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ing. We stayed the night in Salt Lake

and the next day drove west, skirting

the bottom edge of the Great Salt Lake

and then up straight to the edge of the

Bonneville Salt Flats.

Bonneville is an almost surreal

place. The road heads out due west,

disappearing over the horizon. You see

the road, the railroad tracks and the

power lines; they all just seemed to

run on forever. We were on a mission,

we were going to see cars run faster

than anything we had ever seen and

we were going to check that off of the

bucket list, even before the idea of a

bucket list existed.

You drive until you see the moun-

tains near Wendover, and then you

take the exit until you get to the end

of the paved road. You enter through

the gate and drive out onto what ap-

pears to be the cleanest, brightest

snow you have ever seen and it ex-

tends for miles. We drove out and

parked the car, walked around the pits

and watched the cars make their runs.

The sun was relentless, reflecting off

of the salt and giving you a sunburn in

areas you never thought possible. If

you wear shorts it reflects up your legs

and burns them. It reflected under my

nose and burned it as red as

Rudolph’s. It was relentless and in-

escapable. The only defenses were

sunblock and a large hat.

We saw so many cars, some fa-

mous and some not so famous, and we

drove around for a few hours.We even-

tually drove down the return road and

back. The speed limit on the return

road was posted 25 mph and I will

admit that in late in the afternoon we

did exactly that speed, plus another

100. It was so strange – we were driv-

ing at over 120 mph and it felt like

you could open the door and just step

out of the car. There is nothing nearby

to gauge as reference.

We slept that night in a tent near

the turn in the road, right outside of

Wendover. It had been way over 100

degrees that day and I decided to sleep

outside the two man pup tent we were

using. I learned that the desert can get

hot, but it doesn’t hold the heat and

after about 5 or 6 hours it was in the

low 40s and breezy. Teeth chattering

and sunburned, I crawled into the tent

and tried to sleep. After a few days we

left and headed to Southern Califor-

nia. Dave had to get back to work and

flew home. I had some other things I

wanted to see and places I wanted to

go. One of them was Disneyland and I

drove to Anaheim to find it. I parked

outside and went into the park, spent

a lot of money, and learned what an

“E” ticket was. I had a great time.

I spent the night at a no-name

hotel nearby and the next day I awoke

to find I was a victim of theft. That’s

right – someone had stolen something

off the car: the hood pins. During my

ownership that was the only thing I

ever had stolen off the car. I headed

east out of LA and took the old Route

66 and saw the sights: a large meteor

crater inWinslow, bright red clay cliffs


Summer 2016 73

Bonneville Salt Flats, 1972. Experiences like this are unforgettable.