Like I said, Nevada’s Highway 50 is a desolate stretch of road, so don’t expect these images of it to be otherwise. Beautiful and lonely and blank? Yes. Much else? No, not really. Such little traffic crosses Highway 50 that I was able to jump out of my van (with it still running in the lane) to take photos. Since the van chugged so slowly through these mountain passes, I eventually abandoned the frequent photo stops and just started slowing down to take photos out the window. How lazy-American of me, right?
The Nevada landscape ripples with medium-sized mountains. I didn’t count, but I’m not exaggerating when I say I probably crossed between ten and fifteen passes in a single day of driving, each under 8,000 feet.
Most of the peaks were still snow-covered, and the land that surrounds the mountains is desert-like—flat, dusty, shrub-covered terrain.
Just west of Middlegate Station, sand replaces the shrubs, and a silver-white sheen starts to appear at the edges of land and water. I’d never seen a salt flat before, but it was a sight I got used to in this part of Nevada, and again in Utah on my return journey through Salt Lake.
I drove through this landscape for two days, feeling calmed by the roller-coaster ride of it, soothed by its pastel-painted skies.
Eventually, I reached my destination: Truckee, California, where I explored more of the mountain-lake landscape surrounding Donner Lake (above) and Lake Tahoe. And being sick of sitting in a driver’s seat for two days, of course, I skied…