Biking to Wendover and Bonneville Salt Flats

The best thing about loving where you live is loving the novelties and unique landscapes it has to offer.  I've been in and lived in a lot of places, both in and out of the States, and I've never been anywhere more filled to the brim with geological goodies, strange towns, interesting historical locations, and just plain beauty, than Utah (probably why Utah is known as "The Land of Contrast.") I've written about the Bonneville Salt Flats before, and visit them relatively often.  Chase and I decided on a quick and cheap getaway for mid-summer.  It was fantastic!

Before I had the opportunity to ride on a bike I didn't really get bike culture (despite my parents being huge bikers) or why seeing the gorgeous west was so much better on two wheels instead of four.  A short overnight trip to Wendover later and I totally, totally get it.  You just feel like you're part of the landscape, you can see so many details that you miss in a car.  Also, if you're me, you spend 1/4 of the trip imagining the horrific death you'll experience when you skid across the interstate like a rock on a pond (I am an EMT okay? I just visualize gory things) For our first short tour, Wendover was the perfect idiosyncrasy.  It's everything you want in the state border of Utah and Nevada: cheap motels, cheap casinos, cheap liquor, and all the pizzazz of the gambling life, looming over the dark and empty state line of Utah, which has little to offer in terms of night life fun, but boasts those magnificent Salt Flats bastards a few miles to the east. What a strange place.  What a fun trip.  

In all seriousness, I can now truly say that biking is the way for me.  I have always loved this state and its geology, beauty, mesmerizing landscapes, and everything the road has to offer; if it comes to it I'll still take as many road trips as possible in my little Fiesta, Luis Sera, but the bike ride was just amazing and is now my preferred method of travel.  I didn't get photos of our excursion minus the Salt Flats, because to me that area is absolutely sacred and so sublime I'll never leave without taking 900 photos of it--but I was honestly enjoying myself so much in Wendover that I didn't even think to bring my camera or pull out my phone.  After an amazing sunset ride into town, with a ghostly pause on the side of the road by the flats and all their quiet loveliness, we ate at the Red Garter and had a few drinks before turning in...114 miles is a lot for beginner bike road trippers  I did point Chase to drive up and around Wendover Will, because why go to Wendover if you don't tour the strip? (haha)

Things I learned on this trip:

  • You just can't have good hair and wear a helmet.  It's not going to happen.
  • Trucks are scary as hell while riding on the interstate. So are potholes.
  • You can sunburn through a helmet visor.
  • A Marine vet and a loudmouth southern patriot are an awkward combination for a security guard who won't hold up a fallen flag until it's taken down.  
  • A long island iced tea is not just a girly drink (I maintain it looks and sounds like one.)
  • Digital blackjack is just as addicting as Fallout: New Vegas blackjack.
  • Biking is amazing but you'll need an ass massage after a long ride.  
  • Utah is even more impossibly gorgeous from the back seat of a bike.
  • A great partner makes all the difference when roaming around the desert.
Can't wait for the next trip! 

1 comment :

  1. This sounds incredible. I used to help out an old boss who sold guidebooks at motorcycle shows and I've been interested in bike culture since, but somehow I've still had the chance to ride on a bike myself. One day.