From the Salt Lake to lonely roads and mountains

The Lincoln Highway runs south from Layton towards central Salt Lake City and then turns west to the lakeshore where it joins I80. Commuters were heading into the city as we left our hotel yesterday morning but we lost them when we turned towards the lake and stopped off at the Saltair Resort Pavilion. There have been four in the last hundred years and this is the only place on the south shore of the lake that there is public access. Dog walkers were on the beach and geese swimming in a pool. Back on the interstate we passed a huge pile of salt very similar to the one outside British Salt in Middlewich in the UK. 95% of our salt is mined under Cheshire with only 5% coming from sea salt. The heap outside the works is used to de-ice the roads in winter. We stayed on I80 for most of the way to Wendover across the Great Salt Lake Desert. There were more southern alignments of the Highway here but they now run through private and military land and permission to travel on them must be requested. Between Wendover and West Wendover we received a welcome from the large cowboy in the middle of the road, crossed the state line into Nevada and the Pacific Time Zone.
Great Salt Lake Desert 2  Utah 12 Jul 2016-1
Welcome to West Wendover NV 12 Jul 2016-1
The Lincoln Highway then takes what is called Alt93 southwest. It travels over the White Horse Pass at 6045ft and at Lages Junction, joins US93 which is also known as the Great Basin Highway. At this point we had a completely blue sky with only one tiny cloud in sight. A few miles before McGill we hit more roadworks and were stationary for a time. We stopped in Ely, explored the North Nevada Railway Museum and had lunch in the shade. I have spent a fair bit of time on trains in several countries and my grandfather was a locomotive engineer so the museum was interesting and the railway in these parts mainly served the huge copper mine just outside the town. Heading out of town, we noticed that all the local sheriffs were inside one café so things must have been fairly quiet. Highway 50 is billed as ‘Americas Loneliest Road’ and it was certainly quiet. We crossed over the Robinson Pass at 7588ft and then switched to an even quieter, lonelier road: Long Valley Road, another diversion from the Lincoln Highway.
The LOng Valley NV 12 Jul 2016-1
This heads north for 67 miles to Ruby Lake and has several gravel sections. We saw no other vehicle until we were almost at Ruby Lake and that was one wrecked car which had been abandoned. A sign informed us that we were also following the ‘California Trail Hastings’ Cutoff’ which later proved disastrous to the Donner Party. As we left Ruby Lake behind us, civilisation gradually appeared and after crossing Harrison Pass, we descended in Elko. We based ourselves here for a couple of nights as a friend who used to live in Reno recommend the Ruby Mountains. This morning we drove up to Lamoille Canyon and hiked from the trailhead at the road end, up to Lamoille Lake. On the way up the canyon, a large group of climbers were getting ready to tackle a steep cliff. Some University of Minnesota geology students were on the first half mile of the trail, examining the rocks and we met several runners heading back down the mountainside. Flowers were in bloom all around, I caught glimpses of some birds and we saw a few chipmunks. We had a rest at the lake and the walked back down talking to several who were on the way up. Lunch was at the side of the canyon road and we saw there had been rockfalls onto the road while we had been walking. Tomorrow we return to the Lincoln Highway and the Loneliest Road.
Lamoille Canyon Ruby Mountains NV 13 Jul 2016-1
Lamoille Lake Ruby Mountains NV 13 Jul 2016-1

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