When I decided to make this trip into all 48 states, I had already made one mistake in not getting into Tennessee when I had the chance. This meant rather than driving through Chicago, to Indiana and touching Michigan before going to Indianapolis and over I-74 to Cincinnati and the I-275 loop into Kentucky, I now had to drive all the way through into Kentucky to Tennessee. Because of this, I felt I had to abbreviate my trip even more than I had.
My original thought was to leave Four Corners and head back south into Arizona and connect with I-40 again and then up through the Hoover Dam to Las Vegas, down I-15 into California. And then proceed to drive the majority of the length through California on CA58/CA99/I-5. Because of my change, I drove up through Utah by Arches National Park to I-70, across US6 to Salt Lake City, and then across I-80 into northern Nevada. The last bit of shortcut, was to take NV 140 into Oregon on OR140, and the make a 15-mile sidetrip to California from Lakeview. Because of this, i got to drive on NV 140, which was one of the best parts of the trip. 111 miles through Nevada desert, at 80-90mph with nothing but clear skies and open road in front of me.
During my drive through the Nevada portion, I saw 13 cars in 111 miles. In Oregon, during the remaining 67 miles of the road, I saw only 11 more, for a grand total of 24 cars in 178 miles in the 2-3 hour drive.
The first sign you see turning off US95 onto NV140.
This is what you see for the next 70 or so miles before turning at a dot on the map named "Denio".
Nothing but mountains in the distance until you get to Denio when you go through the valley of two, and then over a pass.
Oregon. After 111 miles, this is the prize. 67 more until a real road.
Not what you expect of Oregon, huh?
That's my car. My little abused car.
For these next few, it's hard to get a judge of distance as everything looks the same. When you enter Oregon, the speed limit goes from 70 to 55, with good reason. After several miles you reach the top of a mountain and it goes to 25. An even better reason: NO GUARDRAILS. That's right. Going down a several thousand foot mountain and there's no guardrails, only signs warning you to go slow.
Less than 4 feet off the edge of the road is a cliff.
Note the shots of the valley below. Those little lines you see are dirt roads. I thought I had a photo of somebody driving on one, because it had created a huge mile-long plume of dust, but either it didn't take or the camera didn't pick up the dust cloud well.
Finally, there's something other than mountains or desert.
As the mountains became more prevalent, I found this river stuck in a very isolated area with little daily sunshine had frozen over. Very nice.
My car once again. This time the Big Red side.
This was by far the funnest segment of the entire trip.
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