Monday, October 14, 2013

Temple Of Speed...


Temple Of Speed: The Bonneville Salt Flats
Bonneville is a mighty big place – the salt flats currently cover 30,000 acres of nothing but wide open, flat space. No plant life, no insects, not even a blade of grass sticking out of the dirt somewhere. So when Rod asked me to do a Temple of Speed story on the Bonneville salt flats it made me stop and scratch my head. I mean, how do you describe a space that’s nothing more than one giant blanket of blinding white earth?

Did you notice I said the salt flats are currently 30,000 acres? They used to be three times as large, but have been shrinking due to unchecked mining operations. Wikipedia says that up to 18″ of salt has been removed since 1963 when mining began. Thankfully this has recently been remedied, and the mining companies are now pumping the salt they used to throw away back onto the flats.

Since there aren’t any permanent structures at Bonneville and the area is so vast, Larry and I had our work cut out for us to describe Bonneville through pictures and words. Looking at this map the salty part is obvious, but we’ll start our journey in the nearest civilized place – the small gambling town of Wendover, situated directly on the border of Utah and Nevada.  Photo courtesy of Google Maps

In fact the state line cuts right through the street where the hotels and casinos are located.

There are several racing events that take place throughout the year, but Speed Week in August is the largest and most well known.

Speed Week doesn’t just bring out race teams though; a whole lot of hot rods, classics and jalopies also descend on the little town.

From Wendover, a quick trip on Interstate 80 brings us to the turn-off for Bonneville Speedway. After exiting you follow the paved road north, then around The Bend until the pavement turns to salt.  Photo courtesy of Google Maps
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