Taking one last look at the hoodoo’s early in the morning; we packed up the campsite and headed toward Salt Lake City. We are not city people, it is the lake we want to see, and it is the Great Salt Flats that is our destination. We drove through the spectacular and very red, Red Canyon and suddenly found ourselves on the plains.
I am amazed at these great ridges of rock that rise from the flat prairie so unexpectedly. I was in the driver’s seat for a change. It works out great, I normally prefer John to drive so I am free to see the passing sights. Today it is his turn. We finally arrived at the lake during a wild wind and rain. Parking the van at a marina, we waited out the storm.
We could hardly see out the windows. The wind rocked the van furiously. We watched the skies for tornado’s, just in case.
Yes, it is salt. Of course we had to walk on it and, since it had rained, our shoes were covered in wet slushy salt.
I could imagine the cars flying across the flats with no road, nothing to stop them. Sadly no, we did not test our van on the flats; we want to keep the baby going without straining its engine. It would have been fun though…
We drove out of Utah and into a tiny corner of Nevada. Billboard after billboard greeted us with invitations to casinos. We stopped for the night in a rinky dink Hotel and Casino in the tiny town of Jackpot. The Idaho border is across the street. They gave us a room, far from the noise, for only $30.00. It was clean and very nice and had free Wi-Fi.
Southern Idaho is sage brush country, miles of unused land. We could see snow-covered mountains far in the distance. As we travelled north, there were more and more ranches and eventually crop farmers.
On the other side of the path was a shopping plaza with an Outdoor Warehouse. We went in to browse and John found himself a new hat. I could not resist the shopping and ended up with a few new things myself.
As we drove through town, we stopped to make a left turn. A car stopped and started backing up. We could see two boys, one laying on the ground. After a brief stop, the car took off. The boy was on his bike and was struck by the car. Someone called 911. The boys got back on their bike, and rode off, both on the same bike. The police arrived so we had to give them as many details as we could. They set off looking for both the boys and the driver of the hit and run. Our job done, we headed out of town.
Volcanic eruptions two thousand years ago spread lava over seventy-five square miles. We drove through the “scenic” loop aghast. After so much of nature’s beauty, we saw the other side of nature. The terrible destruction.
Some plants grow in the rocky remains. They battle the elements to survive. The temperature soars to 150 F in the summer when the sun heats the lava. In the winter the temperature drops well below freezing as the area is at a high elevation. We could feel the temperature drop as evening came. The sunset over the ugly lava was wonderful and lightened our spirits once more.