First, we got to go to the dedication of the gorgeous newly refurbished Ogden Temple and be right on the temple grounds for that lovely event. I'm seriously so excited to have a temple in walking distance from our house! I was 8 hours from a temple when I lived in Boston for 10 years off and on (the nearest temple was DC - and then they built a temple right outside Boston after I moved away). We were one to three hours (depending on the crazy traffic) from the Oakland Temple when we lived in the Bay Area. We were 20 minutes from a temple when we lived in St George (but with 5 preschoolers, it was a bit of a challenge to get to the temple as often as we'd have liked). Then we've had a closed temple right down the street most of the time we've lived in Ogden and haven't made it to the Bountiful Temple all that much. But now - wow - we've got a temple just a few blocks away and we're excited and determined to get there very regularly!
After the dedication, we took advantage of the super rare and wonderful fact that Jared didn't have bishop's duties and we went out to visit the otherworldly splendor of the Spiral Jetty at the Great Salt Lake with some of our good friends.
Here's a little info from Wikipedia about the Spiral Jetty:
Spiral Jetty is an earthwork sculpture constructed in April 1970 that is considered to be the central work of American sculptor Robert Smithson. Smithson documented the construction of the sculpture in a 32-minute color film also titled Spiral Jetty.
Built on the northeastern shore of the Great Salt Lake near Rozel Point in Utah entirely of mud, salt crystals, basalt rocks and water,Spiral Jetty forms a 1,500-foot-long (460 m), 15-foot-wide (4.6 m) counterclockwise coil jutting from the shore of the lake. The water level of the lake varies with precipitation in the mountains surrounding the area, revealing the jetty in times of drought and submerging it during times of normal precipitation.
Smithson reportedly chose the Rozel Point site based on the red color of the water and its connection with the primordial sea. The red hue of the water is due to the presence of salt-tolerant bacteria and algae that thrive in the extreme 27 percent salinity of the lake's north arm, which was isolated from fresh water sources by the building of a causeway by the Southern Pacific Railroad in 1959.
Smithson was reportedly attracted to the Rozel Point site because of the stark anti-pastoral beauty and industrial remnants from nearby Golden Spike National Historic Site, as well as an old pier and a few unused oil rigs.
We went to visit the Jetty three years ago when it looked like this (you can just make out the outline). Of course, the kids had to follow the spiral to its center and everyone ended up pretty wet and cold but had a great time.
It was fun to go this time and see the whole jetty high and dry (that's just sand and salt out there around the jetty even though it looks like water - the water starts way out beyond the jetty).
Here's our afternoon in pictures (it was raining on the way there and looked threatening all day but it actually turned out to be the most perfect cloudy day and didn't rain on us one bit!)
We made a quick stop for bathrooms and a peak at the cool reproduction engines at the Golden Spike Historic Site where the train tracks joined together to connect the entire United States by rail:
Then we took a dirt road from there for about a half hour to the Great Salt Lake.
First we got to the skeletal remains of an old jetty for shrimping boats:
Then, just a bit further down the road, we arrived at our destination - Robert Smithson's famous crazy art installation - the Spiral Jetty:
The kids headed out to follow the jetty to the center:
And on the way they found an awesome snake:
What a creative mind Smithson had!
Here's what the ground looks like out there - salt crystal-crusted - so interesting:
The middle of the jetty!
Then we set out across the salt and sand beyond the jetty to get to the water and played and wondered in the white and pink of it all, bathed in a surreal light. It seriously feels like you're on another planet.
The salt crystals were so interesting:
And Isaac was an awesome big brother and gave Liza a lift.
A couple final shots of the beauty:
And we found this cool old rusty thing to jump over (Thanks to my friend Emily for bringing her great camera and taking these great shots! Plus she planned the excursion. Emily is always planning fun things and we so appreciate it!)
And I'll close with a few more great shots by Emily: