being used, and a stoppage of the water flow the lake began to shrink, and become hazardous, thus ending the vacation appeal.

As a result some of the resort towns that had developed eventually became mostly deserted. One of those is Bombay Beach.

Recently though some alternate artists have re-discovered Bombay Beach and moved in, creating a unique setting. Enjoy the views, but stay out of the water.

If Bombay Beach is not unique enough, head on further south another 20 miles until you reach Slab City.

This ‘town’ is completely off the grid, situated on an old WWII Marine Corps based. When the war was over they demolished the buildings, leaving the concrete slabs behind. For a while it was used as a bombing range, but when they stopped doing that drifters moved in.

Today those that reside here (Slabbies) like to think of themselves as the Last Free People of America. It is a funky mix of art, junk and RVs – which are often a combination of the first two things.

Salvation Mountain is one of the more famous sights in Slab City. Created over a 30 year period by Leonard Knight it was featured in a movie called Into the Wild.

The light beam is not a sign from above, it was created when we took the photo through the windshield of the car with this reflection. But hey – if you see something else, c’est la’vie.

Page, Arizona – June 2022 – Lake Powell and Glen Canyon Dam

The Glen Canyon Dam was completed along the Colorado River in 1966, creating Lake Powell. The lake can hold as much as 25 million acre feet of water, but is currently only at 27%. The photos of that shortage are dramatic.

At 710′ high, it is the 4th tallest dam in the United States.

A look down river at the canyon.

The rock formations around the canyon have some of the distinctive swirls.

Once you cross the bridge you get some dramatic views of the dam, bridge and lake. For those unfamiliar the ‘bathtub ring’ indicates the high water marks.

Central Arizona – September 2021 – Wanderings

A 3 day weekend of wanderings resulted in a number of topics for a posting, and a few random shots that weren’t enough for a single posting.

Jerome, Arizona – What was once a medium sized town for a large copper mine, the town went nearly extinct, but has returned to life as a tourist attractions as … a ghost town full of people.

Another mountain town is Superior – east of Phoenix.

Roosevelt Lake is located near the Tonto National Monument. The reservoir supplies water to Phoenix.

Celina, Ohio – July 2021 – Cars in the Lake

Each year the small town of Celina, Ohio has a festival celebrating their position on a large reservoir known as the Grand Lake St Marys. The highlight of the festival is a gathering of Amphicars.

These cars were built in Germany from 1960 until 1965 – specifically to be able to not only drive on land but become a boat in water.

The car owners come from all over the country to Celina to celebrate their eclectic, but very cool, little car/boats.

The highlight of the cars visit to Celina is known as the ‘Splash In’, where the drivers enter the water.

The queen was on hand to kick off the celebration – and go for a ride.

Then it was time for the others to enter the water….

Once they were in the lake they cruised around for a while…..

Eventually the queen(s) headed home….

As the sun set the boats came into the harbor to turn into cars again….

North Central Ohio – May 2021 – Wanderings on a Saturday

A recent Saturday was spent wandering the back roads of North Central Ohio from Columbus all the way to Lake Erie.

First stop was in the small town of Mt Gilead, the county seat of Morrow County. The old county jail dates from 1850.

Next door is a soldiers monument.

Next stop – Galion, where we checked out the old train station and theater.

The Huron County Courthouse clocktower in Norwalk.

At last – the Lake Erie shoreline in the town of Huron. The lighthouse was built in 1939, reflecting the style of the period.

Sandusky is the center of the lakeshore for this area. Home to what is generally acknowledged as the best amusement park in the world (Cedar Point), Sandusky relies heavily on tourism.

Starting back south we made a stop in Castalia, at the fish hatchery. Unfortunately it was closed, but the nearby creek has a number of well feed fish, along with some birds looking for lunch.

We passed through Bellevue and had the photo op of a very long, slow moving freight train passing the Mad River Railroad Museum – providing a contrast of the size of locomotive from the past and today.

Time to cruise on home, amazingly following the same vintage car southbound that we were behind for about 20 miles going north earlier.

Central Ohio – October 2020 – Views From Above Part 4

This posting of drone views focuses on the fall foliage.

The leaves seem to be changing fast, so it is a tough call to wait a week, or capture the mix of green, and the changed leaves. Clearly the tree lawn trees in this neighborhood are all the same, as they all have the same red leaves for the moment.

One of my personal favorite photos in a long time – Alum Creek State Park.

Another nearby view.

The trees are changing but with enough chemicals the golf courses will stay green until December.

Delaware Ohio State Park

The dam for the park. Whoever lives in the house in the foreground has the greatest confidence in the dam, and clearly is not a Johnstown, Pennsylvania native.

A return to Fairfield County covered bridges, and in the case below, an old canal lock.

This challenged my drone flying – a small space between the power lines, the trees, and the ravine.

Another tight spot for a bridge view – note how close the tree on the right is.

A neighborhood in Lancaster. The large house on the hill appears to be ruling over the smaller ones scattered across the photo like some old English estate.

Buckeye Lake, Ohio – October 2020 – Grounded!

A recent trip to Buckeye Lake was planned as a day of sending the drone up for birds eye views, but the weather did not cooperate.

The fog was obscuring the tops of the trees, so that choice was unavailable. But the fog also provided an interesting touch to the ground level photos.

Columbus – August 2020 – Sunday Morning Lake Views

Sunday morning at O’Saughnessy Reservoir.

With a lack of rain the dam wasn’t allowing any water to flow downriver, giving an unusual view of the rocks.

The nature preserve was busy.

The marina was just coming to life for the day.

The sunflowers are in bloom.

They attract the colorful Goldfinch that unfortunately destroys the flowers pecking at the petals.