The spiritual highlight of our stay in Salt Lake City was Suzanne’s Making the Connection talk Monday evening at the Center for Spiritual Living in South Salt Lake, which followed her visit to both Sunday services to get to know the community. Suzanne’s good friend and fellow medium Rebecca Arndt also pulled out all the stops with her friends in the area, and we had a full house.
It was an incredible evening, with many people lining up for the book signing. Suzanne was both energized and exhausted by the end of the evening, Unfortunately, Chick-fil-A had just closed, so we missed our traditional cookies and cream milkshake, darned the bad luck.
We were invited over to Rebecca and Jerry Arndt’s beautiful new house in South Salt Lake for drinks. Rebecca had grown up only a couple of blocks away, and she was happy to be back in her old neighborhood. Jerry owned a precision tool company that made high tech parts for the space industry. They now travel around the country in an RV, and in fact we met them at an RV campground in Santa Fe a few years ago. After a tour of the house, which is spectacular, Suzanne and Rebecca traded medium stories while Jerry and I had a glass of wine and talked about our favorite hikes. Then we went out for sushi, and returned for a delicious tiramisu ice cream dessert. Thank you, Rebecca and Jerry, for making our time in Salt Lake City so special.
After some poor decision-making, I had some bike repair work to do; nothing serious, just two flat tires from riding cross-country through some nasty, spiky grass with needle-sharp stickers. After replacing the tubes, we headed for Antelope Island, the largest of ten islands in the Great Salt Lake. This was the view from the 7 mile long causeway that accesses the island. Is that beautiful, or what?
The island is 15 miles long and 5 miles wide, and parts of it are some of the oldest rocks in the United States, Precambrian deposits older than those at the bottom of the Grand Canyon. We were lucky to have a flat calm when we took this photo near the end of the causeway. Salt flats surrounding the island are the result of the evaporation of water that enters the Great Salt Lake; since it has no outlets, salt deposits four feet deep cover the bottom of the lake.
Antelope Island hosts a variety of animals, including the pronghorns (Antilocapra americana) from which its name derives, but even more famous are the American bison (Bison bison). A large herd roams the island, and is used as cross-breeding stock for other herds in Yellowstone, the Black Hills, and other sites. Our first sign of these amazing animals on our 15 mile mountain bike ride were buffalo chips, which are not the same as potato chips. Early settlers collected buffalo chips for fueling their campfires; they had the unique advantage of not throwing sparks into bedding or clothing. Dried (as this one was, thank goodness), they are very light, maybe weighing a couple of ounces. My Lovely Bride wants me to comment about the mentality of someone who would pick up such a thing. I don’t know what she’s talking about.
We discovered two large herds, one of about 60 and the second of about 100 bison. These were both about 500 yards away, but since the bike trail didn’t get close, we had to use our camera’s telephoto lens to get the shot.
We encountered more bison on our 15 mile mountain biking adventure. They are magnificent animals, and because of all of my reading about them as a youngster, I hold them in high regard and awe. This shot of a big bull caused My Lovely Bride some chagrin, but the worst was yet to come…
My Lovely Bride was concerned for my safety; she wanted to ride cross-country to make a big semi-circle around him. I opted for the direct route past the bull, figuring that the heat had made him torporous. I said to Suzanne, “There’s nothing to worry about until he puts his head down and stomps his front hooves… I’m going ahead…” Later, she told me that my choice of words was not the best thing to say to a medium, when I pedaled off towards the bison announcing, “I’ll see you on the other side.”