We left Eureka, Nevada and headed east on what LIFE magazine dubbed as the "The Loneliest Road in America" or Nevada highway 50. I had always wanted to drive on this stretch of road but never thought I ever would. However, as fulltime RV’ers we are able to see all kinds of places and things that we never thought possible. Gotta love this lifestyle….
I found it interesting that highway 50 was also part of the Pony Express route and I found it even more interesting that this part of Nevada was quite hilly. I had always thought it was flat and uninteresting. How wrong I was! Driving through western Nevada entails driving over one 6-7,000 foot pass after another with each having a long flat basin in between providing for some very interesting scenery. And as for lonely I found the stretch of highway 95 going south toward Winnemucca to be significantly lonelier than highway 50 was.
We pulled into Ely, Nevada and set up camp at the Prospector Hotel and Casino a bargain at 15.00 per night for full hookups with 50 amp service. They even gave us a two coupons for a free margarita! We had only planned to spend a few days here but extended to avoid the wet and rainy weather that was to come through this part of the USA. We have been here three days now and may extend one more day to avoid the chilly weather at Great Basin National Park, our next destination.
As with most small western Nevada towns this one too seems to be surviving as a mining and gambling town. Also as with most there seems to be a lot of vacant buildings. Ely does seem to be more lively than all the other small towns we have explored and it is a very walkable town with a cool looking courthouse as well as assorted murals painted by various artists adorning many of the building’s walls.
The town also has the Nevada Northern Railway Museum with an old steam engine that you can take rides on. We didn’t opt to take the train but did enjoy looking at the old station and were able to see the ghost train pull into the station. As luck would have it there happened to be a lot of restored classic and antique cars in the lot behind the station which we surmised were going to be part of an upcoming auction or car show.
We are enjoying our stay here in Ely and the rain came through as predicted leaving chilly weather in its path. I am pretty sure we will stay through Monday night and leave on Tuesday since it is even chillier in Baker, Nevada (our next stop).