Lonely roads to Reno and over the mountain to North Tahoe

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Thursday morning we left Elko early to return to Highway 50 and the Lincoln Highway. A short  stretch of I80 took us to Carlin and then we drove south to Eureka. On this quiet road falcons and crows were using the telegraph poles as perches as there are no trees in this upland desert. There were plenty of rodents running across the road. There was so little traffic a farmer waved to us from his tractor while he was working in the field. Nearer to Eureka where we joined Highway 50, we saw several hares. We had coffee at the only establishment  which was open just before 9am in what is billed as the friendliest place on this road. There were a few people inside and a dog snoozing in the corner while his owner played the slot machines. Parked outside was a pickup with an ‘I’m no liberal’ sticker. No surprises there. Back on the road we drove over the first of many summits (there are 17 in total) on this road. It passes through several mountain ranges and one tunnel. There was the occasional flash of green in a valley. It was not totally immune to roadworks as some were being prepared for in one place. Just before Cold Springs, a convoy of six Corvettes zoomed passed us going in the opposite direction and we saw a rare sight on this road: a row of four mailboxes. Salt Wells is close to the Naval Air Range and the Great Sand Dune. The fashion in the salt flats seems to be to write your name in black rocks on the white salt at the road side. Only one person had painted the rocks in different colours. Just outside Fallon, we saw the first cornfield since the Mid West. The northern branch of the Lincoln Highway joins I80 and runs through the mountains alongside the Truckee River. We found our way into Reno and met up with a friend who gave us a tour of the city (we’ve only passed through on the train before) and treated us to lunch. We then found our way to our B&B which is west of the city centre where old motels which went out of business when the interstate opened, have been turned into a gallery and artists’ colony. Just as I finished editing my photographs for today and before I could get them uploaded and copied, my hard drive died. Today we diverted from the Lincoln Highway again, this time down to North Lake Tahoe. I was having some difficulty when I was booking the trip in finding accommodation in Truckee as it is high season so we headed SW out of Reno and over Mount Rosa summit (8911ft) then down into North Tahoe. We had a lazy day by the beach and enjoying the sun. I have been reading John Charles Fremont’s 1852 book: ‘Exploring Expeditions to the Rocky Mountains, Oregon and California’ as we have covered some of the same ground on this trip. He even noted eating seagulls at the Great Salt Lake so gulls have been inland for some time.  The beach was quiet when we arrived but got pretty busy later. As the wind increased and it started to cloud over, we headed to our hotel and look forward to seeing the Pacific Ocean tomorrow and reaching the end of the Highway.

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2 thoughts on “Lonely roads to Reno and over the mountain to North Tahoe

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