US-50 West 2022:
Day 6 - Folsom Lake SRA [Main] [Contact Us] [Events] [Family] [Fun] [Garden] [Misc.] [Photos] [Search] [Site Index] [Travel]

US-50 West 2022: [Day 1 - Owensville] [Day 2 - Dodge City] [Day 3 - Cañon City] [Day 4 - Colorado NM] [Day 5 - Great Basin NP] [Day 6 - Folsom Lake SRA] [Day 7 - Lassen Volcanic NP] [Day 8 - Humboldt Redwoods SP] [Day 9 - Portola Valley] [Day 10 - Pinnacles NP] [Day 11 - Yosemite] [Day 12 - Sequoia & Kings Canyon NP] [Day 13 - Picacho Peak SP] [Day 14 - Flagstaff] [Day 15 - El Reno] [Day 16 - Heading Home]

Thursday, October 6, 2022: We were up before the sun this morning, and out of the hotel as the first light of dawn approached. First up: McDonald's for breakfast!
Shooters Bar and Grill in Ely has a giant eight ball on top of the building which looked really good in the growing light.
We made our way through the downtown area, ...
... and then out of town on US-50, "The Loneliest Road in America."
Just outside of town, there is a uniquely colored hillside that looks like it is a patchwork quilt of different color fill dirt. Each "square" seemed very precise. It was beautiful.
There was a little bit of fog in the lower valley as the sun started to make its way higher in the sky, and there wasn't a vehicle to be seen for miles.
What a beautiful sunrise! And still not another vehicle in sight.
Eureka, Nevada, welcomes you to "The Friendliest Town on the Loneliest Road in America."
We passed a house that had a bunch of metal signs attached to their fence, including a vintage US-50 sign.
The town must have a thriving tourist trade during the summer, because there is a "Tour Map 45" sign above the door to Sacha's Sugar Shack.
By 8 AM, the sun was fully up as we made our way through the flat valleys, ...
... seeing very, very few other travellers.
There were very few trees, but we were officially in Toiyabe National Forest.

Austin, Nevada, claims that it has been social distancing since 1862. Nice!


Champs Burgers in Austin features a US-50 sign on its banner.
This cemetery on the outskirts of Austin had lots of big headstones, as well as a very beautiful iron gate.
There was a veritable traffic jam as we left Austin, with one car on the road ahead of us.
An hour later, we were getting closer to the next mountain range, when we noticed a tremendous line of sand ahead.
It stretched out beside the road for miles.
As we rounded a bend in the road, we saw Sand Mountain, which was a tremendous sand dune. There were lots of trucks, trailers, and off-road vehicles at the base of the dune.
There was also a grave between the road and the dune, and as Debbie zoomed in on it, we could see that the cross marking the grave said "Wilson Turner, 3 yrs, 1864." Poor little fella.
As we drove along the highway, this military helicopter few eastward along the edge of the road. We later saw a sign for Naval Air Station Fallon, which is the current location of the Navy's Fighter Weapons School, also known as Top Gun.
As we drove through all the small towns, it was hard to remember that we were in Nevada. As we got into a larger city, there were casinos, which reminded us which state we were in.
While waiting in the drive-thru at Burger King, we spotted this flag on the street sign that advertised Sand Mountain, which we had just passed.
Roadside America knows about a lot of kitchy things across this country, including this cactus-looking thing.
The East 50 Bar has US-50 in its logo, but it was actually on the westbound side of US-50. Not sure how that naming conversation went.

We saw a flight of three C-17s flying in trailing formation, probably heading toward the Naval Air Station we had seen before. They were hard to photograph, but they looked like a mini-airlift, flying equally spaced apart and in a straight line.

