The Loneliest Highway
The National Highway System of the United States is approximately 160,000 miles of roadway and includes the Dwight D. Eisenhower Interstate – making this network of roads, freeways, highways, and expressways the largest public works program since the Pyramids. Abraham Lincoln’s contribution to this maze - U.S. Route 50 was the first transcontinental highway and was built over retired Pony Express trails, preserving forever, the historic corridor to the West.
The first time I traveled the Nevada stretch of HWY50 was a couple days after Sept 11, 2001. I was heading back to San Francisco from Chicago with my former husband, who had just spent a few months back home with his mom who was dying of cancer.
Now, eleven years later, divorced and road tripping with a girlfriend in the Subaru, not much has changed on Lincoln’s Highway. The Basque Hotels, homey diners and turquoise miners with shops toting rocks, minerals, and dream catchers are still there. As I am, on a road that gives way to dreamers, and not just those hard on their luck. The hobo way and codes are gone, replaced by savvy travelers with smart phones and gear to weather any storm. But it’s still the place where brilliant ideas are conjured, including ours.