21-Mar-2001 -- Yesterday (21-Mar-2001) I had a few hours off, and decided to make an
attempt on this confluence which have only had unsuccesful visits so far.
I had studied the TopoZone maps very carefully, and decided that it
looked like it would be possible to drive within about 3.5km of the
point, before crossing some marshland to get onto the mud flats lining
I started from Salt Lake City around 09:30, and drove north on I15 to
the Farmington exit, then after some extra driving around caused by road
works which had closed the bridge I had intended to use, I got over on
Sunset Lane, and started to follow the map.
I had previously determined that it should be possible to get within
less than 3.5 km from the confluence, and so I did. However, it turns
out that all the land bordering the lake here is used for cattle, and posted
with No Trespassing signs.
I met a young man at the end of my chosen road, and he told me to ask
the owner of the area, an older gentleman who stated very succinctly
'You can walk wherever you like, I don't care'.
With permission obtained I changed into more suitable gear, i.e. running
gear and a very old pair of sneakers, while pondering the warnings I got
about sinkholes and quicksand in the area. According to the maps, the
area I had to cross would start with the cattle grazing fields, go over
some marshland, before ending up in the Salt Lake mudflats.
The first part was OK, I just made a big detour around the cattle, so I
wouldn't disturb them, or make them too interested in me. (I didn't know
if there would be any angry bulls among them!)
The marshland is totally covered with very tall swampgrass, giving very
little visibility, but my trusty GPS plus the direction of my own shadow
made it easy to keep walking in the right direction.
This area might be a bird sanctuary, since there was a great
deal of nesting birds here, including a pair of very nice-looking cranes
who walked on the ground to lead me away from their nest. I naturally
made a detour around the area, to avoid disturbing them more than I had to.
During all of this, I kept sinking into the salty mud at least up to my
ankles, so the going was quite tough!
About halfway to the confluence, at a distance of 1.19 miles, I made it
out of the grassy area and started on the mudflats proper, when I
realized that this was as far as it would be possible to walk: In front
of me was a few muddy flats, the rest was just open water!
It might be possible to make it all the way out to the confluence spot
on foot, if you do it at the end of the summer dry season, while wearing
waders and using a group of people for security.
The only alternative solution would be to use a swamp boat, but due to
all the birds, this might be illegal to do in this area.
The view will be exactly the same anyway! :-)
When I got back to the farm and my car, the farmer asked me how it had
been, and was kind enough to offer me a few of his very nice apples!