In July 1986, Life magazine described Nevada’s Highway 50 from Ely to Fernley as the “Loneliest Road in America.” Life said there were no attractions or points of interest along the 287-mile stretch of road and recommended that drivers have “survival skills” to travel the route.
Nevada tourism officials were quick to agree that while Highway 50 did not have traditional tourism related stopping places like amusement parks, “The Loneliest Road” has many little-known and unique items of interest. In addition, most of these places along the Loneliest Road were free for the tourist to see.
To combat the article’s negativity, the Travel Nevada suggested calling highway 50 “The Loneliest Road in America.” Later, Travel Nevada developed the now popular “The Loneliest Road in America, Official Highway 50 Survival Guide.”
Driving Highway 50 across the great state of Nevada is a must. Don’t forget to pick up a Highway 50 Survival Guide and stop at each of the towns along the route for a stamp. If you get at least five stamps, you’re eligible for the “I Survived Highway 50” official certificate.
Sorry, Life magazine. Driving across Nevada on U.S. Highway 50 is an amazing experience. We can't wait to drive this road again.
One of the places we wanted to experience on our second cross-country road trip of 2019 was the state of Wyoming. It is the 10th largest in the U.S. by area, the least populous, and the second most sparsely populated state in the country.
Getting away from the noise, traffic and nonstop distractions of city-life isn’t hard in Wyoming. The state’s vast size and low population could allow each person living in Wyoming to have 111 acres all to themselves.
After driving across the rough roads of Iowa, I-80 in Wyoming was a welcome relief. I-80 across Wyoming is extremely well-maintained. Almost every pothole was either flagged or crews were there digging out entire sections of the interstate to make repairs. It's one state that obviously takes pride in their roads. If you're towing, a trip across Wyoming should be on your list of places to visit.
There aren’t many states that you get to cross the Continental Divide twice. Wyoming is an overachiever when it comes to the Continental Divide - Well done, Wyoming!
On our second cross-country trip of 2019, we stopped to visit the Union Pacific Railroad Bailey Yard in North Platte, Nebraska. It is the largest railroad classification yard in the world.
Bailey Yard handles 10,000 railroad cars every day. Of those, 3,000 are sorted in the eastward and westward hump yards.The eastward hump is a 34 foot tall mound and the westward hump is a 20 foot tall mound. The two hump yards allow four cars a minute to roll gently into any of 114 bowl tracks where they become part of trains headed for dozens of destinations.
Standing at the top of the Golden Spike Tower, we watched the choreographed sorting of rail cars onto different tracks to become trains going all over the U.S. It was mesmerizing, we could have spent hours watching.
We were also fascinated with our new Solar Panels from the top of the Tower!
There's something about trains that captures our attention. A visit to Bailey Yard should be on your list if you pause when you hear the sound of a distant train in the night. This is where it all begins.
We stopped in Elk Horn, Iowa to see the only authentic working Danish windmill in America. The windmill is a labor of love for the people in Elk Horn.
Elk Horn's Danish windmill was built in 1848 in Norre Snede, Denmark. This mill and others like it in Denmark and throughout Europe were used to grind grain into flour for farmers in neighboring communities.
The windmill’s trip from Denmark to Iowa in 1976 is fascinating and started with one person, Harvey Sornson believing the people of Elk Horn could make it happen. He found the windmill in Denmark while Elk Horn raised $30,000 to have it dismantled and shipped. After a year of dedicated and free labor, the windmill was reassembled and in working condition.
Located on the grounds is the Morning Star Chapel. The Chapel is 6' x 8', contains a pulpit, alter, and 4 small pews. On the ceiling and behind the pulpit are hand painted nature and religious scenes, which were done by a woman who was the Director of Art at the Independence, IA State Hospital. The Chapel also includes a copper cross on the steeple.
The VikingHjem demonstrates a typical structure used throughout Scandinavia and Northern Europe during the latter Dark Ages to the early Middle ages. You can experience the life of a Viking Smithy in 900 A.D. from the blacksmith shop and woodworking area to the demonstrations and lectures.