Tag Archives: Nevada

Mondays are for Memories – The Loneliest Road

A SOWER friend recently commented that they had decided to travel Rte 50 across Nevada and it brought back memories of the time we drove that road. Which apparently is (justifiably) designated as the “Loneliest Road in America”.
Here’s our memory for today –
May 8, 2010 – The Loneliest Road
When you travel about the country in a big ol’ RV, with a cute orange truck tagging along, you have to be careful about planning your road choices. Pretty much we try to avoid large cities (we can’t always do that, but at least we try to avoid them around rush hour!) and toll roads, and when possible we like to stay off interstate unless we just plain have to get somewhere and don’t care so much about checking out interesting sights along the way. So, when we were planning our drive from the Bryce Canyon area of Utah to Nevada City, CA (near Lake Tahoe), we looked at the map carefully. I80 was far to the north, but to be quite honest, there wasn’t much that went across the state of Nevada except Hwy 50, and to get to that we had to travel on what looked like an even smaller road, Hwy 21 in Utah. Another trick we have learned is to check with some “locals” about road conditions – is it “good road”, and is it OK for big rigs. (Believe me, our trusty GPS does not take into account the “big rig” factor at all!). When I asked about the 21, the answer I got from girl was that it was an OK road, but man, there’s not much out that way. Her final comment was – “It’s a lonely road”. Gary checked with a fellow by the fuel pumps about Hwy 50 – and he got pretty much the same answer. The towns (and I use the term lightly) are between 50 -100 miles apart, but it’s good road and not much traffic.
So as we set out on “the 21” we kept commenting that yes indeed, this was a lonely road.
Loneliest Road-1

Loneliest Road-2
What we didn’t realize was that we were about to embark on a trip across Nevada on the “Loneliest Road in America“, so named by Life Magazine in 1986. And what we also didn’t realize was that we were traveling through the Great Basin. Now put on your 5th grade US geography hats and see if you can remember what the Great Basin is. Has it come to you yet? Here’s a little help –
loneliest road
Pretty much it’s long (10 miles or so) flat arid valleys followed by a mountain range, followed by long flat arid valleys followed by a mountain range, followed by a long flat arid valley followed by…….
Loneliest Road-4

Loneliest Road-5

Loneliest Road-6
Here are just some of the summit signs I managed to capture as we crested the different hills –
Summits
And looking out the side window really drove home the “we are alone” feeling –
Loneliest Road-7
But don’t think this road wasn’t without some POIs along the way. When I noticed a tree close to the road in the distance I figured it would be a good photo op (you know, contrasting the tree with the otherwise stark roadside).
Sneaker Tree-1
As we got closer, there seemed to be some sort of moss hanging from the branches.
Sneaker Tree-2
Some strange desert/mountain growth?
Sneaker Tree-3
Nope. Sneakers. Of course.
Then there was Sand Mountain
Loneliest Road-15
Looked like God had just decided that HERE would be a good place to dump a humongous pile of sand.
There were also the salt flats, that stretched on for a couple of miles –
Loneliest Road-16
Along much of the shoulder folks had been writing their names or messages with stone –
Loneliest Road-17
We did not stop to add our names – looked to us like finding the rocks would have been a lot of work!
We discovered Hwy 50 loosely followed the Pony Express route and there were several ruins along the way with historical markers, but unfortunately we didn’t stop at any of them. And now we know we could have picked up a Loneliest Road Survival Kit before we set out. Even our road atlas has Hwy 50 marked as the Loneliest Road.
Loneliest Road-11
All I know
Loneliest Road-10
is that it seemed
Loneliest Road-9
to go on
Loneliest Road-8
forever.

