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.