After wandering through the National Park Canyons, I again picked up the Lincoln Highway in the guise of US highway 50 in Ely Nevada and followed it through Nevada on the “loneliest road in America.” Some news organization gave it that moniker quite a few years ago, and I did not find it to be true. There was plenty of traffic, places to stop, pipelines, powerlines, farms and ranches that made it not at all lonely. In my experience a much lonelier road is highway 21 from Milford Utah to Garrison Utah. During that 80 mile drive I saw a dozen cars (some parked), two ranch houses, a mine of some kind, and a few lost cattle – nothing else. Occasionally there would be a dirt road with a sign that said, “Sometown Nevada 30 miles.”
I was generally disappointed with my Lincoln Highway drive. For some reason I expected it to be like Route 66, but it was not. Route 66 is alive. Towns along the way like Seligman, Winslow and Tucumcari make a big deal about it. There are many 66-focused restaurants, shops, museums and the like, and people you meet want to be a part of the history of the Mother Road. On the Lincoln Highway it was difficult to find even a highway marker. The first place I found a shop where I could get a Lincoln Highway sticker for my trailer door was the Medicine Bow Museum. It seems to me that the Lincoln Highway is a historical fetish of the Lincoln Highway Association, but they have failed to capture the interest of the people who live along it.
I rejoined US-50 north of Garrison and followed it through Ely Nevada and the “not so lonely road” to Fernley Nevada for the night. At Sparks I left highway 50 and turned northwest toward California.