Right back where I started from

Yep, around 12:15pm yesterday afternoon, I arrived back in Oakland.  Driving nearly 3,000 in eight days seems kind of insane when looking back on it, but I do feel a sense of accomplishment (along with total exhaustion).

Here’s a recap of my final two days on the road…

I woke up on Thursday and after checking the weather for the millionth time and seeing that snow was forecasted for SLC, I opted to take I-70 to Hwy 50 across Nevada.  The first thing I noticed when I got on the freeway was a “No services for the next 103 mile” sign.  Right.  So I got off the freeway and filled up the tank. This was a sign of things to come…

For those of you not familiar with Hwy 50, it was dubbed “The Loneliest Road in America” by Life magazine in July 1986.  They weren’t kidding.  Hwy 50 is a one-lane highway (which I love) where there is literally nothing between towns.  And the average distance between towns like Ely, Eureka, Austin, etc is between 50-70 miles.  I would drive for ages before I’d see anyone pass me.  Most of the traffic was heading east – I counted less than 10 cars heading in my direction over the course of 9+ hours.  For real.  But here’s the good news – while there aren’t any roadside attractions, there is scenery.  The red rocks in western Utah that made me want to pull over and go hiking every ten minutes.  The majesty of the snow-covered Sierra Nevada mountains.  Lots of deer sightings.  I even spotted a couple of little rainbows late in the afternoon which made me sublimely happy – my reward for a long day’s drive. I did hit a little snow heading over one pass in the morning but it was only for about 10-15 minutes and I stayed in the tracks of a pick-up truck in front of me.  I was just in awe of all the beauty surrounding me.  I was also thankful for being inside my warm MoHo since it was in the teens and 20’s the entire day.  So cold…

I had planned on staying in Middlegate, NV that night but since I had good weather, coupled with gaining an hour crossing from mountain to pacific time zone, I decided to press on and I stopped in Fallon, NV instead. A mere 60 miles from Reno and a few miles beyond to the border.

Friday morning I awoke at 4:45am and shortly thereafter, some idiot decided to start up his truck and leave it idling in the parking lot for a good 30 minutes.  Yeah, I was awake and not going to be able to fall back asleep.  Juno was up too so we did a short stroll in 23 degree darkness.  By 7:45am, we were on the road on a perfect bluebird day with not a single cloud in the sky. With only 4 1/2 hours of driving, I will admit that I was anxious to get going.  By 9am, I was back in California and as I meandered down the mountain, I watched the temperature rise.  By the time I got back to Oakland, it was 65 degrees.  Can I get a couple of Hallelujahs?!?!

I’m spending the weekend here in Oakland and will be heading down to Carmel-by-the-Sea on Monday.  Last night I met up with some friends at Kingfish and Juno got the chance to try out my friend John’s sidecar…  Maybe we’ll switch it up for part two of the roadtrip and go by motorcycle instead???

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As far as my iPod playlist for the last two days, I didn’t have one.  I realized that I only listened to music when there was nothing of interest to look at. Driving across Utah and Nevada had so much scenery that I didn’t need music to keep me entertained.

I’m going to do a final post in a couple of days – a recap if you will.  And then it’ll be radio silence until I set out again in the spring.  31 states down, 17 to go…

Final cross-country route:  NY, NJ, PA, OH, IN, IL, IA, NE, CO, UT, NV, CA

 

 

 

 

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