A Spooky Place

One day while in Salt Lake City we traveled to Saltair. I had not been there for several years but recalled swimming in the Great Salt Lake and not being able to sink in the super salty water.

The Great Salt Lake is the largest lake west of the Mississippi River. It is 4 to 8 times saltier than the ocean. This huge lake has no outlet and is fed by 3 rivers. The main one is The Bear, but the other 2 also make their contributions to its water level. They are The Weber and Jordan Rivers. All 3 contribute minerals to a lake that can only deplete its water via evaporation. There are no fish in this lake but there are brine shrimp, flies galore at certain times of the year, and plenty of dead birds if you walk out toward the water that is quite a distance away. It’s a real tribute to the vision of Brigham Young that he saw the possibility of living and thriving in a city on its edge. It has an elevation of 4,200 feet and floods periodically. The year 1987 was a fill-this-lake proposition. Its normal average is 13 feet deep.

There have been 3 Saltairs over time. They were all attempts to turn the Great Salt Lake area into “The Coney Island of the West”. The first Saltair, an ornate vacation-type resort building, was built in 1893. It was conceived as a safe Mormon retreat kind of place. Trains from Salt Lake City arrived there every 45 minutes. Mormons flocked to it regularly, but the Mormon church sold it in 1906 and it finally burned in 1925.

Like the first Saltair, Saltair 2 was also named for Titus Salt, a textile mill owner. Morton Salt maintained a plant that still exists at the town of Grantsville, further west near I-80. Like Saltair 1, Saltair 2 burned to the ground in 1970 but not before it gained a reputation as being kind of a weird place. It can still be seen in what has become a cult film called Carnival of Souls. I have actually watched it recently and it isn’t half bad. It isn’t half good either.

Saltair 3 is what you see today if you make the almost-17-mile-trip like we did from downtown Salt Lake City to the south end of the Great Salt Lake to see what is still an occasional concert venue. It and its still-existing turrets were built in 1981. Flooded shortly after it was built, Saltair 3 is a worth-seeing sight. We walked completely around it, and it shows wear in the form of many cracks. It is not opened to the public most of the time.


About roads-rus

Since the beginning, I've had to avoid writing about the downside of travel in order to sell more than 100 articles. Just because something negative happened doesn't mean your trip was ruined. But tell that to publishers who are into 5-star cruise and tropical beach fantasies. I want to tell what happened on my way to the beach, and it may not have been all that pleasant. My number one rule of the road is...today's disaster is tomorrow's great story. My travel experiences have appeared in about twenty magazines and newspapers. I've been in all 50 states more than once and more than 50 countries. Ruth and I love to travel internationally--Japan, Canada, China, Argentina, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, etc. Within the next 2 years we will have visited all of the European countries. But our favorite destination is Australia. Ruth and I have been there 9 times. I've written a book about Australia's Outback, ALONE NEAR ALICE, which is available through both Amazon & Barnes & Noble. My first fictional work, MOVING FORWARD, GETTING NOWHERE, has recently been posted on Amazon. It's a contemporary, hopefully funny re-telling of The Odyssey. View all posts by roads-rus

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