Jan 13, 2021
We left home around 9:30 am. According to Google Maps, it was faster to go north to I-80 to Wendover and then turn south. Since we had never been on the road from West Wendover to Ely, we decide to go that way.
Nothing interesting along I-80, except the “Tree of Life” and the Salt Flats. We had seen both, so no need to stop. From Wendover we turned southwest and continued through Ely, NV. Leaving Ely, we were on Highway 6. They claim that Highway 50 across Nevada is the loneliest highway in America, but Highway 6 was more lonely for us. We drove the 170 miles between Ely and Tonapah and only saw 6 vehicles.
About halfway to Tonapah we set up camp at the Lunar Crater, about 7 miles off the highway. The “Lunar Crater” is actually an old volcanic crater, but it is deep and round and looks like a meteor could have hit there and created it. It is several hundred feet deep and probably over a half mile wide. We drove around the top and camped on the southeast edge of the rim. It was a nice night with no wind and not too cold. We had Wontons and sticky rice for dinner and watched a movie later in the evening.
The next morning we continued down the second loneliness highway in America to Tonapah. Tonapah is an interesting town with a lot of old mining relics and casinos. After filling up the gas tank we continued south on Highway 95.
About 20 miles south is a turnoff to Alkali Hot Spring. We were surprised that the road was paved all the way to the hot spring. The spring is located on private property and was previously the site of a resort. There were no buildings left, just a concrete pool that was full of moss and small fish. The real hot spring are up the hill a hundred yards.
We talked to a guy that volunteers to maintain the site. He told us the owner lives in LA and doesn’t mind people using the tubs. He was cleaning up the area and placing some flat rocks around the two tubs. The hot spring comes out of a hill in a 4” pipe that feeds two concrete/brick tubs. Each tub held about 3-4 people. The skies were sunny and warm, and just as we got in the water a young lady arrived and asked if she could join us. She is an environmental engineer that was working in Vegas and was heading home to Reno, but stopped to soak in the water. We stayed and talked to her for 30-40 minutes when other people showed up. So we got out and went back to our vehicles. The water was a perfect temperature and it made my sore back feel great.
We ate lunch at the hot spring and then continued south. Thirty miles later we turned off the highway and drove 15 miles to Gold Point, NV. This was supposed to be a ghost town, but there were still a lot of people living there and much of it was marked as private property. We looked around for a short time before getting back on the road. We continued south on Highway 95 towards Beatty, NV. However, there was construction north of Beatty so we were delayed for about 1/2 hour.
After gassing up in Beatty we started looking for a campsite. It was only about 4:30 pm, but we were in the mountains so the sun was already setting. A few miles outside of Beatty we drove up a canyon a few miles and found a quiet campsite for the night. Eva made beef stew in the InstaPot for our dinner and we had a quiet night.