As you read through this journal, be sure to click the images to not only view larger photos but also to read the captions below these enlargements. The captions contain many important, interesting and humorous parts of the story being told!

GoF West 2007

July 2-6, 2007, Park City, Utah

Page Four of Five

Jump to page: 1 2 3 4 5


Day Nine


The last morning was spent at the winner’s circle saying goodbye to our friends, most of whom were taking the direct route home through Southern Nevada. Linda and I opted for a more adventurous and hopefully cooler route. It was sad to leave everyone behind as we pulled away from Park City but exciting at the same time. We were taking a route we had never been on before, and doing it in style.

Heading out of town, we entered I-80 West to Salt Lake City. Some of our friends passed us on the freeway in air conditioned modern comfort as we headed down out of the mountains and into the high desert. The drive through this part of the country was unremarkable but the weather cooperated. Our first planned stop would be Bonneville Raceway, with an overnight stay in Wendover. We made great time, cruising at about 65 MPH the entire way. We arrived at Bonneville and took a few photos next to the park sign. Having just seen “The World’s Fastest Indian”, Linda decided that wasn’t enough and wanted to go to the road’s end where the speedway was. So off we went and upon arrival at the end of the road, we were a bit surprised. There was no parking lot, no grandstands, no building of any kind and no people. The road simply ended and turned to salt flats. There was only a sign telling you that you were at the Bonneville Speedway and nothing else.

After a few photos we were getting ready to leave when we saw a small SUV driving on the speedway towards us. He asked if we were going to drive our car out there, and looking at the 300-pounds of salt packed under his car I informed him there was no way. Then he told us that it was actually hard and dry until about 10 miles out where it started to get soft. That got us thinking. It didn’t take us long to convince each other to take a ride out there even if it was short. So we got into the car, fired it up, put it in first gear and aimed it towards the speedway. It was difficult to tell exactly where it was as there was no marker and in all directions was salt flats. I pressed down on the accelerator and off we went!

The experience of driving on the salt flats was amazing! We went faster and faster with excited smiles on our faces until the car reached nearly 80 MPH. At this speed, the TC was pushing fairly high RPMs. I might normally push it farther but we were still in the middle of the Nevada desert, 1,000 miles from home, alone and off the highway in a 1949 M.G. In the interest of making it home, eighty miles per hour would be enough.

The salt flats were incredibly smooth. It was almost like riding on glass, and without any foreground for reference, you almost couldn’t feel the speed. At around the two miles mark we made a wide turn and headed back the way we came. It was strange out there, surrounded by nothing but white with hills in the distance and nothing else visible. It was very out of this world in feeling and appearance. Half way back I suddenly spotted a huge bump in the ground, about 7 or 8 inches high. We braced for impact and ran head first into it, expecting to be bucked right out of our seats.

There was nothing – not even a bump felt. The only way I knew we hit it was a small popping sound as the salt gave way under the tires. Overall such a strange experience out there! Back on the road I got out and inspected the underbody to see if there was any salt to worry about. The chassis, being covered in oil beforehand, was clean as a whistle. But the fenders and running boards had salt packed in like wet snow. I could take handfuls out at a time. We high-tailed it to Wendover a few miles away and spent half an hour trying to find a hose, which we did and then used it to wash the underside of the car clean.

While eating lunch, we decided that Wendover was a horrible place to stay. Since it was still early in the day we decided to move on, heading down Highway 93 south to Ely. This section of road was hot and desolate with nothing in sight for most of the 120 miles. It was certainly a strange place to find someone driving an old M.G., especially with no back-up! We made it to Ely without incident and found it a bit cooler by the time we arrived. A stop at an old-time soda fountain for ice cream was a welcome rest from the heat and the open road. I also made a quick stop at an auto parts store to buy some grease. Right about then we started thinking about pushing on farther since there was daylight left and nothing to do in in this town. Shortly afterward, we did just that and turned east onto Highway 50.

Highway 50 from Ely to Fallon is called “The Loneliest Road in America” and for good reason. There is practically nothing for hundreds of miles. The drive was beautiful, cresting numerous pine-covered mountain passes, most of them between 7,000 and 8,000-feet in altitude. The weather was very cooperative with just enough cloud cover to keep the temperature down. After 80 miles on highway 50, we arrived in Eureka in the late evening having covered 347 miles for the day.

On to Page Five…