The town of Dayton, Nevada, proudly proclaimed that it was the site of the first gold discovery in Nevada back in 1849.
We were only a mile or two from the famous Bunny Ranch brothel, but naming a business park after it? Odd.
This railway bridge for the Virginia & Truckee Railway spanned the road ...
... just before we entered Carson City, the capital of Nevada.
We decided to make a detour into downtown Carson City rather than get on the merged US-50/I-580 bypass around the downtown.
This outline of a steam train was on the hillside by the highway on-ramp. The V&T logo is on the coal car.
Check out this huge head. Titled "Inside the Mind of da Vinci," it was made for the 2016 Burning Man festival, and once they were done with it, it was placed here.
The bike racks in the city seemed to be tailored to the business they were near. This one spelled out CBOX because it was in front of the Cracker Box restaurant.
Check out the bicycle-shaped bike racks in front of this business.
The visitor center had a great mural on the side of the building.
The bike racks outside of this building were shaped as bicycle chains and gears.
Oooh. Look at this museum. It has an old building in the front, and a modern glass building grafted onto to it at the side and rear. Very cool!
The Nugget Casino advertised 1,000,000 Every Day on the sign above the door. 1,000,000 what? They should get a slightly larger sign so that they can add a dollar sign to it.
There was a great vintage sign over Cactus Jack's Casino.
We had come this way hoping to get a better photo of the state capitol building. Unfortunately, it was hidden by trees and what little we could see was covered by scaffolding. Oh, well.
All of their bike racks were fascinating. We didn't see any design repeated as we drove through the town.
The Nevada State Railroad Museum had a very good-looking steam engine out front. Someday, we may stop here, but today is not that day.
We rejoined US-50 West at the south end of town, ...
... which was designated as a scenic byway. Bonus!
Bear crossing, next four miles. We would very much like to see bears crossing the road.
We had been on the Lincoln Highway a few weeks ago, in Pennsylvania, and  it turns out we were on it again. We may have to drive the entire route some day.
Over the tops of the trees, you could make out Lake Tahoe.
As we turned south and descended, it became more visible and majestic.
The signs have a sixties vibe to them, like this one for the Pine Cone Resort.
There were trees all along the road, which made sense since we were in the Lake Tahoe Basin National Forest.
As we reached the bottom of the valley, the road opened up a little more, and we could see the large casino hotels that are right up against the California-Nevada border.
There were matching bike racks on the Harrah's casino on one side of the street, ...
... and a matching one on the Harvey's casino on the other side.
We both thought that the Harvey's casino's gold façade could use an update. Unless they were going for the vintage 1970s casino look, then they nailed it.
The state border between California and Nevada is one of the most subtle we have ever seen. It is just a sign above a traffic light with no other indications that you are crossing a border. Other than the towering casinos on the Nevada side, of course.
Nice try, California. We know that we aren't in Nevada anymore.
Check out the rainbow color bike lane.
We decided that we deserved a treat, and turned in to the Sno-Flake Drive In.
The caution sign said that vehicles from US-50 do not stop, but that's a lie. We were stopping.
After we admired their Route 66-themed wallpaper, we analyzed their huge menu of food and treats, ...
... and settled on a regular Butterfinger milkshake for Tom and a small (!) waffle cone with chocolate ice cream for Debbie. Yeah, these are the regular and the small sizes.
We liked the California version of the US-50 sign. Very sleek, with only the shield shape and no square or rectangular border.
As we headed out of Tahoe, we saw large sections of fire-damaged trees that were being removed.
We made our way up the mountainside, ...
... and could see a beautiful waterfall in the distance. It just ran down the mountains like a white ribbon.
The area we were driving through was part of the Eldorado National Forest.
We were reaching the end of the mountains, ...
... and beginning our descent toward the west coast.
Near Sacramento, we merged with I-80 for the last few miles of US-50.
