Spiral Jetty, UT


My run on the salty edge of the Great Salt Lake was slightly surreal, like running on another planet. Every site we’ve visited is kind of like that, but the colors at the Spiral Jetty enhanced the effect. Pinkish water lapping up against sharp, sparkling white salt under a crisp stretch of blue sky. The horizon lined with purple mountains and an island that at times looked connected to the soil underfoot – the trick of a mirage – and other times didn’t appear to be an island at all, and instead blended seamlessly into the mountain range behind it.

I ran 8.5 miles along the edge of the lake where salt meets sand.

Field notes on Spiral Jetty run


Excerpt from my journal:

A place where the sand sounds like a tinkling chandelier, it is so encrusted with salt. It’s rippled and puckered like a vinyl sticker poorly adhered to the earth, or like a wrinkled bed sheet of mini mountain ranges. It’s so bright. I am kicking crystals. Crushing ice, sheets of it underfoot – will they crack? Will I fall through? Sharp granules cut my ankles.

Running here has a dizzying effect, the rise and drop of the little sand rifts. It’s like running in a bouncy house or on a trampoline when your legs receive different amounts of resistance or force. I’m running through a dilapidated cemetery, black rocks sinking and scattered. Lighter slabs of stone up the hill slopes to the north look like newer gravestones (they’re not – it’s all just rock).

The rest looks like what I imagine the Australian Outback to look like.

I cannot judge any distance here.

The salty pink of the lake


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