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It's been a good 25 years since I first heard the phrase " Loneliest Road in America". In a sense, that's all it took. I had to go check it out. When I first told riding buddies of my plans, the response was immediate, Why!? There's nothing out there, it's a desert.

It was LIFE Magazine in July 1986 that first coined the phrase, and it was meant in a negative way. It was literal. Nothing to see out here, just keep moving. Nevada holds one of the most remote deserted stretches of road in the nation. The message in LIFE was a simple one. There is no logical reason for you to be on this road.. Yet, that alone is why you have to come see it for yourself. . Join Pashnit Motorcycle Tours for

Loneliest Tour in America

 

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The Loneliest Tour begins in Fallon, Nevada, home of TOPGUN flight school. Reports abound of riders being buzzed by fighter jets out in the open desert. Lucky day if you see one conducting low level flights. Just east of Fallon is a massive 600 ft tall sand dune that lines the road, quite popular with the sand rail owners. It lasts just a moment then disapears from view. Hwy 50 flows across flat terrain before finally beginning a soft climb to Austin.

If you view a topographic map of the United States, you may quickly notice a characteristic unique to Nevada. The state isn't flat, rather it's demarcated by a series of north-south ridgelines with broad flat valleys inbetween. These ridgelines while technically considered mountain ranges span upwards above 8000 feet. This is high desert. Land above 5000 feet covered in forests snowy in winter, while mild to hot temps in summer. Riding above 5000 feet, there are Joshua Trees everywhere.

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After 110 miles, the elevation begins to climb into Austin , a mining boomtown where in 1862, some 10,000 people lived here. A fraction of those remain and just to keep things interesting, Hwy 50 throws out a few hairpin curves up an over Hickson Summit as you leave town and flows out into open desert making for Eureka.

Devils Gate Summit delivers us into Eureka 70 miles later across expansive open high desert riding. The road is a vanishing point on the horizon and the ride can be mesmorizing, even spiritual. Just you, the bike, the road.

Eureka's downtown is dominated by the Opera House, circa 1880. The courthouse across the street is stamped with 1879 on the outside and still in use today. It still holds original furniture from they bygone era. The pressed tin ceiling is also original, and even the walk-in vault remains the same.

Originally known for silver discoveries, there is a massive circular open pit mine in operation today on the west end of town clealy visible from the highway, the mine is estimated to contain 1.4 billion pounds of molybdenum which has many uses, but is used primarily in steel alloys.

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For all the talk about vanishing point and the long straight road, Hwy 50 does have curves, but they lazily curl around low ridgelines, the aforementioned ripples in the earth's surface so pronounced in form when looking at your relief map.

Hwy 50 was originally known as the Lincoln Highway and its inception dates back to 1912 when the original route was created to link New York City to San Francisco ,the original length spanned 3389 miles linking Times Square in New York City to Lincoln Park in San Francisco. Tthe original route connected over 700 towns in 1915.

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Today however, we've got a straight shot of 78 miles to reach Ely, which experienced its mining origins in 1915. Boom and bust have created numerous cycles. The most recent in 2005 due to high demands for copper beneath the town.

The open desert and lack of foilage hides the fact that Ely lies at 6400 feet and experiences extreme day-night temperature differences year-round. A few years ago, in Feb 2009, the low temp hit -30 below. Ely also is the western terminus of our ride and we expect a cold morning after spending our first night in Ely.

Silver State Classic entrant
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207 mph ....

Ely is also home to the Silver State Classic, the fastest road race in the world on public roads spanning a 90-mile stretch of Hwy 318. The highest average speed was 207 mph set in 2000. The race is unique in that anyone 21 yrs or older can enter any automobile. Entrants have spanned full on race cars & high-end exotics to the family station wagon.

 

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162 Miles

In Crystal Springs--which is more desert intersection rather than town, we can't miss the Alien Research Center, panning off the alien theme. If NorCal gets its claim to fame with Bigfoot, Central Nevada exhibits a 20-foot tall tin alien to draw in the sparse passing tourist.

Highway 375 isn't long , rather it spans a mere 98 miles, yet it's one of the least traveled highways in the state and traverses the northern edges of Nellis Air Force Base.

From the Hiko crossroads, the route westward curls between the Pahrangat and Mount Irish ranges to ascend 5,592-foot Hancock Summit and then the now-familiar descent into another expansive valley. Rachel sits in the middle.

Nevada has some very long stretches of road. If you were seeking the open road, you found it. This tour leg spans a 162 miles of road with no services or gas stations. You will need to plan ahead to be able to ride this distance.


Alien Research Center

 

Alien Road ...

Rachel, Nevada is little more than a loose collection of buildings in a broad valley on the north end of Nellis AFB, more commonly known as Area 51. Hwy 375 was renamed the Extraterrestrial Highway in 1996 and Rachel does its best to capitalize on this designation. Rachel offers a small cafe & motel, it's a mandatory stop. Inside are assorted books on alien conspiracies, abductions, and depictions of alien life in numerous murals around the building. The ceiling is adorned in dollar bills from travelers. Plus we have to check out the tow truck parked out front holding up a captured flying saucer. On our last visit, someone had placed their tin foil hat and left it there- presumably for the next in line believer.

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Walls are covered in photographs of assorted UFO's frozen in mid-flight.. Is that a hubcap thrown up in the air or the real thing? We'll never know. Photos date back several decades plus for icing on the cake, some rather authentic looking photos of alien autopsy. And teh kicker - the book on Alien propulsion dynamics- that the one I brought home for my son. .There's a musuem like quality to the Lil Ale'Inn and it's well worth the stop. Plus it helps there's nothing around for a 100 miles.

Space Advertising

Behind the Lil Ale'Inn is the KFC Man, and no visit to Rachel would be complete without checking out space advertising! The logo was built in 2006, and is comprised of 65,000 1-ft square colored panels to create a massive mural of Colonel Sanders head. It just makes you hungry for chicken- something to think about for the next 100 miles. The mural was designed to be seen from space... and sell chicken.

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Tonopah

West of Rachel is open cattle range so keep a keen eye for cows wandering about. Word has it they are the dumbest animals on the planet, at least so claims the tour guide, who was raised on a beef farm.

At Warm Springs, the sign reads "Next Gas 111 Miles." It may look like a town on your map but in real life it's just an intersection in the desert. One distinct landmark along this portion is a white missle- the sign reads "Tonopah Test Range, operated by Sandia National Laboratory, Bureau of Land Management.

After spending the last two days away from people , the arrival in Tonopah, is either a welcome return to civilization or a sudden shock to the system-all this hustle bustle, vehicles, and stoplights! Can we go back- to the wide open country, the 70-mile straights and 7000 ft mountain ranges we've been rising and falling over. Yes, you can now that you've ridden The Loneliest Highways in America, anytime you want to feel lonely, just point the bike to the heart of Nevada.

Sign up here!

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September 2018

14-16
 
Single Rider
$425
Passenger
$109
 
Motorcycle Rental
Click Here
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MEETING PLACE:

This tour will meet:
Best Western Fallon Inn & Suites
1035 W Williams Avenue
Fallon, Nevada 89406

Sept 14, 2018
Meet 7:00, Safety Brief 7:30,
Depart 8:00 AM

Contact Info:
Tim Mayhew : 530-391-1356


RIDER NOTE:

Nevada traverses wide open spaces of the American Southwest and spans vast distances between gas stops - the furthest leg on this tour is 162 miles between fuel stops.

This tour starts from Fallon,NV and finishes up near Lee Vining, CA. Bring Tires.

Book early - this ride will sell out.

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