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Santa Cruz, Kalifornien
The wildlife is hiding inside the refuge, and there is not much to see, compared to the open range lands that we saw during our 2700 mile dual sport adventure, over two weeks in five states.
Saratoga Springs, Utah
Amazing wetlands in the middle of the Utah desert. All kinds of birds, antelope and wild horses. Get there by following the Pony Express trail. A wonderful day trip, but there are no services enroute, so come prepared.
We considered the long (50 miles plus), dry, dusty dirt roads to be the price of admission to see this large oasis. Following the Pony Express Trail with its historical sites, markers and route was an interesting diversion to the drive. I was amazed there was so much crystal clear water in the middle of this harsh desert. We slowly drove the dikes but were disappointed with the photo opportunities. Thousands of American coots swam away from our slow approach but the ducks, cranes and geese flushed 300 yards away. Bring your digital crop SLR with your largest telephoto lens and a stout tripod then cross your fingers for luck.
We were geode hunting at the Dugway Geode Beds, and decided to make a quick stop at these National Wildlife Refuge (we had heard it was the most remote one in all of the US). I was expecting some water based on the name, but there was much more than I expected in the middle of this vast desert. There is a driving path around the area, but it seemed that the driving signs weren't present about half way through and due to the number of possible turns, we got a bit turned around and weren't sure where to go next. The map they provide wasn't super helpful either.We were most excited about seeing the bigger animals such as the multiple coyotes, deer, & egrets. We aren't huge bird/duck watchers and don't have a good spotting scope (going on the Christmas list), but we still had a good time. It was also very cool to listen to hundreds of ducks taking off from the water at one time - what an amazing sound!There is supposed to be a small visitor center, but it wasn't open when we went (although we were within the hours indicated). We think they were working out in the fields. The pamphlets available near the entrance were helpful and we had a good time. We stopped and skipped some rocks at one of the ponds. The kids were ready to drive on after about 90 minutes in the area.Dogs should be kept on leashes - no hunting allowed.
Great day trip north of Great Basin National Park. Worth the drive to visit this little oasis in the Great Basin.
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