Driving Faster Than God on Utah’s Disappearing Salt Flats
For one hundred years, land-speed records have fallen here. Now, the question isn’t how fast they can go, but how much longer this ecological wonder will even exist.
Photos by Kim Raff
Since 1949, generations of speed demons have gathered along the salt flats of what was once Lake Bonneville, Utah, where an annual cycle of flooding in the winter months and evaporation in the dry summer has formed a dense surface of salt crystals and minerals. It’s a place so flat and wide that you can see the curve of the earth’s surface, making it perfect, when conditions are right, to drive faster than anywhere else on earth. The crowds come here for the record-breaking time trials of Speed Week. It’s a place for legends in waiting. But since 2013 – the last time before this year that Speed Week took place – there has been a lot of waiting.
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