March 19, 2015
Bonny Bonneville. Salty Utah.
Still in the US toing and froing between cities, we decided to make a quick stop in a town I’d never heard of: Wendover, Utah State. The town houses the nearest airport to the famous Bonneville Salt Flats. A saliently saline splendid spot!
All righty. Landed, now into the car and let’s go have a gander!…
You got to watch it here – no going off piste in the car too far as it’s easy to get bogged down in the salty mush. Clearly this happens quite a lot as in places bits of wood and cardboard or car floor mats can be seen strewn along the tire tracks where they’ve been used to help pull cars out.
The air here feels pristine clear and clean. Maybe it’s all the salt giving it the sea-air thing; maybe not – because the humidity is practically zero, like our brand awareness in the USA just ten years ago.
Another curiosity: Distances here are real tricky to gauge. How far to that hill over there? Two or three kilometers? But looking on the map it turns out to be around six!
Bizarrely, if you just go 300-500 meters from the road here there’s total silence. Only the salt crystals crunching underfoot can be heard, together with the whistle of the wind in your ears, and occasionally the low hum of planes flying overhead. Perfectly blissful! And the effect on the mind is curiously original. The seemingly complete absence of space and time makes you feel… strange. Meditative, pensive, and just a little bit… psychedelic. You just walk and walk and walk, turn around and – oh, look how far we’ve come! So it’s back along the crunchy salt bed. And that’s it. Barren emptiness defined. Cosmic!
Someone walked the plains barefoot. Rather them than me:
We decided to get on over to those mini-mountains in the distance, just for the heck of it, to see what they were about.
Our trek was worth it. Great mountains – similarly desolate, just less salty! Most tourists just walk from the road a few meters, take their pics and selfies, then back into their car and back to civilization. That’s no way to do it. You need a good couple of hours to fully cognize the aura of the place. Only after a while does its otherworldliness and serenity sink in.
Woh! More signs of cars having been stuck in the salt:
You’ll probably know how the salt flats are famous for being raced upon by all types of wheeled speed machines attempting world records. So, naturally, there are vehicle tracks practically everywhere going in all directions. Even some of those are strangely beautiful!…
The mirages on the horizon – the warm air makes distant objects shimmer. The bases of the hills are reflected (the effect’s just noticeable in the pics), with some of them simply hovering above the ground. A car on the road 10km away looks more like a UFO flying horizontally above the surface of water – which isn’t there.
The things you find! Here, spent cartridges from a heavy machinegun!
A few more pics from up in the sky:
The airport here was once a military airbase. Now it’s an airport-museum. The interior was v. militarized…
And off we flew again…
In closing, a few pics taken by my travel companion, A.A.:
All the photos are here.
That’s it folks for today. Time for an early night: early rise tomorrow morning…