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The Loneliest Road in America

Discussion in 'North America' started by Cottonwood, Sep 14, 2014.

  1. Cottonwood

    Cottonwood Roadster#433, Model S#S37

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    There has been a lot of discussion about filling out I-80 between Truckee and Salt Lake City with Superchargers at Nevada Superchargers

    For now, the shortest route between Truckee and the Superchargers on I-15/I-70 is the route from Truckee, CA and Beaver, UT, a distance of 530 miles. A large portion of this route follows US-50, "The Loneliest Road in America."

    If you look at 1Truckee, CA 96161 to Beaver, UT - Google Maps; there are well spaced towns each with RV Parks in Fallon, Austin, Eureka, and Ely. On top of that Fallon, Eureka, and Ely have Best Westerns. Best Western has been partnering with Sun Country Highway to install High Amp Level 2 EVSE's (HAL2's) at many Best Westerns; for those of us with dual chargers, that could be real icing on the cake for this route.

    BTW, I did check, and all the roads on this route are paved; you never know in remote areas like this...

    The Loneliest Highway in America looks like an interesting adventure in an MS. Has anyone given this route a try? I'm considering this as a little adventure this fall. It looks like a relaxed, fun time covering the route in 1.25-1.5-2 days in an MS, with a strategic overnight charge in one of the towns with an RV Park.

    Lonelist Highway - Google.jpg

    Lonelist Road-SC.jpg
     
  2. gnelson

    gnelson Member

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    I have done the US 50 route many times in an ICE and prefer it to the interstate highway.
     
  3. Cottonwood

    Cottonwood Roadster#433, Model S#S37

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    Now, if Tesla put Superchargers in Fallon, Austin, and Ely, that would be an incredible adventure route for Teslas, connecting Truckee with Beaver, and way more interesting than I-80.

    I don't think Superchargers on The Loneliest Highway will happen, but then again, we have the 4-Corners S-Turn and the Mt Rushmore Dogleg on the first Transcontinental route.
     
  4. cpa

    cpa Member

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    It is a nice drive, Cottonwood, and certainly would be a blast in the spring or early fall before the weather got too hot or too cold. There are several gains and losses of elevation like all roads through the Great Basin--going east to west from Beaver might require a little hypermiling at the outset to ensure reaching Ely comfortably.

    The towns of Austin and Eureka are tiny, although I believe that a bed-and-breakfast or two has sprung up. Green River is a paradise compared to those two communities!
     
  5. dmckinstry

    dmckinstry Model S - U.S. P - #1649

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    I'm seriously considering the Fallon, Austin, Ely route, even if there aren't superchargers there. I'm thinking about charging a couple+ hours at an RV park in Fallon, about 5 hours at a park in Austin, and then stay overnight at a motel/RV park in Ely. I think that even if there are several superchargers between Reno and Wells on I-80 Hwy 50 is still the fastest route to reach Beaver, UT on the way to Denver.

    I'd be leaving from friends in Reno.
     
  6. Denarius

    Denarius Active Member

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    I've done this route on a motorcyle, it was a fun trip.
     
  7. KJD

    KJD Member

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    Superchargers on this route would be a huge waste of money. Why not put a few HPWC along that route instead?

    I would much rather see Tesla spend their money on finishing up the Model X and starting the Model 3 instead of putting superchargers on the loneliest road in america.
     
  8. AudubonB

    AudubonB Mild-mannered Moderator Lord Vetinari*

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    I'll second the motion in a heartbeat to place an SpC in Ely, as that is on my Desired Route of Supercharging the N-S Rte 93 which is, for me, one of this continent's supreme roads (and I've written about it elsewhere). Its end-points are Jasper, Alberta, and Wickenburg, AZ....and it passes through wonderfully diverse prairie, mountain and desert terrain; a number of mid-sized cities, and a great host of wonderful small towns and any number of ghost towns.

    By the way - the very, very few (approximately 9) of us who live on the 135-mile long Denali Highway take significant umbrage at Nevada passing off that boulevard as The Loneliest Road. Just sayin'
     
  9. Bighorn

    Bighorn Member

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    That sounds like the road Neal Peart wrote about on his motorcycle journey--I think he may have run out of gas somewhere in there.
     
  10. Killface

    Killface Member

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    Your site says it's 12 people. So which is it??? (or maybe the other 3 Paxsonites live on the Richardson highway?)

    I kid. This post made me look up the Denali Highway and now I've spent the last two hours reading all about it and looking at pictures. My wife and I will be coming to stay at your cabins one of these days. :)
     
  11. Owner

    Owner Active Member

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    I have done I-50 a number of years ago, in a BMW I think. I really enjoyed it but it has been a long time...

    I have done I-80 in my life many a time and for the most part it is just too much freeway and not particularly lonely.
     
  12. wycolo

    wycolo Active Member

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    Scenic alternative when you can't deal with yet another I-80 crossing. In summer remember to *drink* some of that water you are pouring over your head. Else deal with kidney stones later, ouch!! Carry LOTS of water.

    Austin and Eureka are mountain towns; Ely is three basins joined between three mountain ranges. East of Fallon sure to check out Sand Mountain which is maintained by prevailing winds.
    --
     
  13. AudubonB

    AudubonB Mild-mannered Moderator Lord Vetinari*

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    Ha ha: our website is way out of date: in "downtown" Paxson, we're now down to four people and, yes, the other couple lives on the Richardson. On the Denali Hwy there's us two, one couple 42 miles away; another with one child 68 miles out; and one couple at the western end - although that's in a real village, so my "count" ends at the gravel terminus about one mile before that town. So....that's just seven on the road, but there's a hermit who sometimes lives off the Denali, sometimes off the Richardson, and usually on Jupiter or Neptune, we think.
     
