A Trip to the Bonneville Salt Flats
An old friend called me one day a couple of months ago and said "Lets go to the Bonneville Salt Flats this year". Neither one of us had been and in the back of my mind it was on my "bucket list" for a long time. So I agreed and added it to the list. We started to make plans right away. My friend "Wayne" suggested we only go for the first part of the week as he was told by people that had gone that it tapered off as the week went on.
I started looking on the net for rooms and found that all the rooms were booked up. The only town near by was Wendover which was divided up into two towns by the state line of UT and NV and they even had a white line painted across the street. The west side of town is called West Wendover and since gambling is legal in NV, it got all of the casinos/hotels/restaurants. I did find a few camp grounds west of West Wendover in NV so we decided to take camping gear which I had from a trip to the Oshkosh air show a few years ago. No one told us about "Bend in The Road" where many people camp out with tents and RVs. Bend in The Road is just as the name says, it is in the only bend in the access road to the Flats and only 5 miles from the tracks. I say "tracks" because they have three tracks running at one time. The long track, short track and a special track. The start lines of all three are close together and they spread out like the spokes of a wheel. Many of the cars and streamliners are geared so high that they have to have a push vehicle to get them up to a speed that they can start running under their own power.
Next was, How do we get there? Checking on Google map showed us that for us it was going to be a three days drive just in one direction and the fuel cost was high enough that if we just saved that money and not go we could buy another car. Just what we need, another car! ha! Next option was to fly to the nearest city and rent a car. This was cheaper than the gas bill not counting the motel bill for six days of driving. Shut up! I know, when we were young we could have driven straight through too. I am just too old to do that any more and Wayne is so full of stainless steel parts from racing stocks cars that he even sets off house alarms when he drives by. So airline and rent a car was the answer. News for you! when you decide to fly somewhere get your tickets way in advance. A round trip ticket from Nashville to Salt Lake City was $250. and wait one week to decide and it was $350. Another friend of Wayne's decided he wanted to go with us two weeks later and for him it was $650. All my decisions to go anywhere will now be done a year in advance. ha!
Now we had another problem, airlines charge so much for checking a bag that the camping gear was possibly not worth what it was going to cost just to check the bags. We were told it can be as high as $25. per bag. I went to Wall Mart to see what I could buy a tent, sleeping bags (with air mattress) and folding chairs. Considering it was two ways, it was just about the same as buying the equipment in Salt Lake City.
However, another friend of Wayne's was driving a camper and trailer and he agreed to carry our gear and luggage with him so we loaded him up with our stuff and we only took one "Carry On" bag. Well! everyone does that now so the overhead compartments on the plane were stuffed to capacity. The good part was that we got our tickets early enough to get seats with leg room. So the cramped conditions of flying "coach" was not too bad. I have not flown in years so the new drop down TV for each row of seats was cool. You could watch for free but if you wanted sound you had to buy a set of ear phones, (two for $2.) OK. It was a movie I wanted to see but the sound was poor and I could not keep up with what was happening. No problem, I will watch it when I get home. The trip back happened to be on the exact same plane and now I had the ear phones so I didn't have to buy them. Cool! I saved $1. ha! This movie was ok as the sound was good. Don't tell me about the volume control in the arm rest as I had that cranked all the way up.
Wayne said a friend had booked two rooms in one of the casinos and was going to cancel one of the rooms so we decided we wanted it. Thus we only sent our luggage and fold up chairs with the RV.
The consistency of the salt has a lot to do with records set or not. Air density and temperature also play a lot, so conditions determine if a record is to be made as well as the machine. The conditions this year were good so many records were set.
There were a lot of streamliners (piston engine) that were running close to 400 MPH. I didn't see any break 400 but several were close. On the other end of the scale a Wizzer motorbike went 47 MPH. The following are some of the photos I took.