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Road Trip USA (21)

By TyChee    
Metaphor:Tree of Utah

Swedish artist Karl Momen created the 87-foot high tree between 1982-1986. He financed the project himself to bring bold color and beauty to the stark, flat, salty landscape. The sculpture is made of 225 tons of cement, almost 2,000 ceramic tiles and five tons of welding rod, and tons of minerals and rocks native to Utah.

Also called the "Tree of Life," the sculpture is located on the north side of I-80 about 95 miles west of Salt Lake City (25 miles east of Wendover). The location is interesting because the harsh environment here hindered many travelers in pioneer times. Members of the ill-fated Donner Party were tragically delayed in this area before their awful demise in the Sierra Nevada mountains. During WWII, the crew of the Enola Gay practiced bombing runs over the Great Salt Lake Desert before proceeding to Hiroshima to end the war.

Near the base of the Tree, there are several fallen "leaves" -- large spherical segments intentionally scattered on the salty ground. It's where your traveling companions would pose if this were a tourist attraction instead of a work of art.

One thing -- they don't want people stopping (Momen didn't spring for the cost of an exit ramp). There is no parking lot or pull-off, and there are "Emergency Parking Only" signs along the highway. So if you are going to have an "emergency", make sure it happens here so you cane steal a shot. Smile

After completing his work Momen returned to Sweden, donating the sculpture to the state of Utah.


Thanks for stopping by,

Tags: Utah Salt flats Landscape and travel Tree of utah

Voters: Glostopcat, User_Removed, Steven_Tyrer and 42 more

Readers' Choice Awards are given to photos that get over 30 votes


Glostopcat 13 255 2 England
27 Dec 2007 2:06PM
A fine shot of this unusual looking monument and as always an interesting and informative write up to go with it

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Steven_Tyrer 13 69 Wales
27 Dec 2007 2:22PM
Hi Ty
His a very powerful image, like the contrast of the colours against the empty space which as you have said is the artists objective, well captured
DolphinLady 13 54 1 Wales
27 Dec 2007 2:38PM
That is an amazing story Ty to go with this amazing work of art.
Like Steve says, a powerful image.
rangerpaul 12 19 7 England
27 Dec 2007 3:27PM
Great story and a great image to go with it.
A Booth Plus
17 11 4 United Kingdom
27 Dec 2007 3:40PM
inspiring image, superb sky and very interesting story.
sandrish 16 36 United Kingdom
27 Dec 2007 3:53PM
Wonderful image and very interesting information too!

Grim1 13 49 United Kingdom
27 Dec 2007 4:05PM
Great image Ty, and write up too. Cori
Bodiewil 12 46 Wales
27 Dec 2007 4:28PM
Great image Ty, lovely contrast

Maiwand 13 3 73 England
27 Dec 2007 4:50PM
You keep finding these treasures Ty. I had heard of the Flats before but had no idea that it contained such a wealth of interesting items.
sketch 12 1.5k United Kingdom
27 Dec 2007 4:52PM
love the contrast etc

sarah x
Glynn 13 1.2k 1 United Kingdom
27 Dec 2007 6:02PM
I love the stories that go with your images Ty - keep em coming mate.
Hope that your Xmas was ok.

taggart Plus
15 47 14 United States
27 Dec 2007 7:22PM
I have not known about this tree-- Very interesting and a great shot!

imagio 13 12 1 England
27 Dec 2007 11:26PM
Amazing Ty, nice touch to a barren landscape and well captured.

27 Dec 2007 11:55PM
Nice composition
MDaniel 13 3 3 Ghana
28 Dec 2007 9:53AM
Barren landscape it maybe, still has an impact, have an RC on me
brownsilent 13 7 2 United Kingdom
28 Dec 2007 3:44PM
Some very unusual coco-nuts! Thanks for the description, too. I think the artist achieved what he was up to.
ChiliMan 13 135 17 Singapore
28 Dec 2007 6:28PM
This is FAScinating, Ty. Thanks so much for sharing it with us with all the info!

A Smile
Possum Plus
13 148 England
28 Dec 2007 11:07PM
A wonderfully appealing sculpture, and those distant mountains are incredibly impressive. Such a vastness of space.

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