1/25/11

Bonneville Salt flats

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After a long day driving (560miles) through splendids desertic natural landscapes of Utah, we were sure that at one moment The Lake would appear in front of us. We were driving on highway 80 the sun was already set, way passed Salt Lake City when we had this unreal vision, like a kind of mirage in this water less region.


A white horizontal and infinite line... was it water or was it salt? And in the back ground an ink black mountain range lightnened by the final lights of the sun.

We still had to drive a couple hours more on the deserted highway wich was surrounded on each side by the waters of the Bonneville salt lake salines. Impatience and tiredness led us to increase the speed of the truck with peaks up to 90 mph, side wind dangerously pushed us aside.

Night came and still nowhere to stop and sleep overnight. We then decided to continue to the final destination: Wendover.

Midnight: we finally were entering asleep Wendover. The lights of this casinos small town were dazzling like for the big parade (unbelievable useless energy waste debauchery.... who pays?).
Remember? we are now in Nevada and Nevada means gambling... so!!!




We followed main avenue for one mile, till "Wendover Will" the neon cowboy, and we finally found the spot to collapse, dead tired, till next morning.


At 6 am, at dawn, first engines roar shortened my night of sleep, curiosity pushed me to get out of the truck to discover in the day light what I couldn't see in the previous night obscurity.



We are surrounded by Hot Rods and other odds devices whose owners get busy tuning them for one more day on the lake. Cars are covered with salt, I feel my excitation grow as all these people leave to the speedway. Unfortunately, everybody is sleeping in the truck and I must wait another endless 2 hours on this now deserted parking lot. Damned.

At last we leave and aim to the speedway, like Captain Kilgore, I can smell a perfume of ..... adrenaline.


We discover now this flat ground covered with a rough mix of salt and soil, that gives it a dirty look.



View of the "Gypsy camp" from Danger Cave State park

We drive along the "Gypsy Camp", it's the closest place to the speedway where you can park your truck and stay overnight for free. Some are stuck in the soil up to the axle, so you'd better wisely chose your parking place. Note that nobody is allowed to sleep on the speedway which is closed and watched at night.



A long straight track drives us to the speedway entry check point and we drive aside the famous pannel that shows that the dream is becoming reality. The road stops there and gives place to a snowy white and pure salt. Hounds of trucks, cars,... all anarchically drive toward the paddocks. I just can't stand still anymore!




I rush out of the truck like Neil Armstrong on July 21st 1969, the sun and glare are dazzling, dry air burns my nose and throat. Far away, I can hear the steamliners on the track.


Fantastic, I'm in IT !!






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