Saturday, August 8, 2009

Day 7 - Delta, UT to Lake Tahoe, via Rt 50: "The Loneliest Road in America"

Another gorgeous day. We ended the night last night with some great Mexican food, and crashed at the Days Inn, Delta, a little town at the eastern end of where Rt 50 becomes a straight shot across Utah and Nevada. Mark had kindly offered to take Nathaniel to Salt Lake City in the 612 so that Nat could catch a flight home. This left Dan, Glenn and Dennis with the Mantide and the 16M, as the McLaren was back on the transporter, suffering from a bit of hesitation (we think it had to do with the elevation and bad gas in Colorado).

Today started a bit chilly, to our utter surprise. It was mostly in the 50s and lower 60s all day, until we got into Western Nevada. Rt 50 is celebrated as "The Loneliest Road in America", and in a sense it is. Laser straight for miles and miles and miles, it's interrupted only every few dozen miles from climbs through hills and mountains. On the long straights, you can go for 10 miles without spotting another vehicle.

And while the pavement isn't perfect, Rt 50 is otherwise a great place to go fast and enjoy the scenery. Given a choice, I'd must rather drive Rt 50 than, say, I-80. So given the opportunity, we exercised the 16M and the Mantide. One could see all the way to the horizon on much of Rt 50, so one had a 1+ minute warning as to oncoming traffic. And with virtually no cross streets or, for that matter, any signs of human life, one can easily reach some impressive speeds. Over the last two days, I've shattered at least three if not 5-6 personal records.

Rt 50 also cuts through some small towns in Nevada, many of which are faded relics of their glorious, bygone eras. We stopped for a surprisingly good burger with onion rings and chili in Eureka. Overall, we did 400+ miles on Rt 50, and every single mile of it was enjoyable (especially the part where the sheriff shot us with radar while we had managed to slow to about 80 mph, in a 70 mph zone). The sheriff hit his flashing lights, but didn't even slow down - it was just a warning to us to play nice. Another sheriff gave both cars a nice wave as we passed through his town. Ah, Nevada is most excellent!

Later in the afternoon, we went through Carson City and arrived at Lake Tahoe. While we've seen plenty of beautiful scenery on this trip, Tahoe added a big water feature to our panoramic memory gallery. We're spending the night in suites at the Village at Squaw Valley, a ski development very similar to Tremblant and Whistler.

That's all for now. We're leaving Tahoe in the morning, going down the west side of the lake to pick up Rt 50 again, then go through Sacramento to Napa for lunch. Time permitting, we'll cruising down the Pacific Coast Highway, then go over the Golden Gate bridge and arrive finally at Monterey.

Wish us luck!

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