Our very own Top Gear

Trip Start Apr 08, 2013
Trip End Sep 25, 2013

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Flag of United States  , Utah
Sunday, June 23, 2013

Well, after our little mini salt lake, we were now headed to THE Salt Lake, the daddy of all salt lakes, Salt Lake City and the Bonneville Speed flats!  Cool or what?  It was so exciting to approach the flats, the landscape suddenly changes and all around you becomes flat and white, like snow.  We didn't know what to expect.  Would it be crowded with tourists? Could you drive your car there? Do you have to pay?  When we drove up to the sign which announced we had arrived at the famous Bonneville Salt Flats it was indescribably cool to find there was no one else there apart from a guy out on the lake in his wind sort of go kart thing. Not actually going anywhere due to a complete lack of wind.  And boy was it hot! 

But we had the whole place to ourselves and no one asked for money and there was no one to stop you driving right out onto the salt lake and having your own version of top gear!  So.  Off we went.  We drove and drove, the salt crackling and crunching under the weight of the car until we came to the actual speed track.  We stopped the car, got out, and just looked around.  Wow! White, flat, peaceful, iconic, calm as far as you could see or hear.  NOTHING to disturb the perfect peace and solitude.  It was surreal!  We just stood there taking it all in and savouring the moment.   Then!  We jumped in the car and each had a turn, foot flat to the floor, racing our big Chevvy Equinox along the race track at the Bonneville Salt Flats.   Actually, quite a few turns as we got more and more brave on the lake of salt.  Trusting that it really wouldn't crack and land us in real trouble.  Kevin asked if I wished we had the Porsche.  No fear!  I wouldn't do that to our own car!  It took a good few weeks and a heavy storm to even get half the salt off that Chevvy.  It went there silver and came away pure glistening crusty white.    After we braved the initial few metres of our journey onto the lake, we didn't worry too much about the possibility of it opening up.   But when we got to the end of the track and got out of the car again, my whole foot went straight through the salt!  That freaked us out a bit so we headed back to the safety of tarmac.  When we got back, a massive truck was there and a couple of guys asked if we'd been "out".  When we said yes and asked if they were going, they told us that it's not a good idea to go " out" until at least August as the salt is too unstable and not properly set before then.  

Anyway we did and we lived to tell the tale, and then they showed us what they had in their truck. These guys raced hot rods ( but weren't brave enough to go out on the salts that day .... Although apparently did later in the season!).  Check out the paint jobs, all hand sprayed.  And 0-100 in 4 seconds.  They take these things to shows across the country and drive them on the highways too, I think they were taking photos there or something.  Also the guy in the wind thing promised he'd take us both out if the wind picked up, but it never did.  I was praying for it to but pesky weather, you just can't get it to do what you want can you? 

What an awesome experience!  LOVED it up.  LOVED the place.  And the drive coming away from the flats towards Salt Lake City is just as good, stunning white landscape surrounding you, with the backdrop of mountains and lakes.  For the first time, I understood what a mirage would look like, as we looked over the landscape the mountain seemed to be floating.  I think it's actually called the floating island because it appears to " float" above the flats when viewed from the road.    I tell you, this country has totally captured, and captivated, me.  SLC itself is a nice city, at the end of every road is a mountain, the streets are wide and clean and the shopping is good, but after the thrills of nature itself, (and a hunk of metal and wheels to play with)  once again, the city takes a poor second place to everything else we have just experienced.  



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Alana on

We loved the salt flats! Jamie was in his element, as you can imagine, lots of doughnuts! Beautiful pictures Mumma, you picked a good day to go! Xxxx

tim on

presumably if you disappear through the salt crust the lake just closes over the top and hardens off as though nothing ever happened........................probably best not to dwell on things like that!

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