I love old things, and older people for that matter. I thoroughly enjoy listening to the stories that my elders tell of times gone by and their experiences. I love their wrinkled faces that give physical evidence of the life they have lived. My favourite is eyes all crinkled from laughter, smiles and sunshine. I also enjoy the stories that antique items tell in their own rusty and timeworn way. I have a slight addiction to antique fire extinguishers for some reason and also to old cars. The picture above is me and my little shadow Georgia (if great danes can be called little) at 7 in the morning after we unloaded my 31 Model A from the trailer that delivered it late at night. I think I threw a hoody on over my pyjamas and ran outside to look at it and placed my hands on it. I put my hands on a lot of things to feel the energy of them and in some ways I think that the items become a part of me, as if I can absorb their history through my hands. If that truck could talk!
The Model A arrived not too long after we returned from our trip to the Bonneville Salt Flats for the land speed races. I had never been to the salt flats before and had no idea what to expect. The salt flats are a short drive from the lights, sounds, and throngs of people at the casinos in Nevada to a white covered world that reminded me of the moon. There are no animals, plants or insects on the salt, at least none that you can see. It is barren and beautiful and if you ever get the chance to visit during the summer I highly recommend it. In the winter the salt is covered in water and looks like a large lake. In the summer it transforms into a white wonderland that draws racers from all over the world hoping to break land speed records. This area is so flat that you can sometimes see the curvature of the earth as you look across the salt to the distant mountains.
There is something about this place that seems to become part of your blood and the people who frequent the salt call it salt fever. I am not normally an overly emotional person, but the day we said our goodbyes to the people we met and the place itself I cried like a baby. I did not want to leave. For anyone who has been there they know that my words only scratch the surface of what goes on here. There is a bonding that happens with the salt and the people. Everyone is friendly and helpful and there does not seem to be much of that us and them attitude that is part of most car gatherings and races. People are just as excited to see the rusty old cars that don’t look like they could run let alone be driven hundreds, if not thousands, of miles as they are to see the race cars that people have put hundreds of thousands of dollars into for the chance to race. There were speed records broken, dreams dashed, friends made and old friends reunited in a place that calls you back time and time again.
My guy has been going there for years as a race spectator. Some years he drives from Vancouver Island to Wendover, Utah only to discover that the races have been cancelled because the conditions on the salt are not suitable. One year it was still covered in water and on another year it was just a big mud pit. I am so thankful that the conditions were perfect for my introduction to the Salt Flats. In 2017 we will be there again but this time my guy Shawn will be behind the wheel of his own 1955 Studebaker racing across the salt in search of the speed record in his class. I will have my ear on the radio so I can hear his speed called out for the mile markers over the noise of the engines at the start line. I can’t be in the race car with him as he flies across the salt but my heart will be. I have a feeling that the salt from my happy tears will hit the ground and i will also become part of that place forever.
Love you all