2011 NY to California, Cross Country Drive, Drives

NY to California 2011 via Lincoln Highway – Day 9 – Vernal Utah to Bonneville Salt Flats

Total Distance: 518.30 km (322.1 mi)
Total Time: 14:23:26
Moving Time: 8:47:08
Average Speed: 36.02 km/h (22.4 mi/h)
Average Moving Speed: 58.99 km/h (36.7 mi/h)
Max Speed: 142.54 km/h (88.6 mi/h)
Min Elevation: 1250 m (4101 ft)
Max Elevation: 2413 m (7918 ft)
Elevation Gain: 2738 m (8982 ft)
Max Grade: 6 %
Min Grade: -7 %

We departed Vernal UT and hit the road early to avoid some of the blistering sunshine. Along the side of the road were the remains of various wild animals run down overnight. Glad we stayed in the very deserted town. With Park City Utah as our next stop I pressed the accelerator pedal into the carpet and kept it there as the sun turned up the heat again.  The air tempter was quite cool but the sun is so strong out here.  Park City is home to a former New Yorker Alfisti buddy. We stopped to explore this  town where the hippies and dead-heads all seem to be waiting for winter to return so they can get back on the ski slopes and meet Hollywood celebrities at the Sundance Film Festival.

Back on the road passing by the Great Salt Lake and the Saltair pavilion; a depressing and dirty former resort turned music venue.

The combination of the high altitude, the salt and the blistering sunshine made for a fairly unpleasant experience standing still. So, back in the super, west again on the endless highways past a vast, open lands of scrub, hills and dust.  The sky ahead was darkening as the landscape on both sides of the road turned white. Looking like a frozen lake this endless sea of white is home to the Bonneville Salt Flats (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bonneville_Salt_Flats) where land speed records are set.  Speed week was now on at the flats and thousands gear-heads world-wide gather here get their names in the record books or hangout with fellow rat-rod/hot-rod freaks.  We arrived too late to see any speed runs this day but we were in time to experience a huge thunderstorm that turned everything into a deep muddy salt.

We stayed overnight in the gambling town of West Wendover Nevada. Plenty of hotels, all sold out or nearly so due to the speed week event and the hot-rodders who scrambled for rooms escaping from their tents when the storm hit. We found an over-priced room in the gaudy, rundown Red Garter Hotel and Casino. At least the it was it was much cooler now.

Tomorrow the salt flats – and SPEED!

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