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Old 03-13-2016, 08:12 PM   #1
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Wendover, Utah

I headed to Wendover, Utah/West Wendover, Nevada for a photography lecture on shooting the night sky, and more specifically, the Milky Way. Iíve done a little shooting at night but donít have much experience. A photographer out of Salt Lake was lecturing on techniques and following the lecture the group was going to do a photo shoot in the desert, south of town.

Iíve only driven through the area once but never stopped. I arrived early and immediately went out to the Bonneville Salt Flats located just outside of Wendover about 4 miles. The Salt Flats were covered with a thin layer of water that went on for miles. There was no wind so the water was perfectly still and reflective. It was overcast so the light was pretty flat but it was amazing and beautiful. I donít think Iíve ever seen so much flatness in one spot.

I immediately took a pano looking northwest to northeast. This is a 7 shot pano. The small land mass you can see just to the right of the center of the photo is called ĎFloating Islandí. The range to the left are the Silver Island Mountains. The race track begins just behind and to the right of where Iím standing and heads directly for Floating Island. Floating Island is approximately 15 miles out from where Iím standing. The map shows the straight track at 10 miles long. I guess they need the final 5 miles to come to a stop after breaking speed records.





The YURT. Floating Island is just above the hood. You can see my new solar panel mounted on the front of the penthouse.






After the lecture we had an opportunity to photograph the Enola Gay Hangar. The Enola Gay was the B-29 Bomber that carried the first atomic bomb that was dropped on Hiroshima. The plane was stationed at Wendover prior to leaving for the Pacific Theater. The Air Force base, just south of town, is run down and not kept up at all. There is a group that is restoring the old hangar and itís about halfway complete.

The photographer we were with arranged with security for permission to go beyond the fence line and get a little closer to the hangar. We were hoping for better, more interesting skies but you take what you can get. This picture was taken just before 1:00 in the morning. The lights reflected on the right side of the building and in the cloud is from the town of Wendover, more specifically, the casinos of West Wendover, Nevada.






Due to the overcast skies we were not able to get any pictures of the night sky or the Milky Way so the trip out to the desert ended up being a waste of time. I drove back to the Salt Flats and boondocked nearby. After about 1 Ĺ hours of sleep I drove the 3 miles out into the Flats for sunrise. There is a paved road, 3 miles long, about a mile off I-80 that heads east out into the Salt Flats and then dead ends in a large turn around.

Sunrise from the turn around.





Looking Southwest back toward Wendover.





The YURT in early morning light.





Looking due West down the road that takes you out to the Flats. The town of Wendover can be seen in the lower left of the picture.





Looking West-Southwest





Looking West-Northwest





Looking North-Northeast out over the Salt Flats. Floating Island is the small, dark land mass on the far right side. The Silver Island Mountains are center and to the left.





I grabbed a couple of hours sleep back at my boondocking spot and then headed home through Northern Nevada, across the Northwest corner of Utah and into Idaho. Iíve never been along this route. It is a very remote and lonely highway. I stopped at City of Rocks for dinner and then the last two hours to Pocatello.

It was a great trip. Learned a few things in class and got to see and photograph the Bonneville Salt Flats.

I would like to go back and see the cars make their runs this summer. It sounds like it gets pretty busy in August and into September when the official races take place. You canít camp on the Flats but there are plenty of boondocking spots nearby.

Hope you enjoy the pictures.

Mike
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Old 03-13-2016, 09:28 PM   #2
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Wow. Skylicious. Thanks so much for sharing.
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Old 03-13-2016, 10:28 PM   #3
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You just added another place to my list. Thanks.
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Old 03-13-2016, 10:37 PM   #4
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Great photos, thanks for sharing.
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Old 03-14-2016, 12:06 AM   #5
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Great photos. How did the panel work?

TexGX
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Old 03-14-2016, 04:14 AM   #6
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Amazing sense of light and space. The pictures left me wanting more. Definitely plan to visit the flats one day. Well done.
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Old 03-14-2016, 06:12 AM   #7
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great pix mike, thanks for sharing! brings back some good memories

havent been to wendover in a long time, so really cool to see a pic of that hangar. scca used to hold pro solo events at that airbase. was really nice in the summer to be able to go into the hangar(s) to escape the sun. was there still thousands of dollars worth of expensive race rubber still on the runway??
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Old 03-14-2016, 03:36 PM   #8
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Looks much more wet than when VivaLaVida visited that place...
Nice pictures by the way...
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Old 03-14-2016, 05:23 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TexGX View Post
Great photos. How did the panel work?

TexGX
The panel is great! I didn't use a lot of juice on this trip, but I don't think my battery went below 12.7 v. It's neat to leave the control panel on the amps read out and see what the solar panel is putting out. Even with overcast skies I still get some amps out of it. It's going to be a good upgrade.

Thank you everyone for the picture comments. I had fun Saturday morning doing a little photo shoot with the SMB out on the Flats. I had some pretty good skies to work with that made the SMB look even better.

Mike
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Old 03-15-2016, 09:23 AM   #10
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Nice report, Mike, and wonderful imaging. Nice to see another real photographer among us.
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