Friday, August 26, 2011

Bouncing Along I-80

We continue our journey from Salt Lake City to Verdi, NV, via I-80 by covering the segment from west of Wells, NV, to Verdi.

Our study of a Nevada map showed this 350-mile section of the interstate as meandering through sparsely populated portions of the state.

This charac-teristic of the highway is further described:
"Drivers along Interstate 80 tend to become fatigued from the long, tedious drive across the State of Nevada. As a result, some tired drivers have been involved with accidents. To alleviate this concern, the Nevada Department of Transpor-tation (DOT) is installing rumble strips in the shoulder that are ½" deep. The vibrations and noise should wake up any errant drivers. The road (like Interstate 15) is mostly concrete, which also adds to road noise" (

Well, the Nevada DOT has achieved its goal by going one step further. A significant amount of I-80 is in need of repair--major repair. The bouncing was severe in places, so much so that even slowing to 40 mph did nothing to reduce the jarring effect of the bouncing.

The map also showed that I-80 followed (roughly) the California Dunphy National Historic Trail, which
"...traces the route taken by farmers, settlers, gold miners, and others who forged their way from Missouri to the Pacific Coast during the California Gold Rush.

"The trail winds 2,000 miles from Missouri, through Kansas,
...Utah, Nevada, Oregon, to central California" ( parks/california-national-historic-trail).

At times, we felt as though we had re-discovered the historic trail itself.

When we saw this design (right) in a hillside along the highway, we imagined some ancient astronauts leaving this design. (Our imagination took our mind off the bouncing for awhile.)

A smooth section of the highway made it possible to take a few photos.

Although the colors of the grasses and hills showed little variation during the 350 miles (which we drove in two days), we looked for these slight differences.

When we arrived in Verdi, we were grateful for the chance to rest.

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