Hamilton – Salt Lake City – West Wendover
LADAKH MEETS RAJASTHAN
Today was the day when we knew in our hearts was all about driving and riding. Over 900 kms to cover and not a great view or an amazing sunset in sight. There was an air of dullness and the fact that we were at a point in our trip that the only place to look forward to were the Bonneville flats and the Death Valley. So the idea was to shut the visor and start riding. Now as we set off a little early in the morning around 930 after having a nice American breakfast consisting of toast, juice, yogurt and some pastries. We were off first to cover up yesterdays left over distance to Salmon and then ride through Idaho again and enter Utah. So it started with some twisties and then just another 100 miles we entered a land that reminded us of Ladakh. It was the same dry mountains with straight roads and distances you can see till 10 miles ahead. Sunny at this point almost jumped out of the bike, flipped out his camera and there we were clicking our way through the amazing landscape. I would rather not write more about what we saw there and let the pictures do the talking. Now as we went out of this valley we reached this ares where everything and yes I mean everything around us disappeared. We knew that we had come to the deadly straight roads part of our trip. I mean you could actually look ahead till about 40-50 kms and you would see the road in the distance. As we passed Atomic City we know why this place must have been worth blowing up so many times to test Atomic Bombs. And the landscape reminded me of something very interesting that Tom had said to me that when you reach Utah you will find there is ‘A lot of Nothing our there’. And so it was a whole lot of Nothing. The idea was then to keep riding as it started getting warmer as we went along and finally reached Salt Lake City. Though we did not get a chance to see the city as we had planned to stay on the outskirts which were nearer to Bonneville. WHERE THERE ARE NOT SPEED GUNS The next day was early and the idea was to hit mid-way to Las Vegas through the Grea Salt Lake and the Bonneville Salt Flats. Not for those of you who don’t know what Bonneville is should first wiki that as riders, racers, crazymen from all across America come to this 8 mile long concrete hard patch of the Salt Lake to test their bikes, cars and even jet propelled custom car-crafts. I mean this is the place where the land speed records on all kinds of machines are broken. The fastest Indian the movie was based on a guy who used to race here. And Discovery and National Geographic have had many a series on this part of the world. So finally we reached there after riding through a straight road of around 110 kms (yes 110 kms dead straight). The idea was to click, click and click in the Kutch of the west. And so we did even though we were told that the Bonneville flats were off limits unless we had booked them 3 months ago we found ourselves a place just before the flats to take our claim to fame of two of the fastest vehicles there were in production. It was just 4 pm and we decided against the idea of reaching Ely as it seemed there was again a lot of Nothing around it. And decided to stay at a Gambling town just on the border of Utah and Nevada. So we reached this small but very flashy town of West Wendover. An excerpt from wikipedia tells us why its called West Wendover and that Gambling after all is actually not that bad : “For years, West Wendover has thrived under a lucrative gambling industry in Nevada, which has generated tax revenue for city services and better schools. Meanwhile, just footsteps away, Wendover, Utah, has decayed with almost no business tax base. Residents in both cities have voted to annex Wendover into Nevada, saying they are one community that has been divided for too long. Both the State of Utah and the State of Nevada have endorsed the idea.” I put that quote up because the next place we were going to hit was the Gambling capital of the world. LAS VEGAS. And boy of boy do I have a lot to tell you about that place.