Thursday, August 2, 2007

Across the Flats

Today we rode across the salt flats of Western Utah to West Wendover, Nevada. I used to think that Kansas was flat, until I had to ride my bike across it, but Western Utah is FLAT in fact it is so flat that it is one of the few places that you can actually see the curvature of the Earth. Plus apparently crazy things have happened in Utah over the years for example:

An artist decided to erect a giant 'tree' along I-80 in the middle of no where. I use the term tree loosely as it is more of a giant concrete pole with some tennis balls attached. Most of the locals we talked too think the thing is hideous, but it stands still looming over I-80 and the salt flats.

Wendover/West Wendover sits on the Utah-Nevada border and as our destination of the day was packed with interesting things. Wendover has a long history in auto racing, gambling and the military. It is also home to a few major landmarks such as Will a giant cowboy who greets you at the edge of town.

Also a distinctive point of the city is the all important state line which in this case is actually painted on the road and the casinos really push to the edge of the Nevada line.

Another important step for the country that occurred in Wendover was the completion of the transcontinental telephone line. The last splice was made in Wendover and a monument to it stands today in front of the Montego Bay Casino:

As for the ride day, it was uneventful from the standpoint of scenery, just a lot of flat and salt, but the entire group was plagued by flats. Since we are riding along the shoulder of I-80 the little steel wires that normally make up the belts in semi tires before the treads litter the side of the road seem to want to return to a rubber environment and cause slow leaks that one often doesn't notice till a few miles later. Hopefully tomorrow will bring less flats as it is a 'short' day into Wells, NV at slightly under 60 miles. This also means a late wakeup call :).

Till Elko or so.


1 comment:

Julius said...

I saw that "tree" when I was driving from Berkeley to MIT!