Highway 50, Nevada

We at CatSynth continue our highway series following the US presidential campaign, and so we turn our attention to the neighboring state of Nevada.

It was great to see Nevada included so early this time around, it is such a different place from the traditional early states. There is of course Las Vegas and all that comes with it – and to be honest, that is a refreshing change from the folksy small-town character of the early compaign. But there is also the more desolate Nevada, the authentic high desert and Great Basin.

It is the latter that we consider today. US highway 50, which runs through the center of Nevada, has been dubbed “the loneliest road in America” and many of the small towns along this route received a fair amount of attention this past week. And several travelogues, such as as “US 50 Coast to Coast” document the character and sites, including small mining towns like Eureka and Great Basin National Park. For me, one of the attractions is simply the emptiness of the highway itself, as illustrated in the photo to the right (click to enlarge).

I have never actually driven highway 50 east past South Lake Tahoe. But the quiet, the emptiness and straight-line nature of this stretch of highway are all very appealing at the moment. I tend to gravitate towards the extremes, either quiet isolation of the desert, or the intensity of a big city. And now we're moving to the city, right into the downtown. So as things calm down and the weather warms up, a trip east along highway 50, or perhaps to the desert southwest, may be just the best thing to do.

Interestingly, highway 50 joins with US 6 in the town of Ely in eastern Nevada. US 6 is also a cross-country highway, which we also saw in Des Moines, Iowa. Similarly, I-80, which we also encountered in Iowa, crosses through Nevada westward towards our home in the Bay Area, and meets highway 50 at its western terminus in Sacramento. All things are connected.

Probably the next chance we will have at CatSynth to look in on the campaign is when it comes here to California in just a couple of weeks…

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