Misty Isle in the Great Salt Lake © Janalyn Voigt
“It’s impossible!” A young member of our family shouted with a laugh.
I smiled at his boyish exuberance and at the memory of my own childhood failure to sink in the Great Salt Lake, a remnant of prehistoric lake that had once covered much of what is now the Great Basin, including stretches of Utah, Nevada, and Idaho. At its largest, Lake Bonneville had plunged more than 1,000 feet deep and spread across more than 19,691 square miles, which made it almost as large as but much deeper than present-day Lake Michigan. Lake Bonneville eventually receded, in part due to its breaking through a natural dam at Idaho’s Red Rock Pass to cause the Bonneville Flood and also because of climate changes. The Great Salt Lake, Utah Lake, Sevier Lake, Rush Lake, Little Salt Lake and the 30,000-acre Bonneville Salt Flats are all that’s left of Lake Bonneville today.
Great Salt Lake © Janalyn Voigt
Batting at persistent brine flies, I waded through the lapping water. Seagulls wheeled overhead and on the sandy beach an overturned rowboat awaited its owner. With sharp rocks over a solid stone lake bed underfoot, to spare my bare feet I had to pick my way with care. How strange to be able to walk so far from shore. No fish lived in these waters due to their salinity, but in the clear water tiny brine shrimp teemed. Seagulls and other waterfowl floated nearby and exotic feathered creatures winged across the sky. The Great Salt Lake has resisted attempts at development, and so its salt marshes remain as an important bird habitat.
Brine Flies at the Great Salt Lake © Janalyn Voigt
I wouldn’t submerge myself today, although heat pulsated downward from the sun and upward from the water. This would only be a brief stop. We’d slept in to recover from the effects of the mammoth traffic jam we’d encountered the day before, and then unthinkingly taken time to swim in the hotel pool. It was close to noon, and we had many miles to drive before we reached Three Mile Crossing State Park in Idaho, our destination.
After rinsing off the already-crusting salt in a hose provided for that purpose, our little convoy set out eastward. Today we needed to cover ground. With mostly salt marshes or salt flats on either hand, there were few stops to be made anyway, and as the road arrowed endlessly toward the receding horizon, I fought sleepiness.
Bonneville Salt Flat © Janalyn Voigt
Finally, we pulled into a rest stop, and the children ran ahead of the adults into the salt flats. Wind had been shoving at the car for miles now, but meeting its force face-to-face was breathtaking. I pulled up the hood of my windbreaker and followed after the children, as eager as they to touch, to smell, to taste the snowy substance on the ground. Putting from my mind thoughts of dogs and yellow snow, I made sure to find a pure-white crystal to place on my tongue. It was more mellow than I expected, being less sharp than mineral salt and more like sea salt I prefer.
Bonneville Salt Flat Detail © Janalyn Voigt
With the wind up and miles to go before sleeping, it was time to move on.
The High Queen is dying… At the royal summons, Shae mounts a wingabeast and soars through the air to the high hold of Faeraven, where all is not as it seems. Visions warn her of danger, and a dark soul touches hers in the night. When she encounters an attractive but disturbing musician, her wayward heart awakens. But then there is Kai, a guardian of Faeraven and of Shae. Secrets bind him to her, and her safety lies at the center of every decision he makes. On a desperate journey fraught with peril and the unknown, they battle warlike garns, waevens, ferocious raptors, and the wraiths of their own regrets. Yet, they must endure the campaign long enough to release the DawnKing—and the salvation he offers—into a divided land. To prevail, each must learn that sometimes victory comes only through surrender.
Paperback: DawnSinger (Tales of Faeraven)
Kindle: DawnSinger (Tales of Faeraven)
DawnSinger Giveaway Drawings
There are currently three giveaway drawings for DawnSinger at the following addresses:
©2012 Janalyn Voigt
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