Tuesday, July 23, 2019

Flat Out Amazing

          Most of you know that I spent a good hunk of my childhood in Utah. And one of the things Utah is known for is its famous Bonneville Salt Flats, where race cars of all descriptions have set land-speed records as they have zoomed across brilliant white fields of sparkling salt.
          And, of course, it lures the rest of us in, too. In one of the many trips we’ve made to Utah from California, we decided to take our family sedan on a spin or two across the famous terrain we’d seen on television.
          But wait. It’s not exactly what you think. First of all, while it is indeed 90% table salt, it’s not as if this is the soft stuff you keep in the kitchen, sprinkled across a glassy surface. 
          It’s crusty. It’s hard. It’s in globs. And your tires fling this stuff up into the undercarriage of your car where it will defy science for months.
          How does it do this? By never coming off. Even if you spray wash it, thinking salt will surely dissolve in water, it does not. It clings to your fenders and axle and everything else under there, until you chisel it off. Salt can accelerate the rusting process of the metal it clings to, so there’s also that.
          Oh, and should you decide to step out onto the flats, the salt will cling to your shoes like glue. Lumpy, crystalized glue.
          Another little-known factoid about these sneaky flats is that the surface can conceal huge mud quagmires that can engulf a truck. That’s right, a truck. The same thing happens in the Sahara Desert.
          Did I mention you should bring sunglasses? I know a thing or two about bright glare, having grown up skiing on Utah’s powdery ski slopes, and white salt is equally blinding.
          So there you have it. A tourism guide that can protect you from head to toe, and all your cars in between.
Here’s some cool info about the salt we actually eat—check out my Youtube Mom video here.

No comments:

Post a Comment