I did not invent this name, this is literally the nickname of this road we followed today for 8 hours: the Route 50. This nickname is a perfect fit. For 648 kilometers, there is only you, the flat land, bushes, electric poles, and the horizon with its hills and mountains. We spent our time imagining ourselves with a wagon instead of a car, looking through the eyes of the first pioneers who were heading West to California during the Gold Rush around 1849. At a time where there was no proper road. After each peak of the landscape we were hoping to find a less hostile path for our fragile wagon, but after each peak were just more and more land, more and more hard obstacles, almost no shadow, no hospitable vegetation or animals, nothing to nourish our hopes. Back in the days, this trip was a hard one. A very hard one.
When a town showed up at the horizon, we expected a nice something. Instead we found the half ghost town of Austin, with its very old buildings. Austin represented the first third of our trip. Back in 18-something the town had attracted more than 10,000 people for silver mining. Now there is only a 190 people or so. Past glory.
At two thirds of our trip, we found Eureka. Another town made by the miners of Austin when they found out they could mine more silver over there. Past glory story too, although this town has a proper big supermarket, and more than 600 inhabitants. Impossible for us to see where they were hiding them!
Finally, 648 kilometers from where started our day, we started seeing a gigantic open cast mine, the size of one or two mountains. These were copper mines, announcing our final destination for the day: Ely (pronounced Eelee). It seems like there is casinos all over the place here. In fact, we will even sleep in one tonight.