Less Rocks, More Water

Before I get too deep into our Saturday chores – laundry, vacuuming, dusting, toilets (blech), etc.- I wanted to share our “Saturday One”. After our two week “Rock Tour”, Gary has just about had it with the entire sightseeing venue. However, persuasive female that I am, I manage to convince him that we did need to get to Lake Tahoe. I mean, really, we might never come this way again.
So off to Tahoe we went!
lake_tahoe_map_large_20-385x623
And my goodness, what a beautiful lake/area that is!
Lake Tahoe Day-11
We drove around the lake counter-clockwise, coming down on 89 and going back up 267 to I80. All along the map were those little green dots. You know, the “this is a scenic drive” green dots. We love them. Especially when we’re NOT driving the RV. (We like them in the RV too, but sometimes it’s a little more hair-raising in the house!). Poor Dear Gary stopped every time I asked him too – scenic overlooks, state parks, waterfalls, any little whim. Not only was the lake beautiful, but the crowds were nil. Ah, the blessing of being a tourist during the “shoulder season”!
Take, for example, Sugar Pines Point State Park. Look at this place –
Lake Tahoe Day-1
Lake Tahoe Day-4
Lake Tahoe Day-5
Lake Tahoe Day-6
Can you imagine how full of people this would be in the summer?
This park is also home to the Hellman-Ehrman Mansion– built in 1905, and restored to its 1920 splendor.
IMG_5545
The tours weren’t running yet (remember, it’s the “shoulder season”), but we could peek in the windows-
Hellman-Ehrman Mansion
I love old houses!
IMG_5590
After our lovely walk through the park and around the grounds of the house, we continued on around the lake.
Next stop – Emerald Bay, with it’s beautiful Fannette Island!
Lake Tahoe Day-8
They say this is one of the most photographed views in America. Believe me, I did my part!
There’s a walk down to the shoreline and another mansion, but we opted to stay top-side and just enjoy the view!
And while not all the shops were open yet, we managed to find a great lunch in South Tahoe before we started up the Nevada side of the lake.
Lake Tahoe Day-10
Our final official stop was at Memorial Point in Lake Tahoe Nevada State Park
Lake Tahoe Day-11
And there a sweet couple offered to take our picture, eliminating the need to find a rock or stump to balance the camera on (or do the out-stretched arm shot – boy, are we bad with that!).
Lake Tahoe Day-12
It was an all together lovely day. And unless you actually want to go IN the water, or perhaps enjoy some of the amazing snow sports that this area is famous for, I’d highly recommend the “Shoulder Season”.
One Boat
I mean really, ONE boat? 🙂

One final shot from the day –
We often see dogs hanging out the windows (or standing in the back of the pick-up) enjoying the breeze in their faces. Especially on back roads. But I think this is the first time I’ve seen a horse catching the breeze while zipping down the INTERSTATE!
IMG_5690
Have a great Saturday – it’s way past when I should be getting some chores done!

The Loneliest Road

When you travel about the country in a big ol’ RV, with a cute orange truck tagging along, you have to be careful about planning your road choices. Pretty much we try to avoid large cities (we can’t always do that, but at least we try to avoid them around rush hour!) and toll roads, and when possible we like to stay off interstate unless we just plain have to get somewhere and don’t care so much about checking out interesting sights along the way. So, when we were planning our drive from the Bryce Canyon area of Utah to Nevada City, CA (near Lake Tahoe), we looked at the map carefully. I80 was far to the north, but to be quite honest, there wasn’t much that went across the state of Nevada except Hwy 50, and to get to that we had to travel on what looked like an even smaller road, Hwy 21 in Utah. Another trick we have learned is to check with some “locals” about road conditions – is it “good road”, and is it OK for big rigs. (Believe me, our trusty GPS does not take into account the “big rig” factor at all!). When I asked about the 21, the answer I got from girl was that it was an OK road, but man, there’s not much out that way. Her final comment was – “It’s a lonely road”. Gary checked with a fellow by the fuel pumps about Hwy 50 – and he got pretty much the same answer. The towns (and I use the term lightly) are between 50 -100 miles apart, but it’s good road and not much traffic.
So as we set out on “the 21” we kept commenting that yes indeed, this was a lonely road.
Loneliest Road-1
Loneliest Road-2
What we didn’t realize was that we were about to embark on a trip across Nevada on the “Loneliest Road in America“, so named by Life Magazine in 1986. And what we also didn’t realize was that we were traveling through the Great Basin. Now put on your 5th grade US geography hats and see if you can remember what the Great Basin is. Has it come to you yet? Here’s a little help –
loneliest road
Pretty much it’s long (10 miles or so) flat arid valleys followed by a mountain range, followed by long flat arid valleys followed by a mountain range, followed by a long flat arid valley followed by…….
Loneliest Road-4
Loneliest Road-5
Loneliest Road-6
Here are just some of the summit signs I managed to capture as we crested the different hills –
Summits
And looking out the side window really drove home the “we are alone” feeling –
Loneliest Road-7
But don’t think this road wasn’t without some POIs along the way. When I noticed a tree close to the road in the distance I figured it would be a good photo op (you know, contrasting the tree with the otherwise stark roadside).
Sneaker Tree-1
As we got closer, there seemed to be some sort of moss hanging from the branches.
Sneaker Tree-2
Some strange desert/mountain growth?
Sneaker Tree-3
Nope. Sneakers. Of course.
Then there was Sand Mountain
Loneliest Road-15
Looked like God had just decided that HERE would be a good place to dump a humongous pile of sand.
There were also the salt flats, that stretched on for a couple of miles –
Loneliest Road-16
Along much of the shoulder folks had been writing their names or messages with stone –
Loneliest Road-17
We did not stop to add our names – looked to us like finding the rocks would have been a lot of work!
We discovered Hwy 50 loosely followed the Pony Express route and there were several ruins along the way with historical markers, but unfortunately we didn’t stop at any of them. And now we know we could have picked up a Loneliest Road Survival Kit before we set out. Even our road atlas has Hwy 50 marked as the Loneliest Road.
Loneliest Road-11
All I know
Loneliest Road-10
is that it seemed
Loneliest Road-9
to go on
Loneliest Road-8
forever.