This was far and away the worst family adventure we have ever had. It wasn’t really the Great Salt Lake’s fault. We just had no idea how vehemently our kids would despise everything about this place. 

The first thing wrong about today was the weather. It was overcast and cool. Not TOO cold for a day at the beach, but definitely not ideal. No sun could be seen through the clouds. 

On recommendation by a fellow camper, we drove to the state park marina access of the lake. It cost three dollars per car, but there are outdoor showers and a pavilion for picnicing. When we arrived there were only a few other patrons admiring the beach from afar. We were the only ones in swimwear… that should have tipped us off. 

So we started walking down toward the beach and the first major stumbling block to our fun day arrives:  Abby really doesn’t like for her feet to get dirty. This is nothing new and is usually mitigated easily with proper footwear. However, the terrain on this beach is quite odd: It starts off rocky, then turns to soft, charcoal sand, then into mud with a thin layer of crunchy salt crystals on top, back into soft sand and lastly into a barrier of dead brine shrimp bodies and sea gull poop before you reach the water. Obviously, as soon as Abby reached the salt-covered mud pits she freaked out. 

Caleb had to carry her, crying and flailing about, all the way past the shrimp-poop barrier and into the water. I had Josh, who was content to walk ever so slowly through the sand/mud/dead stuff so he could mine for treasures. He found a partially decomposed sea gull and an old marshmallow right off the bat. Gross. 

Once we get to the water, the fun does not begin. The air stinks like old dead shrimp. Abby refuses to get wet, yet refuses to stand in the “yucky sand.” So basically she is intermittently shrieking and clawing up our legs like a cat. Josh doesn’t like the water too much either. Caleb and I look at each other, not really knowing what to do while the fully-clothed onlookers pity us from afar. 

We decided to cut our losses and leave the beach, but not before Caleb got one good soak in the lake. After all, the famed minerals of the lake were the main reason we were there. Side note: Did you know you can float in the Great Salt Lake? It has around 12% salt content, which is like four times that of the ocean. Pretty cool! My kids didn’t think so. 

So, yeah, my beach day was pretty much a bust. I was looking forward to sitting in the sun, watching my kids frolick. Not so much. 

As I was putting the kids to bed tonight, I leaned down and kissed Abby’s head. Somehow she still smells like old, dead shrimp. The memories of today came flooding over me and I just couldn’t stop howling with laughter. At least I still have my sense of humor.