Not many pictures going across the central part of Utah.  The most notable occurrence was Trev seeing an eagle right along the road going over a pass between Loa and Sigurd on Utah 24.  I blew right past it, he went back to get pictures, and didn't get any, but saw another eagle too.

Found a great Mexican store in Santaquin, we spent all the money we could there.... lots of good hot spicy things, a better selection than at home even.

West through Elberta and Eureka.  Many moons ago, I (tried to) ride in the first Eureka Grand Prix, one of those desert races that combines a loop through town (which amuses the townfolk and gives the racers a chance to actually be seen riding).  Well, I was in shorts and forgot my leathers, so when my buddy changed into his, I used his long pants.  Great.  Then come the start, first gear brrrrrrpppp!... second gear... second gear.... no second gear.  Broke innards, my race lasted about 50 yards.  But what do you expect of a highly modified AT125 Yamaha enduro that's been thrashed to within an inch of its life, many times?

North on 36 past Vernon, a green spot in a bigbigbig dry valley.  I bet it's a very cohesive community.  It'd have to be.

Going north towards the junction of 36 and 199, we started noticing weird , pretty-new telephone poles with strange canisters on top.  It didn't take long to realize they were air-sniffers surrounding the Tooele Army Depot, a repository for chemical weapons and other nasty things you don't want to know about.  If there's any kind of release, they want to know right away... even if it is too late.

I spent my Army time just west of there, at Dugway Proving Grounds, 65th Platoon Military Police. We didn't do much besides man the gates and rattle door knobs in the middle of the night.  It was 1971, and our shift Sargeant evaded the draft by going to Canada, got caught up there with stems and seeds, got forced back into the US Army, and the Army's intelligence and aptitude tests put him into the Military Police.  Go Figure.

But I had a good time, learned about dirt bikes, helped form the Dugway Motocross Team (sponsored by the Welfare and Morale Program, so we'd show up at races in an olive-drab Army van).  And there's lots and lots of desert riding around there.

Anyway, I'd been past there a couple times since, but not recently. 

This is the road across Skull Valley, about 10 miles of dead-straight two-lane, ending at the Main Gate.

The Main Gate used to be tiny, a small building with a carport-like wing on either side. It's rumored that there may have been motorcyclists who, when their buddy was the guard in the middle of the night, turned off their lights some distance out and (being a dead straight road) held steady and flashed through the well-lit carport at something like 70 miles per hour.  Just rumors. 

 

Anyway, now the gate seems to be a major national security site, lots of barb wire, porticos over the carports, lots of buildings, inspection areas, nobody shootin' the gate in the middle of the night, guaranteed.

But I couldn't help but take a (discreet, as I didn't want to get 'detained' for questioning as to why I was photographing the place) photo of these signs.

Perhaps the thing that floored me the most was a very large Mormon/LDS church right there outside the Main Gate.

Remember, this place is in a very remote desert valley, about 40 miles from the nearest small town, and 70 miles from Salt Lake City.

 

 

Dugway has a pretty small population, so I'm a bit befuddled by this. I think if everybody on the post came out, they'd still be rattling around in there.

I was really struck by the size of it all, but mostly by the stark contrast between the place and its surroundings.  Carefully mowed (and heavily watered) lawns in contrast to the immense brown valley.  The iron fence surrounding it, guarding it from... what?

Wild off-duty MP's on motorcycles? To keep Mother Nature out?

If anyone reads this and has a clue, please let me know.

 

Anyway, there are lots more Dugway stories, some of which could even be told.

But not here.....

Onward to Bonneville. 

 

 

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