Eddgar and Benn

Welcome to the Atlas Obscura Community discussion of Eddgar and Benn in Box Elder County, Utah. Ask questions or share travel tips, experiences, pictures, or general comments with the community. For the story behind this place, check out the Atlas Obscura entry:

Why are these two boys famous? The story just explains the obvious. Why were they “doomed”? Why do they have a memorial? I’ve attempted to look into this, but there seems to be an extremely limited amount of information.

05/22/20 - I am going to post a report that is proportional to the effort that it takes to get to this site. For a fuller picture, visit the Atlas Obscura entry for the Kcymaerxthare: Eddgar & Benn site, as there is some crossover. Simply put: a visit to Eddgar & Benn is a visit to Zaqistan if you know what you are doing.

  • After I allowed myself to be misled by an errant googlemaps location for Zaqistan, I headed for Eddgar and Benn. The directions in the Eddgar & Benn article are somewhat misleading, at least when it comes to their simplicity. “Head[ing] east once…on the Salt Flats, hugging the northern edge of it” can get you there, but some important elaborations and added emphases are in order:
  1. Unlike the salt flats to the west and southwest of Great Salt Lake, there is not a clear delineation as to when one arrives on the salt flats – in fact most of what you will be driving is more accurately brushy desert than salt flats.
  2. Nor is there any suggestion of a clear and apparent path or point at which one ought to head east. You CANNOT rely on following other tracks once you are out there. It appears that most visitors off-roading here are visiting neither Eddgar & Benn nor Zaqistan, but have come simply for the off-road recreation. Additionally, many of these are left by smaller ORVs that are more capable of passing through denser scrub brush and over washouts than your pickup, Jeep, or full-size SUV.
  3. It seems to me based on the directions provided in the article that the writers more accurately followed a northeasterly bearing.
  4. Until the last mile or two across barren salt flats (which is super fun driving, by the way), it is necessary to do routefinding through long stretches of scrub brush and some short dunes, which significantly slows progress.
  5. There are also dry creek beds / washouts that only flow during flash floods, but which crossing at the wrong point can leave even a lifted 4x4 high-centered.
  6. I cannot emphasize enough how important solid navigational skills are here. Printed maps are always crucial as technology is unreliable. So save maps from Gaia and googlemaps offline – and know how to use these tools – but be sure you have printed maps as well, from CalTopo or another source.
  7. In my vehicle I had 3 gallons of water and a 10-gallon can of extra fuel. I did not need them, but I was glad I brought them for peace of mind. Know and have your 10 essentials, to which I would add everything needed for vehicular desert travel: spare tire, etc.
  8. Absolutely plan on being on your own. I saw nor heard any sign of another soul from the moment I departed the pavement of Highway 30, and in fact it had been quite a while since I had seen anyone on the highway.
  9. Check the weather forecast. It takes surprisingly little rain for a flash flood to occur in the desert, and when in this area you are in the flattest and lowest-lying area for untold miles. I made the novice error of not checking updated forecasts since my trip started. If I had, I would have seriously reconsidered traveling out there. I did not pay much notice to the dark clouds looming over the Raft River Range as I thought I had more time before rainfall. When in the distance I saw rain curtains, I hauled ass back to the highway.
  10. To my utter astonishment, I had a strong cell signal the entire time I was out there. Stating the obvious, DO NOT count on this.

Neglecting any of the above will likely leave you in a pretty desperate situation.

I may be willing to provide a GPS track upon request. (In part it would reveal where NOT to go; the route I plotted using topo maps and satellite imagery was itself flawed.) I am still undecided as to whether I should, though, as routefinding is part of this journey. Also if you cannot navigate this yourself, you have no business being out there. Then there is the notion of rendering this spot easier to access, which brings increased traffic and human impact.

This brings me to my final point which I also mention on the Republic of Zaqistan page. I am not sure if the artist(s) had had the foresight to anticipate the consequences of human impact in this area, in particular the detritus left behind, that they would have pursued the project(s) of Zaqistan and Kcymaerxthaere. This is not to mention the implicit encouragement to unwitting travelers to visit a remote location where self-sufficiency is essential.

All that said: I sincerely enjoyed visiting this site and am so very grateful that Atlas Obscura has posted it. I only post the above as a caution and prevention of disastrous consequences.

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