Apparently there is a fine line between purity and sin, and incase your moral compass doesn’t know where it is, they’ve drawn it on the road for you in Wendover. We are at the Bonneville Motel tonight just on the outskirts of the world famous, Bonneville Salt Flats. We had planned to visit there today, but yet another windy ride and a few other small delays made the day a little longer than expected.
After leaving Nampa this morning we had a pretty easy ride on the I84. We made a quick stop in Hammett, where there was only one road and one gas bar which, of course, was closed. Oh yes – Easter Sunday! Let ye forget, we were reminded where we are. We made due with a lunch of protein bars that have tagged along, and I peed behind a shack on the side of the road. Classy.
At this point, we were both getting pretty sick of riding on the big highways. It was a relief to change pace and get on HWY 30. The only trouble with that route was that it was again hella windy. We’re quickly learning that seasons changing here means that still air becomes a bully. I was not in the mood to battle it out, but I finally just surrendered to Mother Nature and made a game of it. On the plus side, I am now very accustomed to blasting gales on a little bike. On the downside, we both have wind burn on our faces even though we are wearing full face helmets. After several hours of relentless winds driving against you, it starts to suck the moisture from your face. We look pretty ridiculous right now and are blending in with the other red-faced patrons of every petrol station.
Soon the road took a more south-easterly course and the pounding winds died down significantly. By this time,we had just crossed into Nevada and started to make our way through the desert. It was brown, vast and beautiful. In the distance you could see dust devils and tumbleweeds. We were feeling good and making up time until Rick noticed that his controls were saying the bike was redlining at 7000 rpms. It didn’t sound like it was, but the little red warning light came on. Not good! We putted along to keep the revs down and decided to pull over to troubleshoot. Which really meant we had no fucking clue what was wrong and consulted Google. We checked all the usual suspects: coolant, oil, and leaks. Nothing. So the plan was to keep going slowly if we had too until we got to the next town. Nothing left to do but pee on the side of the road and wait for the vultures to circle above casting shadows on our sullen faces. We had dehydrated food after all.
Then by some miracle we pulled back onto the road and everything was totally fine. Our conclusion is that something is wonky with the bike’s computer. Once we get a chance to connect with a BMW service center and get a diagnostic we will – probably, maybe. Until then, we shall carry on.
We finally got to Wells, NV where we fueled up and Rick bought a hat. Be prepared, this hat is going to be in many many photos to come. I think it makes him look like an Amish farmer, but he feels like a real vagabond with it attached to the bike with his shiny cup. I’m going to have to figure out what my calling card for this trip will be.
We had an hour more to go to get to Wendover, UT where we could break for the day and took the I80 due East, sailing along. Amazing vistas only outdone by tarmac with barely any traffic, no wind, and wide open road for miles and miles (we’re using the imperial system now). Before we knew it we crested at the top of a hill and down below were the vast white salt flats gleaming in the sun. We’ve both never experienced anything like it, it felt more like arriving into an Arabian desert oasis – or mirage if you’d like. Wendover sits at the bottom of the hill and borders both Nevada and Utah. Naturally, there is a strip of casinos here, the last one borders the state line. There was no place to eat but the casino, so we settled on The Tropicana and indulged in 35% satisfactory* gourmet Italian food experience. If you decide that our recommendation is suitable, be warned: no matter what you order they ask you if you want parmesan cheese on it. Buon appetito!
Ok, that brings me to the end of this leg of the journey. We’re cozied up for the night with plans to see the salt flats bright an early tomorrow as we head for Moab. We’re super excited for our upcoming glamping experience and day off.
Sarah + Ricardo
*our rating system