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Just returned from a week on US Route 50, the "Loneliest Road in America." Time was spent in old mining towns like Austin, Eureka, and Ely. The gold mining towns are prosperous and shiny clean with landscaping and restored old buildings, while the copper mining towns look to be in bad shape.
The eastern NV landscape of pinyon-juniper covered valleys and high mountains is still green and in bloom. Above about 8000 feet the mosaic of aspen, willows, mountain mahogancy, sub-alpine fir and sage communities are lush and green providing for some wonderful deer and elk habitat. The elk rut is in full swing. Deer won't rut until November, but are common in small groups everywhere. It was great to hear the elk bugle mat night.
The people in thosse rural areas are sturdy and very friendly. It is a pleasure to travel in a place where everyone is a polite and a potential new friend. We met a couple in a campground that we will be fishing with soon. The guy is an Ojibwa/Prussian from the UP of Michigan that grew up in the wilds of the Northwoods. His wife is a Nevada girl that can outfish him and loves to hunt elk.
US 50 is the type of road where I wave to all the on coming traffic and many of them wave back. It was good to get away from recreating urbanites and connect with so many great people. Living near the border of CA/NV, the character of a trip in the outdoors is much different depending on if we head east of west. I think we will be heading east more often.