Crossing the Nevada Desert

It was about a 4 hour drive across the desert heading for Elko-just past mid way.  I was surprised that there were scanty traces of civilization all along the interstate.  There were a few ranches, some very small communities, the odd house dotted along, but mostly the land is BLM-public land (Bureau of Land Management).  We drove along the interstate which in places had an 85 MPH speed limit which seems very fast.

Elko was quite a large city with a population of about 20,000.  It sits on the Humboldt River so there is water!  Actually, that river runs parallel to the interstate just about the whole way.  There were a few RV parks to choose from at Elko but all close together-we chose the Iron Horse.  It was a very nice park but as the name suggests it was near a railway line.  Sometimes these railway lines are no longer used, or used very infrequently so it makes no difference to stay beside them, but this one was busy.  We had trains honking through all night-how do the locals get used to it?  Neither of us slept particularly well.  Even with ear plugs the honk gets through!

The next day we left Elko for Salt Lake City in Utah.  The drive from Elko was surprisingly interesting.  The topography became more mountainous and dramatic and then we drove through the Bonneville Salt flats, an area we have seen often on TV with motorbike racing etc.  It was a very interesting environment, the salt looked so much like ice or snow in places.

The Great Salt Lake in SLC used to be part of the Bonneville Salt flats as one huge lake, one of the biggest lakes in the US outside of the Great Lakes area.  The huge lake basin is salty because it gets fed by 4 mineral rich rivers that deposit their minerals but the lake area can’t drain so dries only by evaporation, creating an ever increasing salty residue.  In places crystals’ like aragonite form, infact there are places along the interstate with such names.

We were happy to arrive at the Pony Express RV park which isn’t in the best part of SLC, we are on the industrial side, but the park is very nice with a most welcome swimming pool area and a cycle track runs right along the park, the Jordan River Parkway Trail which is a 40 mile paved track that runs along the river.

A swim, a beer and time to chill out after a few days on the road.