Posts Tagged ‘salt lake’

Lake Bonneville

25th January 2011 by Helen
Tree of Peace aka Utah Tree

Tree of Peace aka Utah Tree

After our night at the rest area we headed on west towards Wendover.  Our first stop was to be the Tree of Peace, also known as the Utah Tree.  I was looking forward to seeing this modern work of art.  The picture in the tourist book made it look as though it was somewhere you could stop and contemplate.  But no.  The I80 at that point has signs saying ‘no stopping’, there was no car park and the tree itself was fenced off with no access to it.  Shame.

Paul overlooking the Bonneville Salt Lake

Paul overlooking the Bonneville Salt Lake

So we headed on to our next destination – Bonneville Salt Flats.  All I can say is the scenery was stunning.  This is the only known place where the land is flat enough for far enough to undertake land world speed records.  Ten miles of flat ground, where from the start you cannot see the end because of the curvature of the earth.

Helen & Landy - where the road ends at the Bonneville Salt Lake

Helen & Landy - where the road ends at the Bonneville Salt Lake

We headed down the road towards the flats but were disappointed to find where the road came to an end the land was covered in water.  Of course, we should have realised that in winter the land floods, but dries out to recreate the flat salt bed in the summer.  We’ll have to come back another year to test Landy’s world speed record!!

Back on the I80 we stopped at the Salt Flats Café – a genuine Mexican American café.  Our friend Carl in Seattle told us to look out for Mexican café’s where there are Mexican customers because that’s where the best Mexican food it.  He’s right. We had a fantastic meal and very good value.

And so it was we continued on to Wendover where we stayed overnight in the lorry park between Burger King and McDonalds.  A rose between two thorns.

Distance travelled – 74 miles

Serendipity

23rd January 2011 by Helen

Serendipity – That really is going to have to be the title of a book about this trip.

taken from Antelope Island, Salt Lake

taken from Antelope Island, Salt Lake

We had planned to leave Antelope island today and ‘camp’ in a rest area on the way back to Salt Lake City tonight so we could hit the Mormon family history centre to look up Paul’s granddad who ran away to Africa when he was a teenager, before heading up to America and the gold rush in his 20’s and 30’s, before returning to England to raise a family.  However, we don’t have enough information about him yet (like his first name and his date of birth – a bit critical really), and this island is such a lovely place we decided to stay another night.

Jack-rabbits a-bound on Antelope Island

Jack-rabbits a-bound on Antelope Island

And so it was we took a walk around the northern end of the island, across the beach of the rare oolitic sand, took lots more photos of the snow capped mountains that surround this valley, perused the information in the visitor centre where I replaced the map of the Western States that had been stolen, saw some more jack-rabbits leaping across the rocks and grass, peered through binoculars at the grazing bison, and finally returned to our campsite to cook up some dinner.

Antelope Island, Salt Lake

Antelope Island, Salt Lake

One of the reasons for staying an extra night was the temptation to make use of the fire pit and have a burning log fire we could cook over.  We’d found some partly burned logs in the fire pits as well as having some wood of our own on board ready to burn.  Paul did the man thing and got a fire going, laid out the chicken on the grill, and started to cook the beef I’d already chopped up and put in the saucepan.  Some of the logs were a bit damp and not burning so well, so Paul added the special shop bought log we had with us – guaranteed to burn for three hours.  The flames leapt high around our chicken pieces and saucepan and so we had char-grilled chicken for supper.

The island had been quite busy today and a few people had driven slowly past while looking at our set up.  Occasionally one would stop and ask if they could take a photo.  Then right towards the end of the day another couple stopped (Buddy & Linda).  They were very keen to know about how our tent worked and we got chatting a bit.  Then the serendipity bit.  Would you know it, they had on board some spare maps of the very places we want to go and so we have now replaced most of the maps we lost in the theft in Salt Lake City.  Just need Mexico now!  They also gave us some much appreciated fresh fruit, grapefruit from California!!

Soon after darkness fell again.  The sky was clear of clouds and the stars hung in profusion above our heads before we hit our pillows for the night.

Campsite – Antelope Island