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Salt Flats an unusual destination – nevertheless inspiring

Submitted by on May 30, 2012 – 11:16 pmNo Comment

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This is not a destination that appears in most tourist list of to see places.

But, looking for things to do beyond typical tourist destinations, I stumbled upon the place where speed records were broken, and continue to be challenged. A place where flatness can be seen beyond the horizon and the curvature of earth can be spotted.

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The interesting part is as you finally approach the arid landscape of the salt flats, you will suddenly out of know where, right beside the highway, you will encounter a Metaphor.

Known as ‘The Tree of Utah’. The sculpture is more interestingly unusual and colorful then anything of real significance. It was created between 1982-86 by a Swedish artist Karl Momen. It stands 87 feet tall and features several “fruits” protruding from its branches. The fruits, painted spheres essentially, represent “color, circles, and cosmic space in a personal hymn to the universe”. You also see several broken spheres that lie along the ground representing those that have fallen from the tree.

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Sadly, there is no way to stop as there is no access to the sculpture and parking is prohibited along the freeway, so we took shots as we drove.

Then just a few minutes later you hit the Salt Flats.

It’s a very interesting to see the white snow like landscape that extends miles and miles. It’s totally flat and the ground is extremely hard, so hard and thorny, that lying down it hurts. To see the vastness of this salt bed, almost seems unbelievable, so we all even tasted the soil to convince ourselves that it was salt.

It’s called the Bonneville Salt Flats near Wendover, Utah, Even the drive to the Salt Flats was beautiful with the landscape changing every few miles. The landscapes you encounter are simply scenes out of movies. It’s under 3 hours drive from Salt Lake City.

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A few miles of further driving will bring you to the Bonneville Speedway. This is known for It’s annual speed contest held every August, where racers with every possible kind of vehicle speed thro the tracks across the salt flat, during the SpeedWeek contest. This I believe becomes also the test bed for hundreds of drivers to compete to break speed records in a number of categories and vehicle shapes.

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I believe most of the existing speed records have been broken here. While, we didn’t have the privilege to visit the salt flat area while the SpeedWeek takes place, we were there when a TV serial was being shot, and it was quite interesting.

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I am told that with the advancement of technology, since the late 1800’s when racing kind of started, racers wildest dreams get fulfilled here a these salt flats. Today, racers exceed 700 mph with jet powered engines powering their cars, far exceeding the speed of sound.

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Beyond the fact that this is the most sought after natural race track, the Bonneville Salt Flats is really quite unique in its geographic terrain, and stretches over 30,000 acres touching the Utah – Nevada border. There are hardly any cities close by and the closest being Wendover.

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I certainly plan to experience August there some time soon, as the atmosphere should be nothing less then electrifying, as drivers from all over the world will come to break the land speed record for their class of vehicles.

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To me this experience was another out of normal tourist spots, and me along with my wife and friends, was a rewarding trip.

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