We woke up surrounded by the beauty of Hart Mountain on Tuesday, September 30. It somehow seemed fitting that our last day in Oregon was also the last day of September. We waved goodbye to the antelope and drove south through Fields, OR towards Nevada with blue skies above.
We entered Nevada via Winnemucca and happened upon the new newly opened La Tortilla Factory. We were hoping to get lucky with authentic tacos, but they didn’t have any prepared food so we did the next reasonable thing and bought a package of corn tortillas (which supplemented our food supply nicely and went really well with our never-ending supply of cheese and avocados). We took highway 305 south through the mountains down to Austin, NV where we hooked up with the infamous transcontinental US Route 50.
The Loneliest Road in America
In 1986 Time Magazine took a jab at Nevada, calling the state’s section of route 50 “The Loneliest Road in America”. I totally get it. We only drove on this stretch of highway from Austin to Ely (approx 150 miles) but we definitely felt isolated and saw few signs of civilization. Actually the only signs we did see repeatedly warned us about the perils of driving up and down through mountains and across valleys in the middle of nowhere at 75 mph: watch out for cattle, horses and deer. Oh yeah, also watch out for both falling rocks and rocks that have already fallen. We didn’t need any signs to warn us to watch out for truck drivers flying down mountain passes.
Nevada used Time’s negative slogan to their advantage and created a clever ad campaign to celebrate their unique existence. We had fun checking out the little towns along the way. Someday you might just find me living in Austin, Eureka or Ely. Maybe.
We spent our only night in Nevada camping at the Hicklson Petroglyph Recreation Site. We weren’t there very long because we arrived at dusk (one again breaking our rule about not driving at dark). It was our fourth night camping and we were definitely in a groove. Harry whipped up some great tacos with the delicious corn tortillas and I quickly set up the van for sleeping. We both slept really well again, super psyched with how comfortable our bed is…. and I’m happy to report that my little issue with claustrophobia seems to have abated… but we still sleep with the van door open and my headlamp wrapped around my wrist because, again, you just never know. Harry woke up to find a big jackrabbit bouncing around camp which I am very bummed to have missed.