The Loneliest Road in America

On our way home from Reno on our road trip this past July, we ended up taking a road I had never heard of before. We saw that we were going to be taking a route called Highway 50 for a few hundred miles. At first, I honestly didn’t think twice about it. I thought that this would just be another road, same as any other.

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Highway 50 actually stretches across the entire United States, from California to Maryland. It is 3,008 miles (4,841 km) long. As we were entering the highway, we saw a sign that said “Highway 50, The Loneliest Road in America.” This was a little unexpected to see, but I was excited to see if it actually lived up to the name. It turned out that this “normal” road just might turn out to be another highlight of our trip.

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The stretch that we were on has nine small towns, two abandoned mining camps, and several mountain ranges.

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The first things that I noticed was that it is a two-lane road. The second thing I noticed was that there was basically no one around.

Apparently, a long time ago it was said to avoid this road; however, I am really glad that I had the experience.

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There was so much beautiful scenery around that it was hard to get bored for a long time. We would occasionally go through a very small town, where to usually 80mph speed limit would slow down to around 20mph. The towns would last for less than 5 minutes, so if you are ever on this road and think you need to stop, you might want to take the opportunity.

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After a few hours, I started to notice that the distant ground looked really white. I eventually realized that we were in Utah, and these were salt flats. Being pretty excited about this, we pulled over at a random gravel road and drove over to the flats.

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We began to walk out on the flats. The ground at first was how you would expect, really flat and hard. After a couple of minutes, the ground started to get softer. Before we knew it, we were up to our ankles in this very sticky gray clay material. It was quite hard to get out of, but we finally made our way back to the car.

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Seeing as there was no town around, we wiped off our feet the best we could and had to wait until we got to a gas station around an hour later to really get the already drying clay off.

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There were also many, many pull-offs on the road. There were no services on these pull-offs, but the views were always amazing.

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All in all, I quite enjoyed this road. Don’t expect to see many people, and if you were to break down it may take a while for assistance to arrive, but I would definitely drive on this road again one day if only for the views.

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Would you take this road given the opportunity, or do you prefer civilization?

-Haley

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