Have you ever wanted to sell everything you own and just "take off?" Travel the country's back roads, paddle down a meandering stream, experience breath-taking mountain views, walk among 100-year old trees, and just marvel at America's beauty? That is the dream that my partner, Betsy, and I decided to make a reality. This blog describes our adventure. The food we eat, people we meet, sights we see, and the enjoyment we find in traveling.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

The Loneliest Road Metamorphed into the Coldest

A drive across the state of Nevada along Highway 50 was pretty much the same from the west to the east . . . boring!  That was my opinion.  But, in all fairness, Betsy actually liked the drive.  Not because Betsy likes boring but because she loves seeing all kinds of scenery.  The road continues on, and on, and on and the scenery really doesn’t change.  The smooth road bisects the mountains that flank both sides of the never-ending blacktop.  There is very little in the way of towns, roadside attractions and even gas stations. 

please don't break down, please don't breakdown . . .
U.S. 50 stretches from Sacramento, California to Ocean City, Maryland but it is the stretch through Nevada that earned the title the “Loneliest Road in America’ by Life Magazine in 1986.  The name originates from the large expanse of desolate areas that offer no signs of civilization.  Nevada quickly embraced the term and exploited it as a marketing slogan.  Travelers are urged to pick up a free Loneliest Road survival kit at various businesses along the route.  The kit contains a map and must-see attractions along the road.  Stop in at the attractions to get your survival guide stamped then mail the completed kit to the Nevada Commission on Tourism and you will receive a Loneliest Road survival certificate signed by the Governor, a Loneliest Road lapel pin, and a Loneliest Road bumper sticker announcing that you survived this "uninteresting and empty" road.  What is really a lonely thought is that this road parallels a Pony Express route - think how lonely that must have been alone on a horse?
 
See anything like civilization?
How about now?
We stopped midway for a restful overnight but woke up to a light rain that turned into a surprise of white snow flakes that quickly morphed into quarter-sized sparkling  flakes gently covering the ground.  In no time, a few inches of packed white snow created an unexpected winter wonderland.  Our early morning departure was promptly cancelled.  Long ago in this journey, we decided that we would not drive in bad weather.  What this left for us to do was take a leisurely hike in the neighboring public land, finish a long-overdue book (which ironically was on polar exploration), and spend time in the kitchen making comfort meals for lunch and dinner – all of which was more enjoyable than driving in the snow.  The Lonelinest Road would have to wait until the next day to see us again. 

burr!
Spirit was one happy pup playing in the snow.
Definitely time to break out the hats and gloves.

The next morning the snow had all but melted except at higher elevations.  We enjoyed a brisk early morning walk and then it was time to hit the lonely road again in the bright sunshine.



6 comments:

  1. Looks like you didn't have to worry about any traffic jams! :)

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  2. Love the last photo of Spirit. Seems lots of folks are getting exposed to the cold and snow.

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  3. I want to drive this road, but maybe I'll consider doing it earlier in the year. My MH and snow don't mix well. Good call on riding out the storm! ;c)

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  4. Great pictures of the snow. I decided to drive 50 both ways after being bored to death on 80 from SLC. I really enjoyed 50 and stopping in the little towns, it is very remote. Some places have a free cd you can listen to on your long drive that tells history of the towns. I got my certificate which was kind of cool.

    Safe travels,

    Tina

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    1. I wish we had picked up a CD and done the survival kit. What a fun way to learn more about the area.

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  5. Well, if you are a loaner, then this is the road! At least there were no stop lights?

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