The roads between Salt Lake City and Las Vegas are pretty barren, no matter which route you take. Miles and miles of sagebrush-and-grass plains, distant mountain ranges, and occasionally some low mountains polka-dotted with cedar trees. It’s not difficult to look at all of that open range and imagine what it must have been like to cross the desert on horseback, wagon, or even on foot.
As usual, click any photo for a bigger view.
Our neighbor, Gary, shows a much more modern way to travel. And on highways like these, it’s a great motorcycle trip.
Taking I-15 all the way down is about a 6-hour drive by car. The route we took through Nevada is about 60 miles longer, so you add another hour. But when we’re not in a hurry, it’s a much more pleasant way to go. Ely provides a stopping point about halfway, so you can grab a lunch. For a quick bite, there’s Arby’s, McDonalds, Subway or Taco Time by the Motel 6. But when we’re staying overnight in Ely, or have more time to spare, we like to eat at the Hotel Nevada, the Jailhouse Casino‘s steak house, or the Silver State Restaurant, a diner which serves up a pretty mean breakfast. I especially like their sausage and eggs – big, fat, delicious sausage patties. Or you can try one of their famous Elk burgers. (No, I haven’t.)
And believe it or not, Ely (population around 4000) even has it’s own knitting shop. Or so the sign says. I didn’t dare go in. I can just imagine.
Otherwise, there’s not much to see along the way besides Joshua Trees, sagebrush, and some interesting rock formations in the southern part of the state. But there wasn’t a cloud in the sky. Well, just this one:
But I do always like it when we get near Wendover, and start seeing the salt flats – that’s the whitish streak going along the middle of the next photo:
I’ve never been out to the Bonneville Speedway, or really seen much of the main salt flats other than this view from the road. But you can get an idea of what it’s like as you travel between Wendover and Salt Lake City on I-80, as well as get a look at the mildly famous “tree” in the desert. And as you get near Tooele (pronounced “too-ILL-a”), there was a great view of a salt pond. That stuff that looks like ice on a lake is the salt, left behind by evaporating water:
But, as always, there’s nothing like coming home.