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Great Salt Lake

Great Salt Lake image
Parent Issue
Public Domain
OCR Text

The beach is white eand though in some places it is ridged with pebbles of variegated colora. Along the marshes the action of the water has thrown up breastworka of white sand, which line the shore for miles. All the stories about men nding down to the ahores of the lake and shoveling up bushels of salt are false. The sand beyond the reach of the breakers has a coating of salt, but it is as thin as a sheet of foolscap. Parties, however go to the beach and boil down the water in large kettles, getting about 33 per cent. of salt ; but it can ouly be used for curing beef and pork. It must be refined before it is fit for table use. The water tastes Hke spoiled brine, and smells like the sea weed of Long Island Sound at low tide. TUE BLACK SEA OTJLLS. Breakers dashed upon the beach in triple lines liko the breakers at Coney Island. They rolled in from ten to twelve feet. Within a half hour our boots were encrusted with salt. Myriads of small nies covered the ehore. The sand and pebbles were perfectly black with them. They wore the laziest fliea in the world. I crushed hundrods of thousands beneath my feet. They were caught in the roll of the surf and licked up from the beach by millions, making the water look as though bushels of gunpowder had been Btrewn over its surfaco. Black gulls flapped their wings over the lake, and rode upon the swells of the lake. They lacked the light, airy gracefulness of the sea-gull, and moved more like crows than petrels. They were built like Dutch galliots, broad in the stern, and their wings and feathers were so stiff that one of the party remarked the birds acted as though they had just got out of a glue-pot. THE FLYING LIZARDS. The high ground shelving the shores of the lake is covered with lizards. They are called swifts. They dart over the ground like lightning. A dragon-fly could barely beat them in speed. They are of a dull gray color, and their eyes sparkle like drops of dew. The Indiana catch thera with sticks curved like the handle of a cañe, and eat them. When a Piute sees a swift he extends his stick, and by a dexterous twist of the wrist spins the lizard in the air, catching him in hia hand as he comes down. The flesh of these ards resembles the meat of a bullfrog, and they are said to be even more delicious. As tast as the Indiana catch them they string them around their waists and neckp, and roast them one by one, as thoy become hungry. SWIMMING IN SALT LAKE. There are no flsh in the Great Salt Lake. The only living thing beneath its waters is a worm about a quarter of an inch long. This worm shows up beautifully beneath the lens of a miscroscope. When a stormirises the worms are driven ashore by thousands, and devoured by the black gulls. We found a pure stream pouring into the lake. It was filled with little chubs and shiners. The fish became frightened and were driven down the brook into the briny lake. The instant they touched its waters they came to the surface belly upward, and died without a gasp. The water is remarkably buoyant. Eggs andpotatoes float upon it like corks. Mr. Rood and myself stripped and went in swimming. I dove into the lake from a long pier, which had been built for the use of a 8mall steamboat that forinerly plied upon its waters. The sensation was novel. The water was so salt that my eyesand earsbeganto smart, butso buoyant that I found no difiïculty in floating even when the air was exhausted in my lungs. As I struck out for the beach I feit as Hght as a feather. In spite of all that I could do my heels would fly out of the water. I found it impossible to stand upon the botton). The surging of the waves forced my feet from under me. A person who could not swiin might be easily drowned in five feet of water. His head would go down like a lump of lead, while his feet would fly up liko a pair of ducks. The water is as clear as the water of Séneca Lake, so clear that the bottom could be seen at the depth of twenty feet. When we reached the shore and crawled out upon the sand in the light of the sun, our bodies were quickly coated with salt. We were compelled to go to the little stream from which we had driven the chubs and shiaers, and wash off in fresh water before we put on our clothes. Our hair was filled with grains of salt which could not be washed out. The Hormons occasionally vieit the lake in droves for the purpose of bathing. Many of them say their health is improved by leaving the salt upon their bodies, and dressing without wiping themselves with napkms. THE GREAT BASIÜf FILLINO Ur NVITH WATER. All sorts of theorios are advnnced concerning the outlet of this vast body of water. Over dozen rivers of respectable size empty into the lake. Last year a party of explorers claim to have discovered a whirlpool through which the water was funneled into the Pacific Ocean. The newspapera were filled with their reports. but the whole thing turned out a humbug. It seema to be settled that the lake has no outlet, and that its water is only kept within bounds through its evaporation by the sun. The water of the lake has certainly risen twenty feet since the Mormons first entered the valley. I have seen Saints who teil me that they used to go in swimming at the foot of Black Eock. The rook is now several hundred feet from the shore, and is surrounded by twenty feet of water. If the lake rises in the same proportion for a hundred years the Saints will be drowned out, and Salt Lake City will be sunk as deep as Sodom and Gomorrah. Over twenty yoars ago the Mormons drove a herd of churoh cattle over to Church Island, which proved a wonderful grazing ground. They found a ridge extending from the main land to the island covored by barely three feet of water. For years they drove their herds over this ridge. To-day the ridge is over twenty feet deep, nd no beeves have been taken from the island for years. Thousands of wild cattle roam over iti valleys and gorgeg. But one family ever lived there, and that was the family of the church herder. Last year he died, and the island is now deserted. At somé time water has filled the whole Salt Lake Valley. A rim or shore line is visible on the side of the mountains thousands of feet above the city. This rim is so plainly defined that a railroad could be built ob the side of the range for miles at a stretch without fxcavating a ton of rock. Cor. Sun.


Old News
Michigan Argus