“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Near Carlin in Eureka County, Nevada — The American Mountains (Southwest)

A Tale of Two Highways

A Tale of Two Highways Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Duane Hall, July 5, 2013
1. A Tale of Two Highways Marker
Inscription.  You have arrived at this place by driving east on Interstate Highway 80. Did you know that since entering Nevada you have been traveling along the route of the historic California Trail? From 1843 to 1869, an estimated 250,000 people made the trek from the Missouri River to California on a rutted dusty road that was a dramatic contrast to today's high-speed freeway.

The California Trail began at the Missouri River and crossed the future states of Nebraska, Wyoming, Idaho, and Nevada before reaching California. The distance was approximately 2,000 miles. The California Trail was the major travel route to the West until the Pacific Railroad was completed in 1869.

Only a few hours of driving time has brought you from Reno or Carson City in western Nevada to this point. For a California emigrant, the same distance took over two weeks of walking in the heat and dust of August and September, and upon reaching the Sierra Nevada mountains, they still had 150 miles of walking and climbing before they would reach their destination, central and northern California.

As you travel east, you will parallel the California Trail
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from here to Wells, Nevada - about 90 miles, or six days of emigrant travel. From Wells, the trail turns northeast into Idaho and does not rejoin Interstate 80 until Fort Bridger, Wyoming. As you travel on, consider what you would experience in the miles you see from your car window if you were walking through uninhabited country with worn out boots, tattered clothes, tired livestock, and scant food supplies.

(Drawing Caption)
"Clouds of dust arise as we pass along the road...I do not think our own mothers would know their sons were they to see us...Some of us are shoeless, hatless, and nearly clothless and we are generally so tired when we arrive at camp that we feel no inclination to mend or repair the rents our clothes sustain on our journey."
Joseph Waring Berrin; 1849
Erected by Bureau of Land Management.
Topics and series. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Roads & VehiclesSettlements & Settlers. In addition, it is included in the California Trail series list. A significant historical year for this entry is 1843.
Location. 40° 40.873′ N, 116° 28.766′ W. Marker is near Carlin, Nevada, in Eureka County. Marker can be reached from Interstate 80 at milepost 258, on the right when traveling east. Marker is located at the Beowawe
A Tale of Two Highways and About Your Journey ... Markers image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Duane Hall, July 5, 2013
2. A Tale of Two Highways and About Your Journey ... Markers
East Rest Area near Mile Marker 258. Marker can only be accessed from the eastbound lanes of the freeway. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Carlin NV 89822, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 7 other markers are within 6 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. About Your Journey ... (here, next to this marker); Gravely Ford (a few steps from this marker); Beowawe Geysers (within shouting distance of this marker); The Cattle Industry (approx. 0.3 miles away); Hot, Dusty and Tattered (approx. 0.3 miles away); Argenta Station (approx. 0.4 miles away); California Trail - 1841 Route (approx. 5.3 miles away).
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. It was originally submitted on August 8, 2013, by Duane Hall of Abilene, Texas. This page has been viewed 555 times since then and 36 times this year. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on August 8, 2013, by Duane Hall of Abilene, Texas.

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Oct. 2, 2023