Monday, September 3, 2012

West Coast Adventure - Day 20

I thought the Nevada desert was bad...and then I rounded a corner, started down a hill, and the landscape got white...OK, not white but there was a lot of white mixed in with the brown. I didn't need a map to tell me I was getting close to the Utah state line. You can see the Bonneville Salt Flats before you get to the last town in Nevada. I'm not sure if it rained there recently, or if they flood it on purpose, but there was a lot of water covering the flats along the highway. Not deep water, mind you, just a few inches. There wasn't a ripple on the water, the surface was like a mirror. In the water, closest to the highway, you could still see the tire tracks from people who had been off-roading (or even drifted off the road) beneath the surface. I-80, through this stretch, is just about straight as an arrow...for almost 50 miles. It's so straight they have to put up signs reminding people not to go to sleep while they're driving.
Welcome to state #11
The salt flats also have a unique "scent." It almost smells like the ocean...but without the fish. It's a very clean salt smell, almost like a saltwater pool, if you've ever experienced one of those.
I-80 east, about 15 miles into the flats
Looking east, mountains and clouds mirrored in the water
Looking west, a lot like looking east
I took a Photosynth panorama of the salt flats and even the app I use for that had a hard time with it. There's very little for it to use to line things up other than the road and the raid road tracks to the south.

I stopped for lunch east of Salt Lake City...I'm not sure I've ever been on an interstate through a major city that was as unique as I-80 through SLC. I wanted to eat lunch in Salt Lake City...but traveling along I-80 there were no signs indicating what restaurants or gas stations might be available at any given exit, and, the way the highway is constructed, you really can't "see" what's going on in town. So I just kept going. I was 225 miles into my day and didn't feel like exploring. The Park City exit was a little more inviting. The only downside was it was about 2:00PM and everybody who was heading home after their Labor Day weekend festivities was stopping for gas and a bite to eat.

Once you get to SLC, you also leave the "flat" desert behind. Things get rocky, and there's a touch of green, too. It stays that way right into Wyoming.

Northeast Utah, it gets kinda pretty up here

Welcome to state #12
Just a different perspective...I wasn't tall enough to eliminate the fence
I don't want people to think I hate Nevada and Utah, I'm just not planning on riding my motorcycle through that way e...v...e...r again. The best thing I can say about I-80 from Reno to SLC is that I survived it. That doesn't mean it isn't beautiful. There is a great beauty in the sparse desolation that defines this part of the country. I might be able to drive through here some time, I just don't want to ride a motorcycle through it again.

Tomorrow is another day and another road. :)

No comments:

Post a Comment

Comments are moderated, which means I read them all and then approve them for posting.

Chad Cole