“The Bend” At Bonneville Speed Week

This post was originally written for and appeared here, at hooniverse.com.

Everyone calls it “The bend”.  You can think of it as Burning Man for Gearheads.  What is it?  It’s a place where a portion of the throng of attendees camp during Speed Week.  The Bonneville Salt Flats are situated just a few miles from Wendover, Nevada but the hotels in town can’t hold all of the people that show up for this event.

The solution?  Camp along the road that leads out to the salt.

As you can see on the map, there is a road that will take you part way out on the salt.  From there, you exit the pavement and drive out across the great white plain.  Out on the salt, there aren’t really any rules, and cars may be coming at you from any direction, and pretty much any speed.  It’s a lot like driving a boat on a lake, you just have to watch all directions all the time.  I digress…

The bend is in an area where the ground is more of a dirt/clay makeup than the bright, white salt itself.  The whole area is presided over by the Bureau of Land Management, which allows for pretty much free usage.  (Though, in recent years, there have been rumors that the bend might get shut down.)  The result is a massive area of campers, hot rods, trailers, trucks and tents full of some of the most hardcore hot rodders in the world.

This year, there was a serious rainstorm on Friday night before the opening day of time trials.  Many of the assembled vehicles and trailers that arrived before the storm were stuck in the resulting mud.  You can see the muddy vehicle tracks in the photos.  Because of the storm, “the bend” wasn’t nearly as populated as it usual.

Still, there were some really cool vehicles and trailers out in that muddy mess.

All Images: [© 2012 Scott Ith, All Rights Reserved]

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