Live Trip Map Day 9: August 23, 2009
Utah 2
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It wasn't raining when I left the motel but it had been and would be soon. I had planned a side trip to Saltair but that wasn't necessary since all traffic on UT-201 was detoured toward the lake. It was raining pretty good by this time so I just grabbed a couple of pictures and moved on. August 23,1999
I was really in a Route 66 frame of mind by the time I reached Miami, Oklahoma, where I drove -- very slowly -- over one of the nearby nine foot wide sections of 1920s pavement. A picture I took that same day with a film camera has been on the home page of this site for quite awhile and was used as set dressing in the 2005 movie Elizabethtown.

I'd been toying with the idea of a side trip to Fisher Pass. I decided to go for it as I approached Grantsville and turned south. This pass is on the early alignment that leads to the Goodyear Cutoff and which eventually lost out to the route through Wendover. Dedication of a monument to Carl Fisher is scheduled to take place here on October 3. The area is freshly paved in anticipation though I saw no evidence of the monument itself.

The third and fourth picture are, respectively, the west and east bound views from the pass. I resisted the temptation to head down the west side but later realized that I was less than ten miles from the historic Orr's Ranch and could have visited for a small investment of time. The rain had ceased by the time I reached the pass and I removed the car's top while parked on that nice new asphalt.

Back on my planned route, I learned that the Donner-Reed Museum is open only by appointment. A phone number, promising a five minute response, is posted and I was sorely tempted. But I think I was feeling a little guilty about my twenty-five mile side trip to the empty Fisher Pass so I didn't call.

As I drove out of Grantsville on a very nice bit of old alignment, I could smell rain in the air and took advantage of the quiet roadside to close the car. That was well timed as rain drops hit within minutes and shortly after that I was on I-80 for the 75 mile expressway run to Wendover.

About twenty miles into that run, I saw a white cloud up ahead that seemed to be rising from the ground. Moments later, brake lights came on in front of me. That cloud was somehow been associated with an accident. I snapped that first picture through the windshield as I pulled over and stopped. I jumped out and, along with the couple in the car in front of me, ran forward. Others had been there well ahead of us and the truck's driver was laying, bloody and in pain but alive, on the shoulder. A fellow identified as an "off duty officer" was with him and had somewhat taken control of the situation. Several people had called 911.

Although I ran from my car with good intentions and a willingness to help, I'm certainly glad that others, better qualified than I, were on the scene. I'm not at all confident I would have been very helpful. I returned to my car for my camera and took the last two pictures after I knew I was just one of the spectators. Everything but some small pieces of debris had been removed from the left hand land and traffic was starting to move around the wreck. I joined it.

The Bonneville Salt Flats are just off of I-80 near Wendover and I certainly wanted a look. A paved road leads to the flats then ends with just a sign. I took some pictures and prepared to leave when I saw a car approaching from out on the flats. Another car had arrived on the road and it now headed out on the salt. When it returned, I pulled out. There were plenty of reasons not to do this but it seemed like an opportunity I'd regret missing. I didn't go far and I didn't go fast. It was just enough to be able to say I did it. There are no markings and the surface where I was wasn't particularly smooth. About a half mile out, I turned around and headed back. I guessed my top speed around 60 MPH and the GPS recorded 58. The last "picture" plays or leads to (double click) a video, also available here, of this uneventful run.

I found and photographed Wendover Will in the rain then, after fording a few streets, headed toward Ely, Nevada.

The route of the Lincoln Highway to Ely is now US-93. Remnants of the old pavement occasionally run along the current road and both Garmin and DeLorme allowed me to plot a route over them. It was a route I chose not to follow. The rain came and went, the clouds moved about and danced with the mountains, and I had an extremely enjoyable drive.

The Hotel Nevada was quite posh when built in 1929 and was the tallest building in Nevada for a couple of decades. The third picture is the view from my room. Note, from the interior composite, that games of chance are not limited to the casino area. Can you guess where my room is?

This is the oldest brothel in Nevada which, I'm happy to report, I was able to patronize with a $4.00 purchase. Plus a one dollar tip.

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