Amber Waves

It looked like rain on Saturday, but I decided to chance it and go out for the afternoon anyway. I wanted to visit the Great Salt Lake Shorelands Preserve near Layton. I’m trying to be more outdoorsy since moving back to Utah and enjoy nature more. That means going outside instead of reading inside which is how I spent my childhood and teenage years. And adulthood. I put on my new pair of hiking shoes (I got them for a steal at Ross Dress for Less since I plan to try hiking sometime soon) and drove about an hour north. I don’t know if I’ve ever gotten off the freeway in Layton until Saturday. From Main Street in Layton, I headed west on Gentile Road until I got to the preserve. Gentile Road was really pretty. It has lots of old farm houses and pastures. The preserve is off an unassuming road.

I knew there was a visitor center, but I didn’t know what else to expect. In fact, the visitor center was really just a pavilion that you walk to.

At first, I thought that was all there was… just a short walk up to the pavilion and then perhaps a viewing area. But when I got up there, I found that it was a long loop that took you out into the marshes of the Great Salt Lake. There was one tower out there that promised a good view. I started off going counter-clockwise, which was probably the wrong way. But there were a few other people milling about, and I didn’t want to follow them the whole way.

Since I was all alone out there, I experimented with taking some self-timer photos for Sarah’s Catch Your Self photo club. Here’s one of me exploring the path.

The grain (or whatever those gorgeous golden stalks are) was taller than my head.

Eventually I made it to the tower and climbed up for a view.

The “little” mountains to the west…

and the bigger mountains to the east.

The Wasatch Mountains in the east were hidden under the storm that we knew was coming. Luckily, it never reached me. Though chilly, it was sunny and bright the whole time I was at the preserve. I used Autostitch app to put together a panoramic photo of half the view.

(Click the photo to view the large size.)

Can you see the visitor center pavilion all tiny in the distance?

I thought that if I was still and quiet enough up there that I would see some birds. But I didn’t. Of course, as soon as I started down the tower, a few crows started swooping by. (At least, they were black and cawed like a crow.)

The view was like “America the Beautiful” personified with its amber waves of grain and purple mountain majesties.

I could hear birds the whole time I was walking around, but I rarely ever saw them. I might have to return in the summer when more birds have migrated. Even though I was looking for them, I was still startled when one flew out of the brush right beside me and landed on the boardwalk.

And then I saw another crow on my way out.

As I was leaving the preserve, I read the sign with a quote from Aristotle, “In all things of nature, there is something of the marvelous.” I guess I’ll discover more of that as I get into nature. I didn’t really need hiking shoes for the preserve, but it was a nice way to break them in.



  1. Amanda · April 17, 2012

    Katie those pics are so pretty. I love you were able to capture yourself too. In the sixth one up from the bottom you could almost make out pioneers with wagons. I sure miss Utah:)

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  3. krisgal · April 21, 2012

    Katie my darling! I love these photos, and especially your self portrait. Seriously, love love LOVE! I wish I was there to explore that amazing place with you. These posts always make me homesick!

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