Willard Bay State Park

Thursday June 6th 2019

When I woke up this morning there was a lot of discussion on the TV about thunderstorms. The Salt Lake City area was getting hit by a series of storms, but in my area north of the city it was just cloudy. Later in the morning there was the sound of thunder to the west in my area. A quick check of the weather radar on my phone showed a big storm coming across the Great Salt Lake right for my location. It continued to get darker and louder for a half an hour or so before it got brighter again. The storm seemed to divide and pass to the north and south of my location.

A bee visiting a blossom for lunch.

Once the sunny and warm part of the day arrived I got my day started. My first order of business was to take the bicycle off the car. I need to remove it along with its rack to access the rear lift gate. On my agenda for the day was a grocery run which is a whole lot easier when I can just load up the back. The grocery run was to the Walmart in Perry UT about seven miles north. There were a couple of indicators that I’m in a new area. On the bread aisle most of the brands I’m familiar with from the east coast and across the south are missing. Of course there are equivalent alternatives. On the positive side, prices on many items also seemed to be a few cents lower.

Blossom of the day

With all of the necessary tasks for the day accomplished, I set out to explore the Willard Bay State Park this afternoon. The park is on a narrow strip of land between the Willard Bay Reservoir an Interstate 15. The reservoir was created in the early 1960s by damming off a section of the Great Salt Lake, pumping out the salt water and allowing the reservoir to fill with fresh water run off from the mountains. The state park includes three campgrounds, two marinas and a beach. I walked from my campsite in the Cottonwood campground to the beach and boat launch area. The north marina was visible across a cove. The south marina and the third campground are located seven miles to the south.

Mountains to the east of the state park.

There was a lot of chop from the wind on the reservoir, but people were still taking advantage of the warm weather. Several people were swimming and enjoying a picnic at the beach. Other people were speeding across the water on personal water craft close to the shore. Out in the lake bigger boats looked like they wanted to pull skiers, boarders or tubers, but I think the chop from the wind was working against them. This seems like a nice park with lots of recreation opportunities. The down side for campers is the noise. Busy interstate 15 and a well used rail line on the other side of the interstate are a constant source of noise. You get used to it, but have noticed that the volume on my TV is cranked a bit higher than usual.

The water level in the Willard Bay reservoir is high. The cement walk way along this area of the shore is underwater.
Mountain to the northwest across the choppy water of the Willard Bay Reservoir.
A couple of seagulls swimming in the choppy water.

This evening the thunderstorms returned. Severe thunderstorm warnings were out for the whole region. The National Weather Service advisory warned of hail and seventy mile an hour wind. The weather radar showed the storms coming across the Great Salt Lake. Unlike this morning they made it all the way to my location. There wasn’t a lot of heavy wind at ground level, but the tops of the cottonwood trees were swaying hard. Hard rain with some very close lightening lasted for about an hour with a few let ups in the middle. Luckily, it wasn’t as bad as the warning.

View south east from the Willard Bay State Park boat launch.

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