• Wendover, Utah - Metaphor: The Tree of Utah

      Perched on the edge of the Great Salt Lake Desert near the famous Bonneville Salt Flats International Speedway is an 87-foot tall artistic wonder created by Swedish artist Karl Momen. 'Metaphor: The Tree of Utah' was built and installed between 1982 and 1986 to bring 'bold color and beauty to the stark, flat, salty landscape. Momen paid for the project and then donated to work to the state of Utah. It is constructed of 225 tons of cement, nearly 2,000 ceramic tiles and tons of minerals and rocks native to Utah. Nicknamed the 'Tree of Life,' it resembles an enormous exotic plant.

      The sculpture is located on the westbound side of Interstate 80, (also known as the Dwight D. Eisenhower Highway) about 95 miles west of Salt Lake City. The inscription on the trunk of the tree is from Schiller's 'Ode to Joy' from the choral climax of Beethoven's Ninth Symphony. Near the base of the tree are several spherical elements reminiscent of fallen leaves.

      Located about 26 miles east of West Wendover, Utah
      Jurisdiction: Utah Department of Transportation
      IF YOU GO: Technically, you're not supposed to stop on the highway, so the best way is to enjoy from a distance
      WHEN TO VISIT: Year-round, although the light is more dramatic in the fall and spring months and it's not nearly as hot as during the summer months.

      Despite warning signs 'Emergency Parking Only,'
      it is common to see people wandering around the sculpture.
      Photographed by Jerry Kendrick, June 21, 2004