I climed, oh my how I climed. High up, to heavens at 6,000 feet elevation. I faced the monster that was the heat and I finally came to the top of the mountain and I looked down. It was a sight to behold! Before mine eye lays a paradise for gear heads all over the world, before me lay a speed world that was flat, wide as mine eyes could see and White! Yup! Very, very White! It was the Bonneville Speedway in UT !!!!
There are those moments in life that are just so surreal there are almost no words that can be used to capture the moment. This was one of those moments. I remember looking on the map and seeing Bonneville and as I left Reno, my main objective that day was not just making it to Salt Lake City, it was that I needed to make it to the Bonneville Salt Flats before dark. This was the Mecca for all speed freaks, the holy land of petrol heads, the Gods of Speed would frown heavily upon me if I did not visit this land while in this region.
I tell you, it is a pretty majestic sight as you come up to Bonneville. You are coming on the 80 Freeway, and as you come down the hill you just see all this White land spread out before you. You kind of catch your breath for a moment. Being the car guy I am, my jaw dropped, my breath shortened and inside my head I started saying to myself, "Can it be"? Am I at THE salt flaps?" Minutes later, I am rewarded with a road sign that says BONNEVILLE SPEEDWAY! There is a God!
I pulled over and headed out to the Speedway itself. It is almost like a religious pilgrimage. You come off the freeway and there is a sign on the side of the road telling you where you are. It is just a sign, not quite there yet. There it is BONNEVILLE SPEEDWAY. Then you drive another mile or so to the actual Salt Flats. The road ends at what is known as Land's End. And there it is in all it's glory - the salt flats. I really had to take a moment to catch myself and my breath. All that kept running through my head were all the footage I have seen of dare devils breaking land speed records. Was I really here? Was I really standing in the same footsteps of speed giants? Was I really standing in a placed carved in speed history?
I was able to walk on the flats and even drove the car on to the surface. This surface is harder than tempered glass. I kid you not people. It is is like solid ice! Like a big wide solid iceberg, only it's made of salt. Driving the car on the surface, it occurred to me that you don't just come here and run off into the sunset with a land speed record. My car could barely make it 1000 yards at 5 MPH. The entrance was bumpy, bumpier than a NYC street right after winter snow. And then, there is all that salt. I realize that even if I made it to the strip and allowed the devil in me to do a speed run - all that salt would get everywhere and ruin the car. I cannot imagine how people must have to deal with corrosion after doing speed attempts here.
Nevertheless, it was an experience I will NEVER forget being here. 17 hours to see Salt? Yeah..... that's just what I do :-)