Page 1 of 4 1234 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 34
  1. #1
    Tony J Case, Super Genius Guest

    Default My '09 Road Trip 2: The Loneliest Road over the 4th of July.

    [Tony is on the road for the holiday and so his planning thread has been moved to Field Reports,]

    Heh - here I am, not even done with my first major road trip of '09, and I'm already thinking of what I'm doing next. I'm just never satisfied, I guess. :)

    Anyway, I've got a couple of extra days off over the fourth of July - from Saturday the 4th to the Tuesday the 7th (plus I might be able to finagle one more day out of the boss - we'll see as the plan unfolds). Okay, so not a heck of a lot of time.

    I was thinking - purely brainstorming at the moment, mind you - driving down from Seattle to Sacramento, hooking up with Highway 50 there, driving the Loneliest Road to Ely and then up Highway 93 to Twin Falls for the trip back to Seattle.

    A couple of questions:

    * Being that there's only a couple of towns on the route, do you think that I'd be ok with my usual methods of drive until I find a motel that looks cool/friendly and crash for the night? Or are motels scarce along there and/or fill up quickly?

    * Is four days long enough to do that? It's 750-ish miles from Seattle to Sacramento - a long haul, but potentially done in a day. (I don't mind the speed run along here, since it's not Oregon and California I'm aiming to see on this trip). From Sacramento to Ely looks like about 400 or so miles, and then back to Seattle is about 900 - which if divided by the four days is just a touch over 500 miles a day. Kind of brisk, but not too bad. Or should I really see about getting that fifth day and take it nice and easy?

    * Hows the trip? Is it worth doing? byways.org has a bit of info, but not much. I imagine it'll be desert, desert and more desert. Probably not so much to do, but just so long as it's scenic and beautiful (and photogenic), I'm okay with desert.

    * How's the weather? I did Seattle to Four Corners over last year's Fourth, and that was hot but not "Oh crap! Kill me now!" unbearable hot. Being smack in the middle of the desert, this is probably pretty comparable temperatures, right?
    Last edited by Mark Sedenquist; 07-04-2009 at 10:49 AM.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    SF Bay Area
    Posts
    777

    Default Lonliest Road

    Sacto to Ely is doable. You may want to try to find a copy of "Traveling America's Lonliest Road" published by Nevada Bureau of Mines and Geology (I got mine from the gift shop at Great Basin NP) as research material. It does an excellent job of covering the route, and discussing the sights, geology, flora and fauna.

    Ely has a number of lodging options, but given the holiday weekend I would pre-book... the last thing you want at the end of a long driving day is to have to look for a place to sleep.

    If you want to stop in the middle, Eureka is probably your best choice.

    As for photo ops, a few stagecoach/pony express stations right on the route, and an old mine or ghost town down some side roads. Don't miss the huge copper pit mine in Ruth, just outside Ely. The old train in Ely is another sightseeing/photo op.

    If you take a little more time, you can stop at Great Basin National Park (shortly before Ely) to hike, drive up to 10,000' or so, and/or tour Lehman Caves (no relation to Lehman Brothers). There's some bristlecone pines up at timberline (requires hiking at altitude).
    Attached Images Attached Images

  3. #3
    Tony J Case, Super Genius Guest

    Default

    Alrightie - It's shameless bump as I recover from my massive trip (Yes, yes - I'm nearly done sorting all the photos! I'll let you guys know soon enough when theyre up! :) ) and set my sights on the next outing. Another 8,000 miles two months would probably kill me, so a nice (reasonably) short jaunt down to Nevada is probably just what the doctor ordered. They're shutting my company down for the 8-10th of July, so I've got another 9 days to squander on the road, from the 4th to the 12th.

    [B]
    Quote Originally Posted by CalOldBlue View Post
    Sacto to Ely is doable. You may want to try to find a copy of "Traveling America's Lonliest Road" published by Nevada Bureau of Mines and Geology (I got mine from the gift shop at Great Basin NP) as research material. It does an excellent job of covering the route, and discussing the sights, geology, flora and fauna.
    This is it, right? Woo - 50 bucks. Is it out of print or something?

    Ely has a number of lodging options, but given the holiday weekend I would pre-book... the last thing you want at the end of a long driving day is to have to look for a place to sleep.
    You know, having great sucess with my Seattle->Madison trip (save for those cursed trains!), I think I'll roll the dice and see if I can't find something on the road. I'll be sure to bring along a pillow and blanket this time, tho - just in case.

    As for photo ops, a few stagecoach/pony express stations right on the route, and an old mine or ghost town down some side roads. Don't miss the huge copper pit mine in Ruth, just outside Ely. The old train in Ely is another sightseeing/photo op.
    Cool, I'll keep that in mind. I'd love to shake loose some time to explore ghost towns along the way. And with considerably less tourist traps on the route, I'll have more time to go this way and that.

  4. #4
    Tony J Case, Super Genius Guest

    Default

    One other thought -interstates have their place, but they are soul-less creatures to be avoided were possible. Any thoughts on how to get to Sacramento without doing I-5? Sure I could do Highway 101, but it's a bit out of the way (relatively speaking) and while I have time to burn, the twisty-turny route it takes would probably take too long.

    That and I'd like to save 101 for a future trip all by itself.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Joplin MO
    Posts
    9,270

    Default

    Nothing says that you have to go to Sacto to pick up 50 - why not head out to Pendleton OR via 90/82/84 or some other route and pick up 395 to Reno?

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    SF Bay Area
    Posts
    777

    Default Roads less travelled...

