Lonliest road in America?
We had an amazing ride on route 50 into Reno. They called it the lonliest road in America. What really is the lonliest road in America? Any ideas?
Most interstates and US Highways are pretty well-traveled. I have a candidate for one of the loneliest stretches of road in the country.
The sixty miles between Monticello and Moab in southeastern Utah are brutal. There are very few cars, ZERO services, and from what I remember, only one sign about halfway telling of your progress. (I personally owe a pair of shorts to a timely outhouse at a closed down tourist attraction, but that's another story)
I actually broke down on that stretch of road in 1978! A highway patrolman called a wrecker, and I got towed back to Monticello on a Saturday evening (from about 25 miles north of town). The only mechanic in town who wasn't LDS fixed the car on Sunday AM -- but he had to call in a favor from the local Bishop (who just happened to own the local parts store as well) -- he came out of his Sunday AM service to sell Joe Mechanic the parts to get me back on the road! Now, exactly WHAT tourist attraction is it that you...?
I have traveled on US-50 several times, one recent time was with 300 Harley riders -- hard to get "lonely" in their company.
Let's see, does it have to be paved to count? If not, I would vote for the road between Soldier's Meadow and Winnemucca in Northern Nevada for that honor. (Snapped the welds on the front bumper on the Phoenix in a mud bog and could only make left turns for several miles...)
Drive fast, turn left? Well, maybe not through a mud bog, I guess. I think quite a few of those northern Nevada roads could make a "loneliest" list. I had to think about this one for awhile -- but most of the candidates I can come up with are more isolated than lonely, like US 191 in eastern AZ. Last summer, I drove US395 between Lakeview, OR and Riley, OR -- I'll bet I didn't pass two vehicles in over 100 miles. So I think it was the loneliest road I ever drove (in memory anyway), although that may have been partially due to the time (mid-week and evening).
Those kinds of roads attract me -- one of my planned future road trips is to drive US93 all the way from Phoenix to the Canadian border, and maybe beyond on Canada's continuation of the same roadway. I think in its entireity, it may qualify as the loneliest of long distance routes.
What section on US-191?
The section of US-191 between Eagar and Clifton, AZ holds the record for the curviest Federal highway ever built. I have yet to drive it. Do you do that section?
The left turn matter may require an explanation -- due to the damage (from the very, very sticky mud bog) the bumper was hanging in front of the right fender in such a way that it could not be repaired in the field --- so in order to make a right turn when approaching an intersection it was necessary to make a series of left turns to "go right." Pretty absurd, certainly on a par with taking that rig up that "road".
The only times I can recall not meeting another vehicle (on a paved road) to match that incidence would have been during storm conditions where no sane person would have been driving (on-road sanity has never been one of my strong suits) which may explain something about the number of times I have gotten stuck...
I really, really like that drive from Wickenburg to the Canadian border. I have driven sections of it many times over the last few years. Lots of happy memories for that stretch between Sunbeam and Lost Trail Pass in Idaho.
Isn't this the week when you are headed for Scotland?
Yes, I am leaving tomorrow evening nonstop from Phoenix to London -- 10 hours. I have lots of snacks in a brown paper sack. I only have a week, but intend to make the most of it -- I'll be on the train to Aberdeen first thing Wednesday morning.
I, too, have a reputation for not going where others think I should! I have heard state weighmasters (selling me trip permits) say "why are you taking THAT semi up THAT road -- that's no road for a truck (many times!). Response? "Hey, friend, because it is there and I think I can..."
US191 -- yes, I've done that road a few times, and that is the specific stretch I was thinking of -- again, it is not really lonely, just isolated. It runs up the spine of the White Mountains and is some of the prettiest and most remote land in the state. I may do it again soon, if you want a blow-by-blow. Bob
The SE Utah Tourist Attraction
The place I was talking about is a house carved into a huge rock formation about 15 miles south of Moab. The place looked pretty deserted, as did the broken down Snack Bar in the same lot.
How many years ago?
Very few cars? How many years ago and what time of year? In the Spring/Fall that road is heavily traveled with shuttle vehicles for biking outfits. Plus, US-191 is THE major truck route for that region of Utah.
Was the closed tourist attraction -- "Hole in the Wall"?
Moab is one trendy place these days. Did you check out the view from the bar on the west side of the canyon overlooking the town?
I don't think I want any more details about your "Hole in the Rock" adventure! LOL BTW, this is a very cool spot to visit if you ever get back that way. Cool as in groovy but also cool as in a great place to cool off on a hot day.
I've driven this route a few times in the summer and always encountered fairly steady traffic. Maybe in the winter it's much less?
Personally, I've encountered more lonely roads in parts of Nevada but can't remember which ones off the top of my head. Also 101 on the west side of the Olympic Peninsula is not well traveled from about Kalaloch to Forks. Again, this depends on the time of year. More travelers in the summer.