Dad's Route 66 Blog

Discovering Normal Rockwell's America

Home to Evanston, Wyoming

Written By: trevixan - Jun• 25•11

Well, as I mentioned before, we left early this morning. Many were concerned that I was planning on driving 800+ miles the first day and starting at 4am as well. I understand their concern and I appreciate it. However, as my family (mom and siblings) will attest, that’s how we grew up. Whenever we’d drive somewhere, we’d leave early. I guess the thinking was that us five kids would fall asleep and wouldn’t bother my father while he drove. Whatever the reason, that is my preferred way to go, early. It worked this time too, because Trevor slept most of the way.

Anyway, since we have not started our Route 66 tour yet, I wasn’t expecting too much. Just a drive through California, Nevada, Utah, and into Wyoming. Not expecting much, I was pleasantly surprised as you will shortly see.

Trevor was kind enough to stay with me for the first couple of hours. When it started to get light shortly after 5am, I gave Trevor the go ahead to take a nap. The hardest part of the drive was between 6 and 7. I managed, though.

We got to Reno shortly before 8am and stopped for a little bite after we got through the construction going on. I won’t bore you with those details, but we didn’t go to a diner. After all, it’s I-80 and not Route 66. After breakfast, I had to stop for my usual coffee. Yep, they have Starbucks on every corner in Nevada, too. The problem is that they charge tax on the coffee!

Well, I noticed the gas gague and thought I should pull over for some gas. I didn’t think I could make it to Winnemucca, so I took the Lovelock exit. I saw a Chevron station, but didn’t want to do a major chain for a couple of reasons, not the least of which was the price. So, I bypassed the Chevron station, knowing there would be another gas station somewhere. Then I saw it. It definitely fit what I was looking for.

I hope you can see the pumps.  They are the oldest looking ones that I have seen in a long time.  Oh, by the way, that’s the car I’m driving.  Yeah, I know, I told people that I was going to be renting a Toyota Rav 4, but that’s another story.  Anyway, I get out of the car and immediately the gentleman in the background mentions how nice the car is.  He asked what the mileage was, but since this was my first fill up, I couldn’t tell him.  But when I was finished filling up, I did a quick calculation and discovered that I got 28.1 mpg.  That’s pretty good, I think.  If you can’t tell what the car is, it’s a Toyota Camry.  Anyway, I go back in to the little store to pay and get to talking to the lady behind the counter.  It turns out that the gas station dates back to 1937.  It used to have a motel attached to it, but now there is only one room where the owner lives.  Anyway, it’s this sort of out-of-the-way, quaint, nostalgic, odd thing that I’m looking for.  Look again at the pumps.  These days, there’s multiple pumps on each side that can handle multiple grades of gas.  Not these.  The reason that I am at the first one and not next to the white car is because there is only one 87 octane nozzle on each one.  The other nozzle was either diesel or a higher grade of unleaded.  Anyway, I didn’t want to wait for him so I backed up and used the other.

So, on to Winnemucca and points east.  You might be interested in knowing that the speed limit through most of Nevada is 75 mph.  That makes the 410 miles of I-80 a lot easier to drive.  The last time I drove all the way through Nevada, the limit was 55 mph.

Trevor woke up by the time we hit Utah.  I cannot believe he slept through the entire state of Nevada!  Now we are in Utah.  Trevor took a picture of the Salt Flats.

I like the drive through Utah.  It is 120 miles of mostly flat driving.  I remember growing up, it was like a right-of-passage for the one who just got their license (or permit, maybe) to drive a section of this roadway.  So, the drive was pretty uneventful.  We eventually made it to the Great Salt Lake, so I took a few pictures of that.

