Road + arts trip across Nevada (really!)

When we planned our road trip across the US and Canada, we settled on a dozen or so places that we definitely wanted to visit.  To get us from one key point to the next required many hours of driving and a choice of routes.  How did we finally connect the dots and choose the routes? That’s what travel planning is all about.

A road trip through Nevada was never in our original plan.  Somewhere along the way, we discovered a few places worth visiting in Nevada, particularly a national park tucked away on the far eastern side of the state off the “loneliest road in America.”  All of a sudden, Nevada seemed like a fine choice.

We started with two days in Reno and a visit to our #1 destination: the Nevada Museum of Art.

Familiar pieces of art graced the walls, like these marvelous slices of cake by Wayne Thiebaud, but we also found the exhibits featuring James Turrell and a local artist, Hans Meyer-Kassel, quite interesting.

We visited the Wilbur D. May Center for a look at the life of a prominent local resident.  May was a larger-than-life figure from the first half of the 20thcentury: a philanthropist, songwriter, hunter, rancher, and pilot.  Some of the interpretive panels at the museum appear to have been written at that time and not updated.

We appreciated the detailed fabric art on special exhibit, New Directions: 2018.

While we decided that Reno was not our kind of town, we took advantage of being there to pick up supplies before our camping trip and stop at the Patagonia outlet store where Joe found a pair of jeans he needed at a deep discount (making him very happy).

Back on the road we headed east through sagebrush country with no place to stop for a break until we arrived at tiny Austin, Nevada.  The town was so small it didn’t surprise us that we saw only one café open.

It may have looked funky, but the International Café & Bar turned out to have absolutely delicious, homemade apple pie – and a clean bathroom.

The landscape in the American southwest from the windows of our car was extraordinarily beautiful.

When we reached Eureka, Nevada, we parked and took a walk down the main street.  Almost all the stores were boarded up and closed – a depressing sight.  An empty lot had machinery parked haphazardly and an abandoned white folding table. Beyond was a wall mural on the side of a store.

The mural was a poignant glimpse of life in that area of Nevada.  We read that “sheep ranching has had its boom and bust eras”.   Since the 1970’s, the sheep industry has declined 40% in the state.

Back on the road, the weather deteriorated.  This was NOT what we had expected.

Yes, Nevada had a few surprises for us.  We greatly enjoyed our glimpses of art and landscapes.  But, what’s with the rain?  The Great Basin desert is one of four deserts in the US.  We never expected rain on our upcoming camping trip….

…to be continued with “outdoors in the desert rain”


July 2018

About simpletravelourway

Beth and Joe enjoy simple travel.
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6 Responses to Road + arts trip across Nevada (really!)

  1. The International Café and Bar looks like a fun place to visit.

  2. Loved your desert photos and your route looks like it ended up to be more than you expected. When we lived in Montana and Idaho years ago, we always had fun driving some of the back roads and exploring unique, one cafe towns. And lucky you, you had great apple pie as a reward! Anita

  3. sberger10 says:

    Not sure when you did this trip or if you’re on it now. We’re here in Denver if it’s on your itinerary in the future and would love to get together if we can coordinate. Actually leaving for 4 1/2 months in 2 weeks. Safe travels.

    • We are in Steamboat Springs now and head up to Centennial, WY next week. From there it’s on to Cheyenne, then SD. No plans to be in Denver but if you get up our way, it would be fun to meet and swap travel stories.

  4. plaidcamper says:

    This was great! Brought back fond memories of our desert trips, and driving across Nevada thinking “we could never live here, but it has a stark beauty!” We also experienced some of the heaviest rain (and hail) ever on a road trip, forcing us to pull over and wait it out. Monsoon season…

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