13 Reasons to Travel Nevada

13 Reasons to Travel Nevada

  1. To be filled with awe. Have you ever spent time under the desert sky with no man-made lights visible? How many stars are there?  No wonder three major religions were born under the desert skies of the Middle East. How vast and bright the heavens!
  2. To get to California.  Old route 66 went around Nevada to get to L.A. but now I-80 and I-70 to I-15 is the way to go.  The Lincoln Highway, the first transcontinental highway, did go through northern Nevada.
  3. To see the bare bones of the mountains. There are numerous mountain ranges running north and south. The highest ranges are forested but most are bare or even much grass. You can see every rock, ridge, rill, rabbit hole, gully, or trail on the mountainsides.
  4. To travel the extraterrestrial highway.(N375). Stay on the highway. Government Area 51 doesn’t exist and extraterrestrials don’t exist and you may cease to exist if you wander too far. People do report seeing strange objects in the sky. They say you should stop in Rachel for some unique souvenirs, but we haven’t.
  5. To test your patience.and give your passengers plenty of time to ask “Are we there yet” “ Do you see any YET out there?” If you are from the more humid regions, Nevada seems very empty and barren. Maybe you have to grow up in the dry West to see the beauty of Nevada.
  6. To give your children time to sing all the verses of “99 bottles of beer on the wall”. And maybe back up again.
  7. To count the earth tones in the landscape. An old folk song says “ Ireland has 40 shades of green.” Nevada has hundreds of shades of yellow, red, tan, brown, and even green. (Much of the green is irrigated farmland.)  It is surprising just how colorful the mountains are without a covering of trees or grass.
  8. To travel the loneliest road in America, US 50. It was so named years ago by a national magazine. If you travel US 50, pick up your “ I traveled America’s Loneliest Highway” kit.  Get it stamped at the several towns along US 50 and get a special bumper sticker.  Actually, we think that Nevada routes 278, 305, 318, and 376 are even more lonesome with as much as 100 miles between gas stations.
  9. To explore the history of roads. Where Highway US 50 goes through the mountains one can see the marks of old trails (Indian and Pony Express), dirt wagon roads, and fragments of old paving,(maybe the Lincoln Highway, the first transcontinental route). The Indian trails were not in the valley bottoms which were full of brush,but along the side if the mountains. In Nevada, there are many mountain ranges pointing north and south, and the only ways through are the same passes now as then.
  10. To get sunburn and frostbite within 24 hours.  We went from 90 degrees at Bad Water , Death Valley. (That’s in California, but still part on the Nevada Desert) to 16 degrees the next morning in Austin about March 1.  One April, it was 30 degrees at Twin Falls, Idaho, and a few days later, 104 at Overton near Valley of Fire state park.
  11. To see a petrified elephant. Well, it’s made of stone.  Elephant Rock in Valley of Fire State Park sure looks like an elephant. You don’t need an imagination to see it on the main road through the park.  It isn’t often one sees a pink elephant.
  12. To learn to pronounce and even spell “Ichthyosaur,” the state fossil, a large sea-going reptile that is now extinct. It is found in Berlin-Ichthyosaur state park. Like many interesting places in Nevada, it is a long way from any place else.
  13. To visit a real ghost town. There have been many short-lived gold and other mineral mining towns all over Nevada. Many of these old abandoned towns are too isolated to vandalize and the dry air preserves the wood from decay. Laws now protect ghost towns from scavengers.

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