The Loneliest Highway in Amerika

Betty had been talking for some time about driving out to visit “the kids”, (and grand-kids) some 1200 miles away.  We had flown out to visit them probably more than a dozen times.  But she wanted a different sort of visit — ‘adventure’ (whatever THAT is) — to be sure; plus an appreciation of the real sense of distance.  Double-plus, there is a lot of territory to be seen, explored, experienced between here (west Colorawdough) and there (Portland OR).  And, she had A NEW CAR.  Presumably, there would be no vehicular problems.

Besides not having gone on a long road trip for many, many years, we hadn’t camped-out (in a tent, on the ground) for just about the same time interval.  More than 20 years ago … more-or-less (prob’ly more).

“The loneliest highway” segment was during our return trip home.  We took the Interstate perhaps 2/3 the way there, until we hit the Oregon/Idaho state line.  Abandoning I-84, we struck off on more ‘local’ roads.

After a week in Portland family-izing, the collective (us, kids, g-kids, and a couple more couples of their friends, and their kids) convened in Bend (OR).  It was from there Betty and I had our Loneli-est Highway experience.

On our way out it seemed we drove through Salt Lake and uninterrupted suburbs for hours.  Actually, that is true — there is nonstop suburbia and suburbal environs non-stop from Provo almost to the Idaho state line.  Betty announced that we definitely had to avoid that stretch of road on our return trip.  And so …

(Above, SAND DOONZ just north of Winnemucca, NV) — well, bypassing SLC and the Wasatch front and land-of-Zion-suburbia could only be avoided by driving on a more-or-less diagonal path from Bend to the MIDDULL OF NEVADA.  Going south from Winnemucca, we’d encounter U.S. Highway 50.  Our maps had bits of ¿pertinent? data relating to places and things — and the label LONELIEST HIGHWAY IN AMERICA was applied to ol’ US50 all the way across Nevada.  Sounded appealing to Betty.  And so …

Another camping night, this time with the REQUISITE CAMPFIRE, very close not only to the very middle of the great silver state of Nevada, but near a mountain pass, alongside a stream, no highway noise, level flat grassy place for the tent, and WILD HORSES in the vicinity!

Marveling at the quiet historical near-majesty of Eureka, breakfast in Ely, then … the SHOE TREE just outside of Delta Utah!  Yes, this tree apparently sprouts shoes as fruit.

Atop the San Rafael Swell in Utah, Deb becomes the head of … something … or sumbuddy …

I noted that THE HOODOO-ISH-NESS QUOTIENT HERE IS SEVERE, when we were in the vicinity of the town of Sevier, on I-70 approaching the San Rafael Swell.

Highway 50 joins up with, and is thereby subjugated to, the start of Interstate 70.  Not as lonely — fact is, we saw an average of one or two vehicles per hour for much of our trip, until I-70.  As you can tell, the scenery changes from the ‘block-&-basin’ mountain ranges alternating with flat stretches in Nevada to the dramatic red desert sandstone for which Yoo-taw is whirled-(in)-famous.  Runaway trux, indeed …

Schmeared windshield, weave gotta few more turns ’til Colorawdough,

and home.

9 thoughts on “The Loneliest Highway in Amerika

  1. Ooh, lonely roads. I was on one once in your fine country, and the hire car conked out around dusk. I was in somewhere known as locally Death Valley. This was before mobile phones were invented. Not keen on lonely roads. Not hot ones, anyway.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I’ve been on that lonely road myself. I have relatives and ancestors who lived in Gabbs, NV. My grandma died on that road in ’75, between Fallon and Gabbs, in a little stretch called Frenchman Flats. She rolled her Ford Falcon over a berm, and died a very lonely death. Wasn’t found for several days. Anyway, aside from that, I think it’s a beautiful highway, and would love to travel it again someday. But maybe I’ll stay at a hotel in Eureka. Tenting days are over for me.

    Liked by 1 person

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