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STAR Highways | STAR CHRONICLE

Salt Lake City, UT Chapter 152 March Chapter Ride – Antelope Island

Chapter 152 began our 2014 riding season on a beautiful, spring morning, March 15th. We met at Renegade Sports in Centerville, UT at 9:00 AM. Renegade Sports provided us with donuts and juice while we participated in our morning review of the chapter. You could tell people were done with winter and ready to ride when we had 22 bikes and 31 riders. We had riders from 152 and our Provo chapter, 431. On our schedule for the day was a picnic lunch ride to Antelope Island. SL Image1 Ride Captain, Peter Fripp, lead the group up I-15 to Layton where the group separated to grabbed picnic lunches to take on our trip. Antelope Island drive was a great place to stop because of the many options riders had for lunch. After our short stop we were off to Antelope Island. Antelope Island, with an area of 42 square miles, is the largest island of 10 islands located within the Great Salt Lake. The island lies in the southeastern portion of the lake, near Salt Lake City and Davis County, and becomes a peninsula when the lake is at extremely low levels. The first known non-natives to visit the island, “we rode on horseback over salt from the thickness of a wafer to twelve inches”, were John C. Fremont and Kit Carson during exploration of the Great Salt Lake in 1845. They were informed by the Native Americans “that there was an abundance of fresh water on it and plenty of antelope”. It is said they shot a pronghorn antelope on the island and in gratitude for the meat they named it Antelope Island. Unlike the first non-natives to visit we weren’t on horseback, instead we use a different type of horsepower. To access Antelope Island State Park we drove across the causeway, a narrow two-lane road spanning from the mainland to the island. The causeway gave us a chance to leave the bustle of the city behind and begin seeing the Great Salt Lake. On our drive we did battle a bit of wind since there was no barrier to block it. SL Image2 Once on the island we made a stop at the Antelope Island State Park Visitor Center. The center describes the wildlife on the island as well as the natural wonders of the Great Salt Lake. After a stop in the gift shop for pins and coffee cups the group was off to Fielding Garr Ranch. Along the way we passed approximately a dozen bison grazing. Bison are one of the most famous residents of the island. Twelve animals were brought to the island in 1897 and were the foundation for today’s heard of 550-700. An annual bison roundup is held each fall to assess the health of the herd and sell extra animals. We were also lucky enough to see a coyote running through the reeds as we drove by. Our picnic lunch was held at Fielding Garr Ranch. The ranch is located on the southeastern portion of the island and is part of the Utah State Parks system. It is located at Garr Springs, which is one of the strongest and most consistent springs of the 40 known springs on Antelope Island. The ranch is one of the oldest working ranching operations in the Western United States. The ranch was initially established in 1848, the year after the Mormon pioneers came into the Salt Lake Valley. Fielding Garr, a widower with nine children, was sent by the LDS church to live on Antelope Island and establish a ranch to manage the church’s Tithing Herds of cattle and sheep. The first building was an adobe house, built in 1848, and it is still in existence as the oldest building in Utah, built by pioneers of European decent, that still remains on its original foundation. The house was continuously inhabited until 1981 when Utah set it up Antelope Island as a Utah State Park. The ranch had several picnic tables the group could bring together so we could all sit together like a very large family. Many of us were pleasantly surprised to be eating lunch outside on a March day. During lunch we sang a very off key rendition of Happy Birthday to Lizelle who was celebrating her birthday with us. After lunch we had a chance to wander the ranch and see the farm house and take a bunch of pictures. The ride was called at the ranch and groups broke off for Davis, Provo and Salt Lake County drives home. Join us for the 2014 riding season the 3rd Saturday of every month at Renegade Sports in Centerville. April’s ride is scheduled for April 19th at 9:00 AM. We are riding to Johnson’s Pass on Highway 199 near Rush Valley.   Peter Fripp, Road Captain [Read more...]

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