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US 50, The Lincoln Highway, America’s Loneliest Road
Journey across Nevada on the loneliest and most historic highway in America
The road trip starts with a ROAD TRIP! Indeed, we’ll spend the day getting to Elko via I-80. Take a rest at Donner Lake, have lunch in Reno, head past the turn for Burning Man, arriving in Elko in time for dinner. Hilton Garden Inn – Elko (L)
The California Trail Interpretive Center tells the stories of the road, the wagon road. From the ill-fated Donners to other more successful groups, it’s a big part of western history. At the Star Hotel, a Basque family-style lunch will leave you satisfied.
You may not know this, but both I-80 and US 50 are routes of the Lincoln Highway. The Lincoln was the first road to cross the entire country, in 1913. It wasn’t a real highway, but more a cobbled together collection of farm-to-market and city-to-city roads. But it was a beginning. We’ll talk more about America’s first highway along the way.
Out again on the highway, we head east to Wells. We leave I-80 and head south on US 93. While US 50 has the “Loneliest Road” nickname, US 93 is certainly not filled with big cities. Indeed, on the two hour journey, you won’t see much except sagebrush and watering holes until you reach McGill. La Quinta, Ely – 2 nights (FB,L)
Attractions in and around Ely include the ghost town of Cherry Creek (it really is a ghost town, as most of it is gone – but the stories and the remaining characters in town are fun), and a stop at the “frozen in time the day the owner locked the door and walked away in 1979” drug store in McGill. How about a visit to a working bordello or a ride on a “ghost” train? Both are on the itinerary today. Of course, we’ll visit the bordello and talk with the ladies BEFORE they begin the evening’s duties. After dark, we go out into the desert, past the lights of town, with a naturalist guide, to view the wonders of the Milky Way. (B,L,D)
Two of our favorite “lonely road” towns lie ahead, one prospering, and one… not so much. First Eureka, where you discover a historical “snapshot.” A restored old Opera House, a great museum and the look of a town gone “boom” in a small way are all a part of Eureka. We’ll join some townsfolk for a special lunch, then continue to Austin. Here things are not as prosperous, but still full of history. The day ends in Fallon. Holiday Inn Express (B,L,D)
The route home takes us through historic Dayton and Carson City, with a stop at the State Museum. If seems fitting, considering the amount of ground we’ve covered in Nevada. Lunch is atop the world at Harrah’s in Tahoe, with a spectacular view. More Lincoln Highway history awaits, as you make the familiar drive home, via Echo Summit and Placerville. (B,L)
|B||Generally a limited buffet or menu|
|FB||Full buffet or choice of menu|
|BR||Brunch, often buffet-style|
|L||Lunch, often several menu options|
|HT or AT||High or Afternoon Tea|
|D||Dinner, often several menu options|