We left Winnemucca, Nevada and headed east on Interstate 80. I usually avoid Interstates as I find them very boring to drive on but I also found it hard to avoid a small stretch of this one on our route to Eureka, Nevada. After about an hour we headed south on 278 a nice two lane road cutting through the rolling basins and mountains of western Nevada. Our GPS was set to take us to the Silver Sky Lodge RV Park which had no address on their web site. Our old Garmin GPS finally bit the dust so we set Sharon’s phone GPS to take us there but we ended up 7 miles west of town on highway 50 (The Loneliest Highway).
We pulled over on the side of the road in a big pullout to make the necessary U-turn where I also opened my laptop to check the route on Microsoft Street and Trips. My route showed the RV park to be east of town so we drove back into town and found the park just outside of town on highway 50. Although it wasn't a real pretty park it allowed us to explore Eureka as it is one of the few spots around with hook-ups. We set up, made lunch and made a plan to walk the town afterward.
Eureka is known as a mining town and was one of the state’s largest towns during the late 1800’s. Back in the day Eureka had 16 smelters working which spewed smoke and soot thus earning the town the name "Pittsburgh of the West." For those of you that love Pittsburgh (we did) I don’t think this name was meant to be nice… Wanting to clean up their town’s image much of the town has been restored including the Opera House.
We parked near the restored Opera House and found a brochure for the town’s walking tour. We loved walking through the Opera House and especially found the back stage hallway interesting as there are lots of signatures on the walls and ceiling of the many past performers there. There were lots of neat historical buildings in Eureka but the signs of the boom and bust nature of mining towns is evident as many of these neat old building are vacant and need some love to regain their once vibrant stature. Nonetheless we found the walking tour very interesting and a great way to spend our one day stay in town.
From Eureka we will turn eastward on the The Loneliest Road in America which is the self-proclaimed Loneliest Town on the Loneliest Road… Next up for us is a short stay in Ely, Nevada just 77 miles down the lonely highway.