On the road IV ― All that’s white is not snow

It's white, it's crunchy; bring on the skis!

The highway west from Salt Lake City to Wendover feels like the road to eternity. Sure, you get a glimpse of the Great Salt Lake and a lot more of the great salt flats. But the ruler-straight interstate leaves you wishing for some diversion, and there’s no relief until the change in terrain at the Nevada line.

But just before that change, there is a rest stop at the western edge of the salt flats, near Bonneville, where the women’s toilet has an interesting hand-written note on the door: “Please: Wash shoes off in the foot wash. Thank you.”

That weird sign makes sense when we spy travelers walking gingerly on the salt, bending down to taste it, and posing for souvenir pictures. From a distance, the salt looks exactly like snow, and the travelers would look a lot more like a part of the scene if they had cross-country skis.

At Wendover you begin the ascent on the Toana Range through the Silver Zone Pass. The terrain becomes greener, though the trees appear to be juniper pine and too short to provide dependable shade for humans.

As we approach Wells―where pioneers following the Humboldt Trail stopped to regroup―we see real snow, last year’s leftovers, on the surrounding peaks. And Wells, well, it’s a very small town with a very big surprise. Read about it in the next post.

Text and photograph copyright 2011 by Esther Hecht. No portion of this text or photograph may be reproduced in any form without the express permission of Esther Hecht.

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5 Responses to “On the road IV ― All that’s white is not snow”

  1. Judy Labenson Says:

    Is this the Wells as in Wells-Fargo??

    I love the suspense and can’t wait for the next post. It sure beats reading about our Prime Minister.
    Drive Safely!

  2. Teresa Silverthorn Says:

    There was an old, spooky looking building next to the lake, when I was there. It was boarded-up, I think. Might have been from the 30’s.

    Is it still there?

  3. Tamara Colloff-Bennett Says:

    Fun article, Esther, and a great subtitle under the lovely photo…

    Also, I see above where you talked about Wells and Fargo. Hmm, I grew up on the East Coast but I lived on the West Coast before moving overseas about two decades ago – and I had a Wells Fargo bank account (ah, complete with horses pulling a wagon train on the plastic card, as I recall) but I did not know until now that they were people.

    Yikes, gap in my knowledge there, eh?? So it’s good to learn about them, thanks.

    • Tamara Colloff-Bennett Says:

      Sorry, Esther, my comment above didn’t make complete sense – I meant to insert that I had my Wells Fargo account when I lived in California and its Wild West scene on the card there of horses + wagon train was very evocative. But never did I think of the people behind the name until this evening. Thanks again…

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