July 16 - Silver Island Mountains

Monday morning was spent following the road through the historic Donner-Reed pass, and around the backside (northwest) of the Silver Island Mountains. There were many "drill holes" marked on my topo maps, which usually looked something like the photo below when I tried to find them. This one says "SILVER ISLAND 150 FT NO WATER 6/29/77". I also ran across a cave up in the hillside (photographed from the inside looking out), and a strange little underground room with a recliner chair inside.

drill hole - SILVER ISLAND 150 FT NO WATER 6/29/77 (7/16 10:14 AM)looking out of cave up in the hillside (7/16 10:32 AM)strange little room, built half underground (7/16 11:04 AM)recliner chair inside (7/16 11:03 AM)

After driving back to Wendover, I tried to investigate Danger Cave, but it was closed off with steel bars. Instead, I drove up the steep switchbacks to the radio towers at the top of the hill 250m above, and took photos. See in Google Maps See on a USGS topographic map See in Google Earth 40.7537, -114.0198 

radio towers at top of hill (7/16 11:35 AM)salt flats (panorama) - looking southeast from radio tower peak (7/16 11:38 AM)

Heading East on Interstate 80 (the only road over the salt flats), I passed through Salt Lake City. There, I stopped in at a car wash to get the corrosive salt off my car. I noticed that the sunlight was unusually reddish, and that the air seemed smoggy. Driving south out of town, I found the reason - extensive brush fires.

washing the salt off (7/16 4:26 PM)brush fires south of Salt Lake City (7/16 5:11 PM)