roadhound Posted September 6, 2007 Report Share Posted September 6, 2007 Part 6; The Road Home In July my father, son, and I embarked on a journey across the deserts of Utah and Nevada following old trails, railroads, and highways.This is the final installment of that journey and covers the 7th day of that trip. All the photos posted so far, plus some that weren't included in the road reports, can be found at http://www.rwphotos.com/Scenics/scenicmain.htm The final night of our adventure was spent at the Lincoln Motel in Austin, Nevada. The motel, like the town, had a nostalgic feel to it. The mattresses on the beds could not have been any more recent than the 1960's, same with the carpets. In short, the motel could have used a bit of sprucing up. We entered into town the evening before with the tired look of the travelers who had just journeyed across the desert. Gone were the snappy conversations and the desire to explore new things. Replacing them were tired eyes, low energy levels, and for me a pounding headache. Very little was said as we ate our meal at the International Cafe. My son and I had burgers while my father had the prime rib dinner. All agreed that the food was good. Afterwards we walked the length of the town at sunset and then settled into our motel room to catch up on reading, writing, and to watch the 2 channels on the TV. The PBS documentary on a mansion in Carson City was not interesting enough to keep my sons attention so he turned to harassing me and his grandfather by throwing towels at us while we tried to catch up on some reading and writing. International Cafe Main Street Austin\US 50 Austin Nevada Austin Garage, Austin, Nevada Moonrise Austin As we left town we made a side trip to Stokes Castle. The 3 story tall hand-hewn granite castle was built as a summer home by Anson Phelps Stokes, a mine developer, in 1897. The Stokes only used the castle as a summer retreat for a short time before selling it off in 1898 with the rest of their mining assets. Stokes Castle Continuing on we headed west on US 50 for a short distance before turning south on Nevada 722. If US 50 is the "Loneliest Road" then Nevada 722 should be called the "Really, Really, Really Lonely Road." I've driven Sitgreaves Pass on Route 66 twice now and as much as I enjoy it Nevada 722 exceeds it by far in my mind. This stretch of road is about 60 miles long, travels down a long and well irrigated valley, winds through a magnificent canyon, and ends with the road winding down the canyon wall before it reaches historic Eastgate. During the entire stretch not another vehicle was to be seen with the exception of the rancher tending to his horse herd on an ATV. This is my new favorite stretch of road and I hope nobody else hears about it. Nevada 722 winding its way towards Eastgate Nevada 722 Nevada 722 was built as an upgrade to the original route of the Lincoln which ran approximately where US 50 is today. It became US 50 when all the roads where given US Route numbers and sometime later US 50 was moved to where the Lincoln originally was, leaving this perfectly paved stretch of road to the locals, and me. Near the western end of our excursion on Nevada 722 we stopped at Eastgate and looked around noting the dates and names that were carved in the wall. Upon reaching US 50 we turned east for a short detour to the Cold Springs Pony Express Station. A few days earlier there would have been no question about hiking out to the location of the station ruins but on this day the interest in hiking for an hour to see another pile of rocks lying on the ground just didn't sound all that appealing. We continued westward on US 50, stopping and exploring the Sand Springs Pony Express Station. The temperature was getting much warmer the further west we traveled and walking on the sand surrounding the ruins didn't make things any cooler. Ranch House at Eastgate Graffiti on the Eastgate bunkhouse wall US 50 Sand Springs Pony Express Station walls and Sand Mountain When your traveling alone its easy to see what you want and to set your own pace. When traveling with somebody else you run the risk of either yourself or one of your traveling companions turning grumpy. We reached that point when we stopped at Grimes Point and my son flat out refused to hike around the petroglyphs. Without regret the decision was made to expedite our return home and make it that evening instead of the following day. We did make a stop along the way at Fort Churchill and got one last bit of dirt road driving along the Pony Express Trail between Fort Churchill and Dayton. Reaching Carson City we turned south on 395 towards Minden, took CA 88 over the Sierra Nevada Range to Jackson, and then south on CA 49 to San Andreas and my parents home just south of there. As is the case with most road trips that I have taken I always discover places that I have missed after I have returned home. This trip was no different. The journey was a memorable one from many different aspects. The fact that it was with my father and son made it extremely special and I am sure it will be one that my son remembers later in life. Also, it was the first time that I had been camping with my father in the last 30 years, or since I was 12 or 13 years old. So many people have told me that they wish that had done something similar with their father when they had the chance. The country that we crossed only whetted my appetite to explore it more and see the things that I missed on the first pass through. Quote Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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