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  • About an hour's drive from Salt Lake City, Utah is the ski resort of Alta, a former mining town, nestled within the Wasatch Mountains. Skiing and other winter alpine pursuits take place well into mid-spring. The relatively new ski lift is one of the longest in the western US. Some ride the lift not to ski down but to glance at the view from the 1,500 foot summit. Being the end of May, people at nearby Salt Lake are instead enjoying more summerly pursuits, such as boating. Behind only the Dead Sea, it ranks second among all large inland lakes for the saline content at 27%, the buoyancy from which makes it almost impossible to sink in. On shore at Black Rock Beach of the Bonneville Salt Flats is the site of many attempts of land speed records, most records held by Ab Jenkins. Another popular activity in the lake itself is the crystallization of salt around wire forms, the process which requires relatively still water and takes about two hours.

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  • Skiing in May is our first diversion in the Salt Lake area: we visit Alta, a resort with a new ski lift. We watch champions Friedel Pfeiffer and Virginia Guernsey; we meet the old mining town's mayor. On to the Great Salt Lake, 27 percent salt, where swimmers float with ease. Large rounds of wood float near an excursion boat, holding food and drinks. After the narrator provides a history of salt, auto land speed champion Ab Jenkins signs autographs on the beach. Then Ab shows how a simple wire sculpture soaking in a salt pond becomes a salt-encrusted object of art in just hours. Last we watch the sunset across the lake, with lovely colors in the sky and on the water.


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