    Quote Originally Posted by Tony J Case, Super Genius View Post
    One other thought -interstates have their place, but they are soul-less creatures to be avoided were possible. Any thoughts on how to get to Sacramento without doing I-5? Sure I could do Highway 101, but it's a bit out of the way (relatively speaking) and while I have time to burn, the twisty-turny route it takes would probably take too long.

    That and I'd like to save 101 for a future trip all by itself.
    Yeah, that's the book. Just checked the price tag on the back of my copy: $21.95. Bought less than a year ago in GBNP.

    As for non I-5 options:

    1) Loop through the Oregon High Desert - take Oregon 26 out of the Portland area over the flank of Mt Hood down to Madras. Take US97 south, optionally looping off of this through Crater Lake. South of Bend is the High Desert Museum (natural history kind of stuff). Also can loop west into some of the Cascades from this route north of the Crater Lake junction. US97 eventually rejoins I5 in Weed, CA... near Mt. Shasta.

    2) Loop through Lassen Volanic National Park - take CA89 off I5 between the town of Mt. Shasta and Dunsmuir. At the end of the park, take CA32 to CA99 in Chico, follow CA99 all the way to Sacto.

    Stating the obvious: both of these will add hours to your trip, probably requiring an extra night's stop somewhere... but there's some neat scenery on these routes.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    SF Bay Area
    Posts
    777

    Default D'oh!

    Quote Originally Posted by glc View Post
    Nothing says that you have to go to Sacto to pick up 50 - why not head out to Pendleton OR via 90/82/84 or some other route and pick up 395 to Reno?
    Of course! That would work.

    Also, if you look at my option #2, at the far end of Lassen you could stay on CA89 and ride it all the way to Truckee, or follow CA70 where it splits off and head to US395 and down into Reno or Carson City.

  8. #8
    Tony J Case, Super Genius Guest

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by CalOldBlue View Post
    Yeah, that's the book. Just checked the price tag on the back of my copy: $21.95. Bought less than a year ago in GBNP.
    Okay, found the publisher's web page with it for
    significantly less
    . Even if it's 20 bucks shipping (which it wont be), it'll still be cheaper than Amazon. I'll give 'em a buzz in the morning and see about picking up a copy.

    2) Loop through Lassen Volanic National Park - take CA89 off I5 between the town of Mt. Shasta and Dunsmuir. At the end of the park, take CA32 to CA99 in Chico, follow CA99 all the way to Sacto.
    Looking at mapquest, I think a modification of this will work. I can take I-5 down to where it meets US 12. Take US 12 past the south end of Rainier over to Yakima where I head south down Highway 97 until somewhere south of Bend (where I stop for the night). It may seem like an odd route, but I skipped the Washington section of Highway 12 when I drove it to Madison, and I kind of want to complete the whole thing (even if it isn't in the same trip).

    Stating the obvious: both of these will add hours to your trip, probably requiring an extra night's stop somewhere... but there's some neat scenery on these routes.
    I haven't planned out the time table yet, but I think I should be good with some extra hours and a stopover before I actually get to 50. I think I have enough days to go around and it's a hell of a lot shorter than my Highway 12 trip.

  9. #9
    Tony J Case, Super Genius Guest

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by CalOldBlue View Post
    Yeah, that's the book. Just checked the price tag on the back of my copy: $21.95. Bought less than a year ago in GBNP.
    So I gave them a call this morning and picked up a copy. Even with the shipping (8 dollars) it was still much cheaper than Amazon or B&N.com. But thanks for turning me onto it - it looks like it'll be a huge help.

    Ok, so I sat down with mapquest last night. Here is a *very* rough schedule:

    DAY 1
    Seattle to Bend, OR, via Highway 12 and Yakima, as mentioned before

    DAY 2
    Bend to Carson City

    DAY 3
    From Carson City up highway 50 to either Eureka (depending on how much lollygagging and dillydallying I do) or Ely if I'm making good time.

    DAY 4
    Now, here's a interesting choice. I could head north at this point towards Twin Falls, ID - but it's very tempting to head down Highway 6 (the Grand Army of the Republic Highway) back to California and then back up to Seattle from there. Even if I drag my feet, I should still have another 3 or 4 days to play with - that should be plenty of time to drive back up from Central Cali.

    Thoughts?

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Joplin MO
    Posts
    9,270

    Default

    Tony - how about this?

    From Ely, take US93 south to Ash Springs, then take the Extraterrestrial Highway back up to US6.

Similar Threads

  1. Road Trip from Philadelphia to Atlanta early July 2005
    By guinnesscub in forum Planning Summer RoadTrips
    Replies: 4
    Last Post: 02-27-2010, 09:46 AM
  2. Two College friends looks for 3 week Road trip! Need help.
    By bearfan34 in forum Planning Summer RoadTrips
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: 02-23-2009, 01:37 PM
  3. Road Trip - Insanity or Awesomeness? (Toronto-Tucson-Edmonton)
    By adolwyn in forum Planning Summer RoadTrips
    Replies: 3
    Last Post: 06-02-2008, 07:41 PM
  4. Eternal Summer Road Trip w/kids: Return Trip from Yellowstone NP
    By Nachomama in forum Planning Summer RoadTrips
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: 04-18-2008, 01:07 PM
  5. Southeastern Road Trip
    By austin83 in forum Fall & Winter RoadTrips
    Replies: 21
    Last Post: 02-18-2008, 10:03 PM

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  
  • Find the Perfect Hotel
    Search RoadTrip Motels
    Enter city name

    Loading...



  • MORE STORIES