Check out that pretty yellow bridge. We'll see that closer a little later on.
We reached the end of US-50, exited the highway, and immediately got back on, headed east.
We drove for one mile until we saw ...
... the sign saying that Ocean City, MD, was 3073 miles away. This matches the sign in Ocean City that we had seen sixteen days earlier which says that Sacramento, CA, was 3073 miles away. Interestingly, the 3073 is on a plate bolted onto the sign over the original mileage that was mistakenly noted as 3037 miles. Someone transposed the last two digits on the original sign and no one noticed the mistake before they put it up. We were glad to see that the mistake had been fixed.
Our mileage for this leg of the trip was 2505.3 miles, which when added to the 828.9 miles from the first part of the route we drove in September, means that we drove 3,334.2 miles with all of our detours. That's just a little more than ten percent longer than the total official mileage of US-50. Not too bad.
Let's go see some sights in Sacramento, shall we? We drove over the pretty yellow bridge we had seen earlier into downtown Sacramento.
We passed the building that houses the 3rd District Court of Appeals, ...
... before getting to the California State Capitol building. We drove as close as we could get, ...
... and then turned and passed the California State Treasury building as we headed away from the capitol.
Someday we will have to drive US-40 from coast to coast, but now is too soon to think about it.
Check out the design on the side of this building. There were three of these semicircular covers set into the wall and they all had unique designs.
We present to you H. Salt, esq., Fish and Chips. After seeing this building, Debbie started craving fish and chips.
We drove right by the Blue Diamond Growers building. We love Blue Diamond Almonds and had no idea they were in Sacramento.
Ooh, they have a Nut and Gift Shop; just take a right on C Street. Sadly, we did not take a right on C Street and kept on driving. One half of the marriage objected to this decision, but that half wasn't driving.
Instead, we drove to the Westfield Galleria, ...
... walked past their awesome arcade, ...
... to the LEGO store.
They had a newly-released Razor Crest model from the Mandalorian Star Wars series in the front window, ...
... and a giant pirate minifig model just inside the door.
Debbie headed straight to the Pick & Build wall, but sadly couldn't find enough new or different pieces to justify buying even a small cup.
Instead, we headed to the Series 23 minifigs and felt our way through several bags before deciding that we likely had one that Debbie wanted. On a bench in the mall afterward, we were very happy to discover that we had guessed correctly and that it was the Sugar Fairy minifig. Yay!
It was extremely hot outside, and we didn't want to arrive at our campground while it was still in the hottest part of the day, so we took advantage of the relatively cooler shade in the parking garage. We set up our portable mini-fans that we use when we camp, attended a virtual PMSF conference webinar, and ate peanut butter and jelly sandwiches for dinner.
We left the Galleria at Roseville Mall just before 6 PM, ...
... and stopped for gas and a much-needed car wash ...
... on our way to Folsom Lake State Recreation Area, our campground for this day.
Debbie had reserved yet another fantastic spot, ...
... which was atop a small hill in the campground.
We had camp all set up as the sun started to set.
There wasn't any rain in the forecast, so we decided to leave off the rainfly. It makes for such a magical experience to be able to see the sky and stars as we lay in the tent.
Once again, our Arlo app produced a lovely summary map of where we had been for the last three days. So handy!

We went out to look at the moon and stars before settling in for bed and got this spooky shot of the moon barely visible through the trees at the top of our hill.

Day 7 >

US-50 West 2022: [Day 1 - Owensville] [Day 2 - Dodge City] [Day 3 - Cañon City] [Day 4 - Colorado NM] [Day 5 - Great Basin NP] [Day 6 - Folsom Lake SRA] [Day 7 - Lassen Volcanic NP] [Day 8 - Humboldt Redwoods SP] [Day 9 - Portola Valley] [Day 10 - Pinnacles NP] [Day 11 - Yosemite] [Day 12 - Sequoia & Kings Canyon NP] [Day 13 - Picacho Peak SP] [Day 14 - Flagstaff] [Day 15 - El Reno] [Day 16 - Heading Home] [Main] [Contact Us] [Events] [Family] [Fun] [Garden] [Misc.] [Photos] [Search] [Site Index] [Travel]

Copyright © Deborah Schilling/Thomas Bundy