In a small bowl, combine the cookie crumbs and butter; press onto the bottom and up the sides of a greased 9-in. pie plate. Cover and refrigerate.
Meanwhile, in a small saucepan, sprinkle gelatin over cold water; let stand for 1 minute. Add caramels, milk and salt. Heat over low heat, stirring until gelatin is completely dissolved and caramels are melted. Refrigerate for 1-2 hours or until mixture mounds when stirred with a spoon.
Stir pecans and vanilla into caramel mixture. Fold in whipped cream. Pour into crust. Refrigerate for 6 hours or overnight. Garnish with ice cream topping and pecans if desired. Store in the refrigerator. Yield: 6-8 servings.