Last fall I spent four days driving a roughly 400 mile stretch of highway extending from Carson City, Nevada to the Utah/Nevada border pursuing a new project on Highway 50, also known as “The Loneliest Road in America.” People often ask me if the highway lives up to its nickname, and while there are long, isolated stretches of road that are truly lonely, with the halfway point marked by the existence of Austin — which, in many ways, is a borderline ghost town — I was pleasantly surprised by the sparks of life scattered along the way.
Right now, the main tourist push is headed by the Pony Express Territory, who challenge travelers to “survive” The Loneliest Road, offering free survival guides to anyone who wants them. They boast that you “really haven’t seen America until you’ve traveled The Loneliest Road,” and I’m not one to argue otherwise.
The Loneliest Road is a must for any road trip enthusiast — the journey takes you through mining towns harboring classic American West main street charm, and desert scenery ranging from the lush high country to the bare desert plains. Personally, I can’t get enough of the mom and pop diners, especially one in Ely that caters to hunters by covering their booths in camouflage.
I honestly never imagined that there would be so much beauty in Nevada before taking this road trip (some sources I’ve come across claim that Nevada has more mountain ranges than any other state in the continental U.S.), and I hope to return again soon and make more pictures of this incredible highway.
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