Travelogue: Sleeping On Another Planet In Bonneville Salt Flats


I’ve been looking lately for places that dislocate me, set me out sea, space, those regions beyond my regular senses. I’ve been embracing a drifting sort of lifestyle, and I think the strangeness of certain locations makes me feel more at home with myself. It’s alright to feel wild in such a wild place. I like letting my inner little wolf roam for awhile.

I’ve been obsessed with the idea of the Bonneville Salt Flats for years since seeing the movie, The World’s Fastest Indian, one of my father’s favorites. It’s out there in these sodium chloride expanses that drivers break world speed records on a daily basis. What a strange idea. Located just outside Salt Lake City on the Utah-Nevada border at the edge of the I-80 the flats are a desolate location that stretch for 30,000 acres. Dylan Gordon and I were en route from my life in Boise to my new residence in California, with a car packed full of what belongings I had left. And this was our first stop.


I was surprised by the texture of the salt, it’s crunch beneath my feet, it’s not entirely solid sort of quality, and how endless it stretched to the mountains in the distance. We arrived before sunset and watched the world change in shades of blues and pinks for the next hour or two. There was no one else for miles as far as we knew, no one else left on the planet it felt like.


When the sun went down we set up our tent on the flats, (which we learned later you’re not supposed to do.) A darker than darkness settled over everything and the ridge of the mountains disappeared. The noises of our world were all gone and it felt sort of like laying inside a sensory deprivation chamber. I could hardly see my hand in front of my face and I wandered around in the darkness like it might never end.

We slept in our tent listening to the howling winds, so hot even in the dead of night you sleep in your underwear. What a strange thing it always is to camp in a desert. We woke to a sunrise deserving of such a place, streaks of light in hot pinks, that made me question whether or not we were still on earth. If dislocated was what I was looking for, then surely I found it out there that night.

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