Talking about straight roads...Driving to the Salt is quite some experience. You expect to see so many things that you have read about and that were prepared in the course of 3 years. Even the biggest preparation can not make you ready for what is awaiting you. You drive for miles through deserted area whereby a kind of prairie and semi-salt flats are alternating the road. Arriving there is almost mythical. One of the Team members called is that he was waiting at the Salt Flat restaurant. This place breathes speed. You can feel the many racers that came to visit this place. At arrival it started raining and we could see some further rain clouds on the sky. At leaving the restaurant we turned onto the road that was leading to the Salt Speedway. The idea was to set up the tents and the pit. When we were allowed on the Salt it became clear that the hot weather of the previous days turned into cold rainy weather.
At this sign we did expect to see hot bright sunshine (picture Joe Jarick)
We started driving on the salt toward the pit area. We soon found out that this is indeed one of the few places on the planet where you can see nothing and feel completely lost. Even accurate directions from Joe with directions on the compass made us feel like we were on the North Pole without any compass or feel for direction. In the meantime the weather turned even worse. Rain came pouring out the sky in mass and the wind was stormlike.
Endless plain salt that looked more like a lake than a hard surface
Setting up a tent in this kind of conditions was impossible and made us more sad by the minute. The high quality salt that was there some days ago started to change into a lake. The puddles became deeper by the minute and soon no salt was to be seen. It made no sense to even think setting up the pit could be realized. Off to the Rainbow Hotel where the Team is staying. As this is the backyard of Reno and Las Vegas, the hotel was inspired by the Casino bling bling that is to be seen in there. It was an almost impossible task to find the lift to the hotel room. After about 100 Jackpots and other interesting gambling games the lift was found.
Having checked in the reality stroke... tomorrow morning the Race committee will decide on the race schedule. the determining factors will be how much rain came down from the mountains and how much can the salt handle. Furthermore the conditions of the weather will determine how much can be sucked up or vaporize. All the years of preparation could be wiped out by an amount of rain that equals the statistical months of rainfall. Tomorrow morning we will know more...
I knew what I was asking for as a Birthday Present!
14 September 2009