The weather has definitely changed and it is still cloudy and wet in the morning. It’s time for us to leave and head south again. We really loved it here and will certainly be back, maybe even in winter or the very latest in spring.
HWY 20 leads us south again towards Idaho Falls. In St. Anthony, we see a sign for some sand dunes about 12 miles off the highway. We have passed this sign a few times before and decide that today, we pay these sand dunes a visit. Arriving there we attempt to walk up the sand hills, which proves to be quit challenging, our shoes are soon filled with sand. The area is surprisingly big and we wonder how this much sand ended up here – amazing!
At the hotel in the evening we find out more about these sand dunes:
This 10,600 acre playground of clear, shifting, white quartz sand is known for its unique beauty and exceptional recreation opportunities.
Prevailing winds carried the sand from the nearby Teton and Snake Rivers and deposited it as dunes among the hills. These hills were once active volcanic vents pouring great depths of lava over the earth.
Today the St. Anthony Sand Dunes are home to a Wilderness Study Area and one of the largest herds of wintering elk in the United States.
Elevation – 5,000 ft.
We pass the state border to Utah as we continue our journey and take exit 363 to visit the Bear River Migratory Bird Refuge. We don’t expect too many birds at this time of the year but still want to see it. We are surprised to see thousands of swallows that are still that far north. There are also cormorants, herons, black birds with red tipped wings, which we have seen before in San Diego as well, and water birds with long bended bills, which are walking through the shallow water. Eventually we do the whole 12 mile loop – according to our navigation system we have been driving through the water!
Back on HWY 15 south we have another 60 miles to Salt Lake City. Since we have a coupon from the Sky Harbor Suites we check them out first and stay there. It is old but clean.
We are back in Utah and therefore have dinner at Chuck-A-Rama (a buffet chain that has very good quality food and and excellent variety of fresh salads).
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