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Road trip to Bonneville plus...

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I have wanted to go to Bonneville to see the Salt Flats for a few decades. This year I did. I started planning last November by contacting the organizers about credentials as I do some work for a magazine. That was easy as two days later they confirmed my media credential (fyi...not free). Then I started to look for a place to stay. Bonneville is about two miles from Wendover Utah/Nevada, the border runs through the middle of the town. After a few dozen telephone calls, I was able to book a basic motel room with a luxury price. Take it or leave it, no choice. I could have opted to stay in Salt Lake City but that is about a two hour drive and that would add four hours to each day, not a good idea. Then I planned my route. My partner Julie is from Tulsa, Oklahoma, so I drove her there first.

Then I headed to through Kansas to Lincoln, Nebraska to the Museum of American Speed...you have to go if you like racing. I spent two afternoons there (it is open noon to 5PM) and was happy to see some of the model cars I had built for people (Bob Larivee Sr. and Darryl Starbird) were on display (the museum had bought their car collections which included my models). 

My next stop was Hastings, Nebraska to see the soon-to-be Corvair Museum. It was just granted museum status and is starting fund raising. They already have the property and building plans. They have lots of Corvair vehicles of all shapes and sizes and conditions, many restored (I was not able to photographs those) and lots of projects, parts cars and customer cars being fixed.

My next stop was Wendover, only two days drive away. The scenery across Nebraska, Wyoming and Utah is amazing. Go for a drive and see for yourself.

Bonneville Salt Flats are hard to describe to someone who has never been there. Interstate 80 runs by Bonneville, 35 miles in a straight, flat, nothing road with two more stretches about 12 miles each...holymoly!  I was told there was a sign that warned of how many people died while driving the road as they were hypnotized by the flatness and boredom and crashed. Sure, you saw pictures in the magazines and online but until you stand on The Salt, until you look around and see flat lands for miles and miles and miles, until you look at a mountain range and find out it is 50 miles from you, you can't really feel what it is like. The glare from the sun can be blinding. The feeling of walking on salt, with many wet areas, is eerie, like the Twilight Zone under your feet. Friday and Saturday, one casino had cruise nights with lots of cars. Then when I was finally able to get registered and drive to the pits on Monday (a few days late due to the water), the eerie feeling increased substantially, possibly the weirdest place to drive I have ever seen, including my 7 years of rally driving, salt water 4-6 inches deep splashing everywhere, thousands of potholes (my old car would have collapsed)  but I made it. I took photographs of the vehicles in the pits, talked to the drivers and crews and other media from around the world and enjoyed myself for all of five days. Sadly, I got ill and had to cut my visit short but I still managed to do something I have wanted to do for more than 30 years. I went to the Bonneville Salt Flats for Speed Week. WOW!


Bonneville Speed Week... https://public.fotki.com/howardcohen/bonneville-speed-we/

Corvair Museum... https://public.fotki.com/howardcohen/corvair-museum-of-a/

Museum of American Speed... https://public.fotki.com/howardcohen/museum-of-american-speed/




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Thank you for sharing your photos. I only passed thru there in 1996 and spent the night in Windover. You are correct about the land scape. While it's not the end of the world, you can see it from there. Great pictures of the museums as well. 

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Totally blown away! (again) Thank you for taking the time to share your great photographs - always enjoy your posts.  Watching Speed at Bonneville is one of the big things for me, so this set of photographs hits close to home.  You always get a good image and interesting photography so I knew it would be a treat.  This time, you got some of the feel of being there with multiple images of several cars that makes me feel not so bad about missing speed week.  Overall, it sounds like you had a great road trip.  I'm still recovering from the salt pictures, but I'll go back and catch the museums as well.


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