Utah: Bonneville Speedway
I previously wrote about the Bonneville Salt Flats, but Bonneville Speed Week is something a little more. And although this was my first time going, it certainly won't be my last. In fact, it's one of the things I promised Matt at our wedding — to support his love for Bonneville Speed Week. And so I did.
At the end of August, we drove up to Bonneville. We were only able to make it for a day and a half, but it was enough for me to understand how Speed Week works. I'm not as passionate about cars as Matt is, but I could still appreciate all the hard work the teams put in to race the cars and see how fast they can go. And it was really amazing to watch the cars line up, and one by one take off from the start line.
One of the best parts was camping near the flats (no reservation needed) and watching "The World's Fastest Indian" with Matt and our friend Adam who came with us. It would have been smart to bring more padding for our sleeping bag because the ground was hard and I didn't necessarily wake up at dawn a super happy camper. But once we were packed up and headed toward the racers, the sun started to come up and the sky just became this brilliant cotton candy of colors and my mood lifted. With just the salt and the horizon, it was almost like watching it rise above the ocean. Absolutely incredible.
Matt told me that in French, Bonneville means "Good city" which somehow made it even more appealing to me. Although it's pretty small, there's a town next to it called Wendover that's right at the borderline of Nevada and has a casino and a really good Mexican restaurant called Salt Flats Cafe. In addition, there's an airport nearby with a tower to climb, an old plane to look in, and a museum right next to it.
See below for the whole experience:
Some things to note: a friend was concerned about the emissions from the cars and the environmental effect. While I don't know specifically about each car emission, there were some cars that ran off of seaweed and emitted a lot of black smoke at the start, so I'm not sure smoke is a solid indication of friendliness? Obviously minimal to no pollution in general would be optimal. On another note of environment though — there is a debate that the nearby mining company is depleting the Bonneville Salt Flats. Just thought I should mention if you're interested. Also, if you do go to Bonneville and drive on the flats, make sure to wash the salt off afterwards.