Antelope Island Balloon Stampede

Antelope Island State Park website
Today my wife and I drove the 21 miles to Antelope Island to watch balloons. However, a rickety wind of 18 knots dictated that no hot air balloons would launch. We were told the wind had to be 8 knots or lower before there is lift off. When we arrived there was only one balloon that had not been packed away. So we traveled further south to the Garr Ranch and then back to look at the visitors center. After lunch with the Wards we left the island. Maybe next year.

There are also some photographs at the official Antelope Balloons website.

Too windy to lift off.
Balloon Basket.

There are plenty of bison on the island, around 600. The Davis County Causeway is a 7.25 mile earthen dike and roadway leading from the mainland to Antelope Island. The original causeway, constructed in 1969 by the State of Utah, was washed out frequently by heavy wave action in the early 70’s but was raised slightly and reopened each time. By 1985 the causeway was completely under water due to the relentless rise of the lake.
As the lake began to recede in the late 80’s the causeway reemerged. It was in poor condition and needed extensive work. Davis County officials together with State Parks personnel lobbied the Utah State Legislature in 1990 for funding to rebuild the causeway so that Antelope Island State Park could again be opened to the public. Eventually the legislature agreed to give the causeway to Davis County along with $4 million for rebuilding and repairs. Another $500,000 was appropriated in 1992 and the County rebuild the causeway in 1993 for a total cost of $5 million. Davis County charges a $2 per vehicle toll (included in your entrance fee) on the causeway to help pay for ongoing maintenance costs and to set aside a fund to deal with possible future damage should the lake rise again. For more information see Things To Do.

Antelope Island bison.
The Davis County Causeway as seen from Antelope Island.

We ate our picnic lunch in an enclosure at the Antelope Island beach. And yes it has sand, I seem to recall it was trucked in. Left to right: Rick, Connie, Jill, Melissa, Susan, Shauna, Kent, and Byron. It was disappointing to have missed the balloons but the food soon cured that. Maybe next year I will take a ride in one and get some really interesting photographs. Speaking of interesting photographs, check out these pioneer solar panels at the Garr Ranch.
Eating lunch at Antelope Island beach
Rickety signature.

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