I woke up in Park City, Utah—a strikingly pretty community not far from Salt Lake City—fully expecting this to be a frustrating, difficult day on the road. I had gone to bed realizing that we still had two full days of travel in order to get to Portland. I had already scheduled a visit to the Bonneville Salt Flats, a detour that would add over 100 miles to the shortest route, and eat up time that we no longer seemed to have. My son had expressed a desire to be in eastern Oregon by day’s end, a goal that I felt was totally unrealistic. And on top of that, our family is not known to be punctual. Before it was over, though, today had become my hands down favorite day of our epic road trip, so far. We did everything we had set out to do, overcame a few challenges, and absolutely did make it into Oregon, with daylight to spare.
We viewed the Great Salt Lake without stopping. We rode past it at 70 mph on I-80, en route to Wendover, mainly because we were already pressed for time, but also because we didn’t know there was a viewing area exit until we were speeding past it. I will say that even at 70 mph, the Great Salt Lake is quite impressive. A little over 90 minutes and 100 miles later, we had pulled off at another viewing area, that for the famed Bonneville Salt Flats. There was a large plaque telling visitors about the speedway, which is not visible from that point. But we still got an up-close look at the salt and appreciated the vastness of it all.
From there we got back on I-80 for a short bit, getting right back off at the Bonneville Speedway, where we took photos, topped off our gas tanks, bought souvenirs, and enjoyed lunch at the famed Salt Flats Cafe, which appears in the movie World’s Fastest Indian (see http://m.imdb.com/title/tt0412080).
Speaking of which, our next stop was just over the border, in West Wendover, Nevada, where I captured a photo of Wendover Will, a 63 foot tall neon statue, which also did a cameo appearance in World’s Fastest Indian.
After that it was time to put some serious miles behind us. We continued west on I-80 to Wells, NV where we picked up US Highway 93 and rode north, through a variety of terrain until we got to Twin Falls, Idaho. Then we picked up I-84 and took that all the way to the seemingly unrealistic target destination of Ontario, OR.
In all candor, everybody had wanted to stop sooner, but every decent hotel in our price range between Twin Falls and The Oregon border seemed to be booked solid. So we booked the last three rooms at the hotel where I sit writing this and flogged our steeds for a few more hours to get there.
What an awesome day!