  14. Killface

    Killface Member

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    That sounds awesome! Now I'm definitely coming to visit. Is there a time of year where you can see the aurora borealis but not be too cold?


    Apologies for the thread hijack, but to be fair, the Denali highway does sound more lonely than that other road. :)
     
  15. AudubonB

    AudubonB Mild-mannered Moderator Lord Vetinari*

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    Ending the hijack. Nights are long enough by mid-August to see auroral activity, if any.

    Back to Nevada 50: I would love to be able to do the loop Vegas-->Ely via 93 (the Pahranagat aquifer is startling and beautiful in that bleak land; Caliente is a gem of a small village, with its iconic railroad depot); Ely-->Fallon via 50; Fallon-->Vegas via 95, through ghost towns like Goldfield and quasi-ghost towns like Tonopah.

    But first, the SpC crowd would need to build Rtes 95 and 93, in my opinion; the 50 build-up should be second to those. It's going to be hard (as in Alaska) to get SpCs where there isn't high-quality 240V...let alone 480V....line power.
     
  16. Cottonwood

    Cottonwood Roadster#433, Model S#S37

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    No worries on the hijack, Love to make it up to your place someday. It make Pagosa seem down right urban. View of Pagosa from Cottonwood's Top of the Wall, Off-Grid, Web Cam

    Actually, all you need for a Supercharger is a little capacity on a 3-phase, medium Voltage, distribution pole line. This usually means seeing 4 wires up on the poles, 3 wires on some kind of insulators, usually glass, and a slightly smaller wire (neutral) without much in the way of insulators. All but the tiniest "Mobile" Superchargers get their own Utility Transformer.

    Back to the Loneliest Highway: For Loneliest Highway travel, if I could place one HPWC or CS-100 on the route, it would be Eureka, NV, billed as the friendliest town in America. Although Eureka is just out of range of Truckee and Beaver for an 85, with a little RV park top up at Fallon and Ely respectively, I think Eureka is the best location if one HAL2 can be put on the route. Looks like it helps both ways! Thoughts?
     
  17. mspohr

    mspohr Active Member

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    I've driven this route from Lake Tahoe to Ely about five times. It's beautiful... mountains and valleys. It really is the loneliest road. Hardly any traffic. It usually takes about 5 hours.
    I was looking at how to do it in a Tesla and I think Austin, NV (200 miles from Truckee SC) would be a good place for HPWC. It's about halfway between Truckee SC and Ely. There are lots of RV sites for charging in Ely. Austin has a few motels and B&B so you could probably charge overnight there. Eureka is mostly a mining town. It might be friendly but not much to see or do there.
     
  18. gnelson

    gnelson Member

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    Nobody said this should be a high priority like getting TX connected with the other 47 states. HPWC's have little benefit for those without dual chargers. It is a better alternative than I-80 for those coming from Denver going to Reno. It isn't a waste of money when people buy Supercharger enabled cars and want routing flexibility. There are also North/South routes through Ely and Fallon.

    Building Superchargers and releasing new model vehicles aren't mutually exclusive.
     
  19. Cottonwood

    Cottonwood Roadster#433, Model S#S37

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    #19 Cottonwood, Sep 15, 2014
    Last edited: Sep 15, 2014
    The irony is that you want HAL2's at mid-day stops and 40A charging for overnights.

    You make a good point. I had picked Eureka as the approximate mid-way point. This route really needs at least two HAL2's to make it comfortable. Austin and Ely look like the approximate 1/3, 2/3's picks, and make a lot of sense. Truckee to Austin is a stretch and Austin to Truckee isn't that easy in an 85. Austin is higher than Truckee! However, a little top in Fallon would make that stretch comfortable either way. Austin to Ely and Ely to Beaver are straight forward in an 85, and doable in a 60.

    Because this is an interesting road, and actually a nice route from Truckee to pick up I-70 into Colorado, what do you think of a Kick Starter campaign for HAL2's on The Loneliest Road in America?

    Do you think we could get traction among Tesla owners and other EV supporters for this? CS-100's from Sun Country Highway are more generic, but HPWC's are less expensive. Could we get enough extra support for the generic J1772, or is the lower budget for HPWC's easier to raise? Maybe we could get the HPWC's free as part of Tesla's Destination Charging campaign.
     
  20. GRA

    GRA Member

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    #20 GRA, Sep 15, 2014
    Last edited: Sep 16, 2014
    That's Basin and Range (well, range and basin) to you:biggrin: As mentioned in the Nevada SC thread, John McPhee's eponymous book will clue you in to what you're crossing and why it is the way it is. I've driven it a couple of times, and recommend it at night under at least a quarter moon. Just not during deer season - had a suicidal deer end its existence and do $1,500 worth of damage to my car about 75 miles west of Ely one September night a couple of decades ago, driving back from Carbondale, Co. Ideally, as well as Fallon, Austin, Eureka and Ely, you'd also have SCs in Baker, NV (gateway town to Great Basin NP) and Delta, UT.

    BTW, it was a writer or editor at Life magazine who christened U.S. 50 across Nevada as "The Loneliest Road in America", so any complaints should be directed to them (or their heirs and successors).
     

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