Tuesday, June 24, 2014

The Loneliest Road in America: Highway 50

"Make it stop. Make it stop." My inner child wanted to throw a tantrum. We had just spent three glorious days with friends in Mendocino. The price we had to pay to get there, and come home, was enduring the seemingly endless stretch of road through the Nevada desert known as Highway 50. 

The Randomocity Road Trip began last Wednesday night. We soaked up all we could of our weekend there, Celebrating the Summer Solstice in true Mendocino fashion. 

Yesterday, we left Comptche just after five in the morning. We would finally see the Nevada desert during the day. I took the first shift of driving, as the winding roads of northern California make me carsick. Bridger slept for the first four hours of our journey while I fought to keep my eyes open with 5 Hour Energy drinks and coffee.

When we were heading to California, we'd seen elk, antelope, jack rabbits, a fox, and many, many mice. On our eastward trip home, most of the wildlife sighted were not as impressive as on our westward journey: a dead antelope, dead rabbits, and two dead badgers. Would that make them wilddead?

We reminisced about some of our favorite memories of our stay in Redwood Country. Bridger thought Tonia and Ros were hilarious. "Tonia and Roslynn could be handpuppets, the way they act with each other. One says something; the other says something, and then their mouths are wide open, laughing hilariously at what they just said."
Tonia made this little graphic for Bridger while we were traveling home.

Before driving out of California, I heard a word that sounded suspiciously like an expletive escape Bridger's mouth as he glanced in the rearview mirror, but with my hearing, anything is possible, and I could tell he wasn't happy. The next thing I knew, we were pulling over on the side of the road, and there were flashing lights behind us.

Apparently, Bridger was changing lanes frequently; boredom will do that to a driver, but the policeman decided to verify that the driver of our vehicle was not, in fact, intoxicated. He asked if we had any drugs, alcohol, knives, or other weapons in the car. That made me chuckle. I thought perhaps he might have been suggesting items we should be sure to have on hand to avoid the mind-numbing boredom of Highway 50, but we soberly assured him our car was clean. (Well, it looked trashed with all of the empty drink bottles and fast food wrappers, but we had no contraband.) The officer was very nice, and handed back the registration, and Bridger's license, and left us with this parting shot: "Just don't drive like you're drunk."

Bridger pulled over again, somewhere after Ely because something had caught his eye. "Look, Shrink, a Roadtripasaurus!"

We set up our new little friend for a quick photo shoot, and tried out some jokes about our recent paleontology find.

"Why did the Roadtripasaurus cross Highway 50?"

"He was hoping a car would hit him, and put him out of his misery."

"I'm keeping him, you know." Bridger has always loved dinosaurs.

We took turns napping, eating, driving, and reading to pass the time of our 16 hours on the road.

I was so grateful when we finally crossed over into Utah. We still had about four hours of travel to go, but we were getting closer to home.

Five miles before Delta, we finally saw the Shoe Tree. There are a couple of bras hanging there, too. Neither one of us had any items we wanted to donate, so we just took a couple of pictures, and kept on going.

While we were missing our Mendocino memory makers, they were missing us. I received this picture via Facebook toward the end of our journey.

Ros and Tonia had covered a wooden post with a hideous Christmas hat to stand in for me, and took this pic. I missed them so much, it made my heart hurt a little. Yes, I was jealous of that ugly yarn cap. It had been a whirlwind trip of hilarity and hijinks, walks down dirt lanes and warm water soaks, decadent eating and late-night chats...the stuff of which friendships are forged. 

The only thing I want to know now is: when are Ros and Tonia planning a road trip of their own to come see us? Make it soon, please! Bridger and I miss you both already!


  1. This...is perfect. Loved this trip. Love y'all. Tell Bridger his description is fairly apt. :-)

  2. Oh, Ros, how did I miss this? I love thinking of you as puppets. Well, free-thinking, strong-willed puppets without somebody's hand moving your mouths...


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