Loneliest Road in America Tour (September 9-11, 2022)

Our club’s biggest adventure of 2022 took us some 320 miles down the Loneliest Road in America (US-50) to Ely, Nevada where we spent Friday and Saturday nights, September 9 &10. Once we had assembled all the tour participants in Fallon and received the Fallon stamp in our “Official NV HWY50 Survival Guide” tour books, Steve and Mayla Kent lead us down US-50 in Mayla’s Boxster. We made our first stop at the Sand Mountain viewpoint.

From Sand Mountain we proceeded past Middlegate and the Shoe Tree, to the junction of US-50 and NV-722. There Steve transformed into Lewis H (while Ozzie transformed into Max V) to lead us through the many curves and elevation changes of NV-722 until we rejoined US-50 just before the old mining town of Austin. Unbeknown to Steve and Mayla, a flash flood had occurred after their pre-run of NV-722, depositing a layer of sand in several curves and dips, adding some additional thrills to this part of the drive. After a brief comfort stop in Austin, where our US-50 tour books received the Austin stamp and we contemplated (but didn’t visit) the bar in the picture, we continued on down US-50 toward our lunch destination in Eureka, another famous old mining town.

Following a leisurely lunch at the Owl Club in Eureka (most had the daily special), our tour books were stamped for Eureka and then it was straight on to Ely, check-in to our hotel and after a short wine and munchies pre-flight in the lobby, a short drive to the Northern Nevada Railroad Museum for a train ride. The train ride was at a leisurely pace, maybe 5 mph max, which they told us was about the speed of transcontinental train travel in the early days (apparently Butch and Sundance didn’t have to ride too hard to rob a train). We had a great time chatting and watching the sunset as the high desert scenery rolled slowly by.

We ended Friday with an impromptu dinner at Mr. Gino’s Italian restaurant, before heading back to the hotel. Rumor has it that a few tried their luck at a local casino before returning to the hotel. Saturday morning we were up bright and early for breakfast at the hotel and then were off on an 80-mile drive to Great Basin National Park, a picnic lunch at Wheeler Peak campground and an afternoon tour of the Lehman Cave. The cave was spectacular although quite cool (you needed to dress warmly). At one point our tour guide turned out the cave lights for a couple of minutes to demonstrate how dark it was without the lights. We were all brave, nobody screamed when the guide informed us they couldn’t always get the lights back on.

Then it was an 80-mile drive back to the hotel, where we freshened up, changed clothes, and drove the short distance to the Jail House for our grand finale dinner. A good time was had by all; the one hitch, the restaurant would only charge one credit card to the bill.

Returning to the hotel, we said our goodbyes Sunday morning after breakfast and headed back home on our own or in small groups.

Our hosts for this event were Steve & Mayla Kent. What a great job they did planning and pre-running this tour, as well as ordering the tickets for the train ride and the Lehman Cave tour. Mayla is a native of the Ely area and this tour was her suggestion.

If you haven’t yet been on one of our yearly adventure tours you owe it to yourself and especially your Porsche to sign up for one, for a chance to explore a part of Nevada or its surrounding states you may not have seen.