California & Nevada

Sunnyvale, CA – Ely, NV
Daily Mileage: 571
Total Mileage: 5483
Total Number of States Traveled: 23

Great day and wonderful weather. Topped off the gas tank ($2.54 a gallon…. what kind of craziness is that?) and headed towards Tahoe. I picked up US 50 on the outskirts of Sacramento and continued east, climbing into the mountains. Stopped by In-N-Out Burger in Placerville for my Double-Double fix. I found a plateau just outside of Placerville where I was able to talk to KD6EUG back into the valley. The drive into the Sierras was gorgeous – the roads were great, some snow. Pulling in to South Lake Tahoe I realized I hadn’t loaded the Nevada map into my Pocket PC… which would prevent my GPS from talking me through Nevada to Ely. Seeing a Starbucks, I parked and hauled in my laptop along with my coffee mug and loaded up the maps.

I’d only been to Lake Tahoe once before (when I was in the 5th grade) – what a beautiful place.

After circling counterclockwise around the southern part of Lake Tahoe, I crossed into Nevada… with all the casinos. Heading east, I approached Spooner Summit and the downhill ride into Carson City. On a local repeater I had a great conversation with Jo Anne who was down in Carson City. I told her I was planning on taking US 50 out to Ely and she gave me a few tips – watch out for wild horses on the highway! She also described how her local ham club provides communication support to the annual reenactment of the Pony Express that spans the length of Nevada. I passed the Nevada State Capitol and headed east out of town.

I made it to Fallon by sunset, refueled and continued east. It’s hard to say what Nevada looks like after Fallon, because once the sun set – it was pitch black. There were about a billion stars out – but only three trucks passed during the next five hours. Austin, Eureka… and finally Ely. For some reason I imagined Nevada would be flat – but I was up at 7,000 feet, rolling up and down a zillion summits.

Ramada Inn & Copper Queen Casino
805 Great Basin Blvd
Ely, NV 89301