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Buffalo on Antelope Island

Buffalo on Antelope Island

Antelope Island is a salty rock.  Salt of the earth, if you will.  No really, the Morton Salt Factory is just across the water.  The largest Island in the Great Salt Lake, it is a giant salt lick for animals including buffalo, antelope, deer, fox, and numerous variety of birds, among other critters, (http://static.stateparks.utah.gov/docs/AISPEdPacketHistory.pdf ).

Trails criss-cross the island, intersecting the grass-land buffet where the local buffalo herds graze.  One such trail was the subject of a weekend long run a couple of weeks ago.  13 miles around the eastern border of the salt lick provided two separate occasions to jump off trail and skirt the big fury beasts who were within 10 yards of the single track.   My senses were on high alert as we walked slowly past them, my legs ready to race the very rare bison burger to the water if he charged (whether or not buffalo like water is not in my database of knowledge, but it was the only option I could come up with for an escape plan at the time).

Looking East from Antelope Island

Looking East from Antelope Island

Preparations were underway for the Buffalo Run, a trail race that takes place on the island in March.  The race I will run is 25K, but there are also 50k, 50 mile, and 100 mile options.   Looking any direction from the island provides an excellent view.  Frary peak is the highest point on the island at 6,596 ft (http://static.stateparks.utah.gov/docs/AISPEdPacketHistory.pdf ) and I imagine the views are even better, though I haven’t been to the top yet.   If you find yourself in Utah looking for a unique outdoor experience, there are endless options, but running with the buffalo and antelope on Antelope Island is an experience not to be missed.

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