Considering the other towns around it (basically none), Ely is a pretty huge place. Before leaving, I rode around, taking a few pictures here and there. It’s a nice looking town and they really want it to be nicer. But since it’s the only town around, what’s the point? Ely is basically a necessity.
Leaving Ely, I did my best to take US 6/US 50 east. I followed the sign and figured there would be another sign soon enough as reassurance that I was indeed heading in the right direction.
Nine miles later, by the time I was around Ward, an old mining settlement, nothing. No big deal as Ely could still be seen behind me.
This boomtown, however, had a population of 1,500. There was no law in Ward, but there was vigilante justice and the noose. The vigilantes were called the 6-0-1 Vigilantes. The “6″ stood for “six feet deep,” the “0″ was for “no trial,” and the “1″ signified “one rope” for hanging.
Needless to say, the place was relatively crime-free.
Things got settled down and they even founded a school… in a closed-down brothel. By 1880, they opened a city hall and Wells-Fargo opened an office. The population was near 2,000.
Three years later, a fire took out most of the town. The population shrank to 250. By 1885, it was 25.
The road to Ward, which I did not take, is passable in a car or four wheel drive. A scooter could probably make it, but it would take all day. I wish I could have.
On the way down, I noticed an older alignment of US 6/50. I could see the old pavement in places. This was pretty cool. Most of it, if not all of it, was passable on a scooter. I could have taken it, but chose to keep plugging away because of time.
And because I still wasn’t 100% sure that I was on the right road. I figured that I was, but with no signs for the last 30 miles, I couldn’t be sure.
And yes, this is the same US 6 that crosses the northern tier of Pennsylvania. Much of the route has been rerouted there and here. But it’s still a pretty beautiful ride.
Here, the road stretched out to whatever mountain was in the distance. There wasn’t much here. Just 17 miles of open land.
I tried to imagine what it would be like to be a pioneer, covering maybe 17 miles per day. They would pack up their wagons on one mountain, travel 17 miles to the next and camp for the night, in full view of where they camped the night before.
The fact that I could cross this same ground in 15 minutes felt sort of obnoxious.
While the old road seemed to go over the mountain, through the ghost town of Osceola, the newer road went around the mountain.
I’m still not sure if Old 6 or 50 went through Osceola. But it definitely has a road that connects on “both ends” of currant US 6/50. It’s possible, but not really important.
On the “other side” of the mountain I saw an archway made of deer antlers. These antlers fall off naturally and some guy walks around, picking them up and making them into stuff. Weird. And honestly, really creepy. In a Texas Chainsaw Massacre sort of way.
Here was Sacramento Pass, where the road from Osceola rejoined US 6/50.
This was also the last pass in Nevada.
I rode along, figuring that I would need that extra gallon of gas. But in front of me, almost by surprise, the gas station came up on my right. I pulled in and noticed the “Welcome to Utah” sign.
I figured that I could make it to Delta, the next town, but should probably refuel anyway. I was nearing half a tank.
But now I was in Utah! And the first bit of road through here was amazing. After reaching to horizon, the road twisted through some wonderful mountain passes.
They were great, though not as amazing as the ones yesterday.
After leaving the twists of the hills, US 6/50 straightened out and showed me a huge salt flat. The road skirted it, but on my right, it stretched into the horizon.
A few miles later, I saw a sign that left me scratching my head. It was a sun-faded state park sign telling me that “Old US 6/50″ was 16 miles north. Huh?
It then continued for nearly 100 miles to Delta.
And I missed it. I have no idea how passable it is, but still. I can’t really find much on it. And 100 miles is a long way to travel without knowing the conditions of the road. I don’t even known when it was realigned. But it does go through Death Canyon. How inviting!
I desperately want to do this stretch of road, from Sacramento, CA to Delta, UT. It was amazing.
Here, US 50 left us – though US 6, which I followed, is Old US 50. Things tend to be confusing like that.
Delta was fuel. And there’s a Radio Shack in the town. How does it survive? No freaking idea.
I did get to see a train – Union Pacific. That was fun.
A few towns passed by, but there’s not much to say about them.
Goshen was pretty good. It had some old buildings and some GREAT old soda machines and an old ice machine. Well that was about it. But those soda machines impressed me. They were super old, maybe from the 70′s, but I definitely recognized the Pepsi machine from VanHorn’s Garage in New Berlin.
After Goshen, there’s an old stretch of US 6 that I didn’t know about, but I did discover a chunk of it.
I also discovered… something. But I have no idea what they were.
More things to explore… someday.
Around here is where US 6 now joins I-15 to go into Salt Lake City, about 70 miles to the north. Around here is Spanish Fork, where, a few years ago, the Mormons helped build a Hare Krishna temple. Why? I’m really unsure. But it’s a great looking place and since it was Sunday (when the aptly-named “Sunday Feast” takes place), I stopped in.
It’s a fairly traditional looking Indian-style temple made to US building standards. It’s surrounded by a farm, though not really a working farm. It’s more like a ranch (which, I know, is a working farm). Oh, and it’s a Llama ranch. Why? I’m not sure about that either.
The Spanish Fork temple is nice, but a little weird. Hardly anyone lives there. I was greeted by Hanuman who was cooking and we talked a bit.
I visited the temple room and walked around the grounds. The program was at 5 and we sang a few songs. Oddly, there were a bunch of visitors there. Mostly locals. Some where really into it and some were just checking it out for a college class.
Around 6:30, I bought a few books and cut out, I wanted to make SLC by nightfall.
Thanks to I-15, I was there in about an hour. I called Mandy, where I was staying for the night, she gave me directions and after a few follow up calls due to my horrible memory, I was there!
She and Earl have three awesome cats.
We caught up (I haven’t been to SLC in nearly a year) and then Earl and I were up to 4am trying to install RoundCube on my server. No luck. I blame my host, GoDaddy.
Tomorrow (Monday), I take the scooter to the shop and leave it there. I then pick up a rental car and then pick up Sarah at 11pm from the Amtrak station in Salt Lake City.
And finally, sleep!
Miles today: 306
Miles total: 5,936