For a motorcyclist who was raised in the verdant East, the expanses traversed by U.S. Route 50 seem to defy reality. The openness of the space led Life Magazine to dub Highway 50 “The Loneliest Road in America” in 1986. Consequently, the road isn’t as lonely as it used to be, but the several times I’ve had the pleasure of riding it, I encountered solitude that almost matched the tremendous views. Since it is part of the Lincoln Highway, I discovered it on that semi-transcontinental ride (I joined the ride in Minnesota). The essential part begins in Ely, NV and ends in Carson, NV. In between, the town of Austin was founded by Pony Express riders who took up mining. Today, you can meet modern day miners in the bars and restaurants that dot the small towns. Take a moment to tour the Eureka Opera House or deviate from the highway to follow the Pony Express Trail across a dry lakebed a few miles north of Highway 50. However, beware the Mormon Crickets. Visually, they are the stuff of nightmares, but collectively, they have been known to mass is such large groups on the highway that motorcyclists have lost traction and crashed when encountering them mid-corner.

(I wrote about both the Alaska Highway and Highway 50 in Evans Off Camber – Riding At Night.)