A trip to Antelope Island saves the hiking day
Last weekend, I laced up my hiking boots and headed for my very first hike of the week. I headed for Sunset Trail near Farmington, described as a fairly easy, quick hike up Farmington Canyon. My hiking partner, newly minted Tribune Close-up editor Sheena McFarland signaled the first sign of trouble the night before, when she heard the road had been washed out by flooding and never reopened. Or maybe it wasn't. We decided we might as well check it out. Turns out, yes, the road is closed, apparently several miles from the trailhead. Instead of turning our 3-mile trail into a dozen-mile adventure, we drove over to our backup plan, a spot Sheena had heard about but wasn't sure about the name. We found the place just fine and started up the trail. Things were looking up. Until some fellow travelers told us were were in fact in Adams Canyon a spot that had gotten the hike of the week treatment not too long ago. Back at square one, Sheena had another suggestion up her sleeve: Antelope Island.We chose the White Rock Loop and hit the trail. The weather was perfect: Sunny but not to hot, with enough breeze. The Great Salt Lake was a beautiful shade of blue. We saw birds, buffalo and lizards among the island grasses. Only one fly in the ointment: The flies. April's week of record-breaking heat had allowed the gnats to hatch, and they surrounded us in clouds when the breezes slacked. The hike was more than we planned on at just over 8 miles, but the ascents were gentle and we came out feeling tired in that accomplished, ready-for-lunch kind of way. Success. Well, bug-bitten success. But a victory none the less.