Magic by the Lake*


Check it out:


The water at the northwest corner of the Great Salt Lake is pink. It's PINK. According to the Wikipedia entry on the Spiral Jetty, the color of the water "is due 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."

The reason I discovered this is of course that I visited the Spiral Jetty, which I've wanted to do since I moved to Utah. In case you haven't heard of the Spiral Jetty, it's a sculpture constructed in 1970 by American sculptor Robert Smithson. It's hard to describe why this counter-clockwise spiral of rock jutting into a lakebed is so magic, but it is. It just is. Even with no water lapping at the rocks, it's magic. I was going to offer a feeble but inadequate account of why it's magic, but then I decided I'd just offer some photos instead--I'd let this be one of the times when a picture stands in for 1,000 words.

Here's a shot of the jetty with sun and mountains beyond it:


My friend and I set up a blanket in the middle of the spiral so we could watch the sunset. We called this "Fort Blanket," which is really stupid but it made us laugh, especially after we'd each had a glass of champagne.


Here I am facing south, with said glass of champagne:


The magic of the place encourages people to create their own magic there. My friend told me that one of her friends had her final dance recital for her BA there. Others have told me they've attended concerts there. Personally I would love to go there for some solstice-y naked dance festival/baptismal-renewal ceremony. Anyway, we were charmed by this shrine not far from the jetty:


There are funky things to be found in the area, like salt crystals, salt-crusted weeds and strange rocks:




To the west of the jetty is some debris from old industrial work. You can see cool things like this:




Here are our toes in the pink water:


And here's what we saw when we looked back to shore:


*The title of my entry is borrowed from a book by Edward Eager that I totally loved as a child. It's about a different kind of magic than Spiral Jetty offers, but it's still pretty great.


Wow, the water is low. I visited the Jetty back in 2004 before moving to Maryland. The pink salt encrusted rocks were just emerging from the water.

Hi TGD--I would love to see Spiral Jetty with water around it, but I admit I really liked being able to have a picnic in the middle of it.

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This page contains a single entry by Holly published on August 13, 2010 8:24 AM.

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