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Draplin Design Co., North America
September 16, 2005
DDC:GAA:FT: 09162005: L01:D03
Posted at 11:54 PM


Highway 50 is a lonely place. Can’t say it’s the “Loneliest Highway in America,” as the claim goes, but, there were some pretty quiet stretches out there.

I’ve been on some pretty remote runs. Kinda search them out, for no reason really. Other contenders for the “Loneliest Highway in America.”

01. Highway 20 west, Ontario, Oregon on the Eastern Oregon/Idaho border, Some 260 miles of one town (Burns, Oregon) , a couple of dead towns and a whole lot of dusty, rolling, high desert.

02. Highway 6 on Utah’s western flank. Nothing at all, man.

03. That Al/Can (Alaska/Canada) highway way up north, specifically, the stretch coming out of Tok, “lower 48-bound” in Alaska’s eastern side, and down towards Whitehorse, Yukon Territory. Lots of and lots of forest. Amazing, remote, untouched.

And one more thing, despite my own eye rollings, there is just something, “really unsettling” about pulling off on the side of the road out in these open, desolate spaces, and shutting everything down. Complete darkness—with some moonlight of course—and complete silence. I usually have no problem with forest camping or just sorta pulling off and crashing out in the front seat wherever I’m at. But last night, out in the desolate “nothingness” of central Utah’s western boundary, we pulled over, and man, there was just “something weird” in the air out there.

Now, I’m gonna claim any sort supernatural experience, or any type of demonic possession, like a Johnny White kind of ordeal.* Neither. Just something…unsettling.

It just felt weird, like, we were being watched or something, and, hell, there was nothing around us, except, a little rock mound to our right. Freaky.

*Johnny White and big Shawn were in the hills of the Badlands one time and claim to have been momentarily—and simultaneously—possessed by some sort of ancient native spirit, of the “evil” kind. Or something. It came over them, messed both of them up a bit, and then released them, all while navigating a big van. Or something.

We made it across Nevada, and into Utah’s western stretches. Highway 6. Pretty damn lonely out there, too. We drove across Utah, crossed an a couple north/south higways and hooked up with I-70 headin’ east towards Green River.

As part of the “roughening Leah up” protocol, I made the call to sleep in a reststop. Gear was rearranged, Gary prepped for watchdog duties and seats were laid back. Leah says I passed out pretty quick.

Leah’s quotes about our sleeping accomodations went something like, “I slept from when the sun came up until you got out of the car. Maybe 45 minutes,” and, “It wasn’t like, all that bad, but, like, it was.”

014. “Like any good “Frontier City,” Reno has big balls.
015. “Turning on to Highway 50.”
016. “Desert rock.”
017. “Pretty lonely.”
018. “Big, big sky out there.”
019. “Dried up.”
020. “The sorta shit we think about when Sandy Blvd. is backed up.”
021. “Little Gary is used to the brown, dead grass behind the house for ‘Making Magic’ duties.”
022. “Were rolling along and all the sudden there’s this tree…”
023. “…full of shoes.”
024. “Cold Springs, Nevada: Original stop on the Pony Express.”
025. “Stokes Castle, pride of Eureka, Nev.”
026. “Stokes, up close.”
027. “Freighter type, Eureka junkyard.”
028. “Sunset.”
029. “The colors come out at dusk.”
030. “Middle of nowhere night exposure: 10 seconds.”

There is One Comment

Dude, if you saw the movie “Fat Girl”, you would never sleep at a rest stop. Never. Insane movie. So good.

Posted by: Kurt Halsey on 09/19/05 at 3:58 PM
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