Well, we finally made it to Evanston, WY, checked in and went to dinner.  It was nothing special.  I’m still waiting for Route 66, I guess.  At least I had a …

I will leave you with one last image.  As Trevor mentioned in his post, this place is a little odd.  The fireworks/liquor store picture he posted is quite funny.  I really don’t think those two should go together.  I went into the store and was amazed at the wall-to-wall, floor-to-ceiling array of fireworks.  I half-jokingly asked if it was a permanent fireworks store and he said yes.  Imagine that, fireworks 365 days of the year.  It’s a wonder there aren’t more fires in Wyoming.  In fact, I don’t think I’ve heard of one.

So, in the words of Sesame Street, which one of these don’t belong here?

See you tomorrow.

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  1. Annette Thorsen says:

    I loved the pictures of the salt flats. I have never been there or seen them. Thanks for taking the time to upload the pictures so I can enjoy the trip with you. I look forward to tomorrows scenery. Was that a salad you had in the last picture? Its nice to see I am “with” you in some ways on the trip 🙂 Wifey

  2. Retha says:

    Well, I can’t believe you guys made it to Wyoming in one day with one driver. Good job, Dale! Actually, we are a family of 5 kids and my Dad and Mom would take us cross country every year in the family station wagon. I can remember going to the 1958 international convention in New York from California. We always had to get up really early to leave too. We would all pile into that station wagon. No kid was allowed to sit in the front seat. My Dad believed in making good time, so when he stopped at a bathroom, you had better take your chance right then. He would “book” down that route 66 and not stop for hours. We would sleep through 50% of the trip and fight the other 50%. You and Trevor have a lot of room to relax as you drive. No other siblings fighting for space. Congrats on getting to Wyoming in one day. Loved the blog from Trevor and your account of the gas station. You two take care! Retha

    • trevixan says:

      Thanks Retha. You are surprised we made it? Why in my youth, I drove from Boston to Nothern Illinois in 20 hours straight. I drove with my cousin from Racine, WI to Medford, OR in 44 hours with two of us driving. I actually find driving quite soothing and can think my own thoughts. No distractions other than the other people on the road.

    • Gary Olson says:

      Retha — You reminded me of our sojourns with my parents back in the 40’s and 50’s. Yep – Get up leave early. I think it had more to do with getting through the hottest parts of the day. Radiators would overheat (would carry those canvas water bags on the front bumper of the car just in case). No air conditioning – all the windows down, standing up in the back to see over the front seat and watch the sagebrush. Yikes !! Such memories. Dale – Watch for the old “Glass” tank fuel stations. I’m sure they don’t exist anymore for safety reasons. We used to use a hand pump to get the fuel into the clear glass chamber with gallon marks on it, and let the gasoline run down into the gastank on the car……..

      Good hunting/traveling — Gary

  3. Mary Kauhi says:

    You have really gotten off to a great start finding both the old gas station and the Liquor/Fireworks store on the very first day. We had several reasons for leaving early of which you hit one of them. Also, it’s pretty hard for kids to travel 8-12 hours so if they can sleep through several hours of the trip it makes the travel easier on them. My recollection of that salt flats stretch was how very boring it was except for the one time when they had race cars on a stretch by the road. Aloha, Mom

    • trevixan says:

      I think you would have liked it this time then. No fast cars, but when we were entering Utah, I saw fighter jets going through their routine. I don’t know if they were the Blue Angels, but they were flying around having a grand ole time.

  4. Alexander Thorsen says:

    Hey Trevor,
    I see that it didn’t take you long to find something that explodes. Why am I not surprised.


  5. Alexander Thorsen says:

    I love how there is a sign in the window that says no firework shooting within 300 feet of this building….Um i dont think thats far enough away. Besides. Like people cant wait to get to their destination to shoot them off? lol

  6. Mary Kauhi says:

    I just noticed that on the gas pumps it said “TWO STIFFS”. What is that all about?

    • trevixan says:

      I was wondering if someone was going to notice that. I love the name. No, it wasn’t a couple of dead guys, or anyone trying to “stiff” them out of the bill. It’s as simple as the family name, Stiff. I thought it was quite clever to name the place that.

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