I wanted- no, needed another bikepacking trip before the snow. Threw together a quick overnighter just outside of Wendover, UT. Between low-end desert casinos and the Bonneville Salt Flats lay the Silver Island mountains, with Floating Island right next door. My plan was to do a figure-eight around the island with a side trip over a causeway seen on Google Maps to camp on Floating Island. Being an isolated mountain range with one road around it I forsook Navigation Devices. Just need to look for a left turn somewhere around 30 miles. The satellite photos made it look so clear. Oddly enough, things don’t always look the appear with the same clarity at ground level.
The road around the Silver Island Mountains is a National Backcountry Byway. This would not be sweet singletrack but a graded dirt and gravel road in the hard unforgiving landscape that is the west desert. The perfect foil for my soft, in-need-of-forgiveness level of fitness.
See that red circle below? Surrounding the dark, straight line of a causeway juxtaposed so clearly against the salt pan that is Bonneville Salt Flats? How does one miss a causeway, which usually takes the form of a raised roadway surrounded by dark basketball-sized rocks with a clearly-defined two-track, narrowing as it recedes into the distance.
That yellow star? A close look in the middle shows a road. That road connects to the causeway. I saw that ‘road’. I disregarded that ‘road’. Faint, overgrown, hiding behind a low berm and retreating exactly back in the direction that I just came from. Well, now I know how to get there and that it’ll add closer to twenty miles round trip.