As promised, here’s an account of my little 9 day venture across Nevada, Southern Utah, Gallop NM (more on that later), and AZ.
I have also determined that there are 2 kinds of packers in the traveling universe – those who fastidiously make a list of what they need and pack over a week or so, then those like me who in the last 20 minutes throw stuff into a suitcase, figure that whatever they forgot can be later purchased…and go.
Anyway about 09:00 I jumped into my old Mercedes-Benz SL and headed east. By the way, the previous month I had done a lot of work on it putting on new motor mounts, alternator brushes, fuel pump…I had pretty good confidence that this 20 year old car would get me there and back with minimal fanfare – which it did. (Her name is Gabriela, for those interested).
If anyone is interested I can do a write up on how to keep your older car in top shape, ready to go across continents if need be.
There were only a few “must see” things I wanted to do along the way. One I wanted to travel “The Loneliest Road In America”, US 50 from Fallon NV across Nevada. I had done this 20 years earlier, while going to a National meet of my car club in Portland OR.
I went to Portland from Sacramento via Salt Lake City and Boise, if that gives you an idea of my traveling preferences. I did this just to meet up with other club members coming from the east coast. For many of us it is the journey more than the destination that makes the trip.
Anyway I am going 80 on this road, a bit bored as one could see 20 miles behind you and 20 miles ahead, and decided to go 90. Got bored at 90 and made it an even 100. You’d see oncoming traffic maybe every 10-15 minutes. Came up behind a BMW motorcycle rider and followed him for 20 miles or so, until he got bored, blipped his throttle and left me like I was standing still. At a traffic light up in the old silver mining town of Eureka, I discovered that the he was a she. We exchanged smiles.
I stayed at 100, thinking of the possibility of getting caught by the Nevada Highway Patrol and staying there for an indeterminate time. I guess you could call that the old “risk/reward” methodology.
I discovered this time, as Thomas Wolfe said, that you can never go home again. (it has been a recurring theme in my life as I have sought to revisit old places that I had known).
Traffic was a lot heavier, at least by loneliest road standards, and I kept it at 80. Which was not unreasonable as before the Feds got heavy handed with dispersing highway funds, Nevada had no speed limit. “Save and Reasonable” was the rule. I remember those days.
Along the first day, I retraced some of the road Neptunus Lex knew so well. I traveled up I80 – and took US 95 to Fallon east of Reno. From there I caught The Loneliest Road.
“…..The miles clicked by, and soon I was passing the optimistically named “West Fernley,” and getting off on the exit to the appropriately (if somewhat unimaginatively) named, “Farm District Road.” East Fernley flashed past like greased lightning, leaving me to wonder whether Central Fernley was ever going to get any billing whatsoever, and whether there were life-long rivalries attending to growing up on one or another side of a town with a population of very nearly 8500 people……
Lex, writing Friday Musings, Feb 25, 2005
I was coming into the metropolis of Fallon. By the way as far as I was concerned NAS Fallon was pretty much Fallon.
I wanted to get on base and hopefully hoist a Guinness for Hizzoner, but without a DoD card, that was verboten. My usually reliable Garmin took me to this back entrance.
Somewhat reluctantly but sensing Lex smiling, Gabriela and I headed for the Loneliest Road.
Part 2 tomorrow.