SLC to Winnemucca

I think this is going down as “The Salt Ride.” 300-odd miles of I-80, large portions of which were around the Great Salt Lake and on the Bonneville Salt Flats (location of the infamous speedway.) Morton salt company has a salt pan operation in this region (the tallest building of the complex has the Morton wordmark and logo.)

A few interesting sights were the remains of early salt pans, now partially under I-80 (they’re paired rows of wooden posts, sometimes with base boards still visible) and some reddened pools of brackish brine, colored by the presence of halophiles.

There is a rather nice visitor center on the Bonneville Salt Flats, and you can walk onto the salt (be advised, it’s rather slushy there – it’s wet.)

Further west we crossed into Nevada and saw some beautiful upland valleys, surrounded by mountains, some with yet snowy peaks. Some of the valleys were over 10 miles to traverse on the interstate.

We had a brunch at a waffle place in Salt Lake City, a late lunch at the Salt Flats Cafe (good and reasonably cheap,) and dinner at the 24 hour restaurant attached to our hotel, the Winnemucca Inn (which also boasts a casino.)wpid-img_20140603_231348_922.jpg

While getting fuel in SLC a woman said, “are you young ladies riding those motorcycles?!” She was even more impressed when we told her about our trip, and expressed admiration.

At the Salt Lake Cafe a Utah Highway Patrol officer pulled-up and parked just after us in his patrol truck (a pickup) and said, “I’ll tell you what; I’ll trade you my ride for yours!”

Finally, a rest area in Nevada, we got chatting with two women who had stopped and found out they were on a cross-country trip as well. When I asked where from and to, it turned out their destination was the same as ours while their point of origin was close to ours – Brevard, North Carolina.