15-Nov-2003 -- I decided to find 41N 112W for my first confluence visit because it is less than six miles from my home and I thought it would be pretty simple. Since 2003 was another drought year, I assumed it would be drier than when Richard Rutledge successfully visited the site in the September of 2001. I was wrong.
I parked my car at a sportsmen's access point on the west edge of the city of Kaysville. It can be located by going to the intersection of Angel Street and Smith Lane in west Kaysville. The northeast end of Roueche Lane begins there and goes southwest about a quarter mile. It then turns into a dirt road for another quarter mile and finally reaches a gravel parking area that appears to be owned by the Utah State Division of Wildlife resources. When I marked the position of my car on my GPS, the map display showed my car right on the edge of the Great Salt Lake.
Using the compass and "Go To" information on my GPS, I picked a peak on the south end of Antelope Island as a direction to head towards. I started by climbing a fence and then crossed what looked like a wet cow pasture. Soon I got into some reeds and cattails. At first I followed what appeared to be a trail, but it soon disappeared. Walking through the reeds was extremely difficult because I had to lift my knees waist high to take a step. It reminded me of walking in two feet of fresh snow. After struggling a few hundred yards through the reeds and with no end in sight, I began to have doubts about reaching my goal. Fortunately at this time I saw a couple hunters walking through the reeds at a relatively fast clip so I guessed they must be on a trail. After finding their trail it was quite simple to get through the rest of the reeds. The trail was wet however and occasionally I would step in a hole that was 6 to 8 inches deep. I was lucky not to have any water come in over the top of my boots.
Once past the reeds, I got into some type of grass about 2 feet high. The ground was very flat and covered with about an inch of water. I skirted around the occasional pool of water that appeared to be almost a foot deep. Eventually the vegetation thinned to just occasion tufts poking up through the water. Finally I got far enough from the shoreline that there was no vegetation. Amazingly, the water was still only about an inch deep and very clear. I could see duck and other bird tracks all over on the muddy bottom.
The mud under the water was soft for about an inch down but surprisingly firm under that. Mud would squish up from around my boots and just break the surface of the water. This allowed me to look back at my tracks to see how much I had wandered off of a straight line. I was in an inch or two of water for the better part of a mile when I finally reached the confluence point. I was amazed at how consistently flat the ground was.
At the confluence, I took pictures of my GPS readings and the directional views. I also attempted a panorama shot without a tripod. My favorite picture is looking west toward Antelope Island. The water was very calm and provided a perfect mirror image of the island. By the way, the island does not have any antelope on it, but does have a sizable buffalo herd.
I did see some wildlife on my trip including a large hawk, some crows, Canada geese, and several Utah state birds - the seagulls. I also a small flock of large white birds (I'm guessing they were herons or storks) that took flight when I got a little too close.
Although I was tired and a little wet from a light rain when I made it back to the car, I was glad that I had made the trip. It was interesting to see such a totally different environment just a few miles from my home.