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Saturday, 10 July 2010

Day 6: WVC to Reno, Nevada

The next leg of our trip took us West on I-80 past the south end of the Great Salt Lake,  which from the end stretches to the horizon and could be mistaken for the Pacific Ocean but for the lack of waves.



The lake slowly receded from our view as we crossed a line of hills, and then we entered the Bonneville Salt Flats State Park. 







You need to look at a map to appreciate the vastness of the salt flats. It was like standing on a snowfield, except hot and salty. This area is used for measured mile speed records, and our route ran almost due West in a dead straight line for at least 30 miles crossing it.  The State Park has a rest stop with information boards, and people were walking out on the flats, so we did too. 



Behind Beth's head you can see the rest stop. We'd walked only a hundred yards from the stop, and our eyes were already getting sore from the glare and dryness, despite sunglasses. This was easily the least hospitable landscape we saw on our trip, supporting no life of any sort.



The damp salt forms a crust on your shoes, but the considerate authorities had provided a hose with nozzle to wash them. I really enjoy these considerate and convenient touches, which are so common in the US and seem so rare in the UK. Beth is holding a box containing some genuine salt flat salt.

Soon after leaving the salt flats we entered Nevada, and  I appear to have slept for a while, as the next thing I knew we had reached the Forty Mile Desert.








The lorry in the picture above is on the eastbound section of the I-80, while we are westbound. In between and beyond is the 40-mile Desert, with no water sources, and a major hurdle on the California Trail.


Some travellers have been on this road a long time.


Today' drive was over eight hours, but we benefitted from gaining back the hour we had lost heading East, allowing us to arrive in Reno with a few hours left to explore.

Thus we arrived in Reno, having crossed almost the entire state of Nevada with nothing particularly interesting to photograph, and booked into a Days Inn just off the I-80, for which we'd picked up a coupon back at the Bonneville Salt Flats in Utah. Our room was at the end of the 2nd floor (1st floor in Britspeak, you can see the open door. The temperature was still over 100, so we wilted into our shady room and took cool showers to revive.


In the slightly cooler early evening we took a walk Downtown, an area which straddles the Truckee River. As it was a Saturday evening people were splashing in the river and enjoying the shade and coolness, and we saw several people floating down the river on rafts. Even in the cool of the evening our 2-mile walk was hot and tiring, and we ate at a Denny's in sight of the Day's Inn for convenience.


Our Motel was off the southeast corner of this map.

1 comment:

  1. Those Salt Flats kind of redefine the typically understood parameters of "State Park" don't they?

    ReplyDelete

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