Metaphor: The Tree Of Utah

Metaphor: The Tree Of Utah

Driving through the barren salt flats of Utah on Interstate Highway 80 is a mesmerizing experience.  The flat barren landscape is like no other place on earth, so it is easy to drift off into a daydream while taking in the scenery while driving on this long straight road.  The salt flats extend as far as the eyes can see and the mountain peaks look like islands in a vast white ocean.  There are few signs of life in this desolate environment and it is rare to even see a bird flying overhead.  Only a few patches of hearty well adapted grass that has turned brown occasionally dots the flat landscape.  This salt crusted landscape is totally parched and void of life mile after mile, till the Tree Of Life comes into view!

Roadside oddities do have a way of attracting the attention of passers-by.  This is especially true in western states where there are plenty of wide open spaces.  Something odd that breaks up the monotony of a long drive through a barren landscape is always a welcome sight for road weary eyes.  An out of place oddity of any kind can cause long distance travelers to meditate over why the object exists and what it means.  In this way, a stretch of road that runs through vast desolate area becomes a painter’s blank canvas and the idea for a roadside oddity takes shape as a work of art.  To be effective, the work of art must fit into the canvas and become part of the setting, which is the desolate landscape itself.

Metaphor:  The Tree Of Utah stands tall in the middle of the barren salt flats.  This work of art can be called The Tree Of Life, Tree Of Utah or just plain old Metaphor. The artist that created this masterpiece simply could not have picked a better spot on the canvas for placing the Tree Of Life.  This towering work of modern art conveys a message of hope to travelers that pass through this lifeless wasteland.  The miles driven past the Tree Of Life are spent thinking about what was just seen and a few comments are expressed in the same manner that a painting in a museum inspires interpretation.  The experience creates peace of mind on the open road. 

When traveling on Interstate 80 through the salt flats, there are no signs or advertisements that announce that a work of art is located somewhere up ahead.  Metaphor:  The Tree Of Utah simply appears on the distant horizon as one approaches.  The Tree Of Life is for a viewers eyes only, because there is no place to legally pull off the road and park.  Since the traffic rolls at over 80 mph on this stretch of road, this art exhibit kind of has a built-in viewing time limit by design.  The thought that went into the creation of this simple looking tree will intrigue onlookers, even though they only can lay eyes on this work of art for a minute or two when breezing by.

Traveling on I-80 through the salt flats between Salt Lake City and Bonneville is the only way to see Metaphor:  The Tree Of Utah.  The fleeting glimpse of the Tree Of Life provides plenty to think about, no matter how far the final destination may be.  This is the difference between a mere roadside oddity and a true work of art.     


Author: wildwestdestinations

I worked as a chef in remote resorts and National Parks, which provided the time to explore western travel destinations. I have a BA Degree in Culinary Management with high honors and currently I am working on a Masters Degree in Adult Education. My food and travel blog writing began as a means to generate income during college and now photo journalism has become my lifestyle.

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