Today was a day of long, lonesome highways. In fact, we traveled Highway 50 in Nevada, which is called the “Loneliest Highway in America”. We quickly understood the nickname, as we left civilization early on in the morning’s route. This route is part of the Lincoln Highway, and you could actually see bits and piece of the “old road” alongside the newer, wider road. The wide open spaces offered beautiful scenery, including a massive sand dune, dry lake beds and of course, incredible mountains in the distance. Today’s trek was a long one, but the lonely highway eventually led us to the town of Austin, Nevada for our lunch stop. Austin, Nevada is the smallest host city of the 2016 Great Race, with a population of 192, and very few nearby towns. We knew the city stop would be “small” compared to most of our stops, but it was certainly BIG for the town of Austin! Since the main drag through town is actually the Lincoln Highway and the only way through town, we couldn’t close the roads, so we managed to park all of the cars on the sides of the road and keep the traffic rolling.
Coming out of Austin, which was already about 6,500 feet in elevation, we climbed even higher on Highway 50. Once again, we drove on the lonely highway, until making a quick pit stop in Eureka, and then peeling off on Highway 278. As it turns out Highway 278 is just as lonely as Highway 50, so we had another long trek, which is extra challenging for the racers. Most of the day was spent at 50 miles per hour, as we had a lot of ground to cover, so the lack of maneuvers makes it super tough on the driver to maintain speed. The team that handled it the best was the Alabama-based father-and-son team of Robert and Alex Dinges in their 1928 Ford Model A sedan. Finally, after a long day, we rolled into Elko, Nevada for our evening stop and dinner, enjoying a relaxing time with all of our Great Race friends and family, along with a big group of new Great Race fans!