Leaving Elko, NV headed to Lakeview, OR via CR-140 is a big deal for Storm and me. We have never been to Oregon before. Everyone along our route west has raved about the Oregon coast so we can hardly wait to see it. On Terry’s scale of states she most likes to visit, Oregon vacillates between first and second place with Utah depending on which of those 2 states she is actually visiting at the time – high praise for any state!
I have a special treat (or possibly nightmare) planned for Storm today. After putting it off for over a year, I must drive the RV so that I know I can handle it in case of an emergency. Storm and I drove big rigs as a double team when we were young. I do vaguely remember how to handle an articulated behemoth. Today’s drive is my last chance to get my feet wet again in the light western traffic from one rest area to another (about 40 miles) on the interstate. The roads we will travel going north from the interstate today look so skinny on the map I am not sure I will be comfortable in the passenger’s seat much less driving. Storm agrees with my plan and runs me through a short “Intro to Driving the RV” lesson and off we go.
I am nervous at first and cringe when the first big rig stampedes past me although since I am still on the entrance ramp I really should not be surprised. In no time at all I climb a steep hill and pass a seemingly endless semi on my own! I have to admit after 40 miles I am ready to turn the rig back over to Storm. At least I have the confidence of knowing I can maneuver our house and trailer between rest areas in a straight line on a road with capacious lanes.
Storm works hard to find a route that will deliver us to the Oregon coast without overly stressing out me or the coach. He also hopes to find a fairly direct route that does not take us through California or southern Washington state. He faces quite a challenge as there are not many roads headed west from which to choose.
We leave I-80 at Winnemuca for the short drive up Hwy 95 to CR-140. CR-140 is part of the Winnemucca to the Sea Highway and on the map appears narrow and desolate. As we make our left turn onto CR-140, a huge sign warns us “No Services for the Next 179 miles.” The skinny ribbon of road ahead of us appears to include cell phones as one of the services that it lacks. Hope we don’t need to call for help!
Gambling the time/fuel savings that we will net from this much more direct route will not be negated by some freak motorhome disaster in the boonies we press onward. Pictures below show “through the windshield” (so please excuse the bugs) views of this road. Amazingly there were 2 very nice rest areas with toilets and picnic tables along this deserted backroad – more usable rest areas per mile than the interstate in some entire states (just saying, Nebraska).
If you are considering driving your RV on this route I can say that the views are gorgeous, the road narrow and the services truly non-existent for the entire 179 miles. There are some twisty parts that Storm negotiated beautifully and some steep grades both up and down none of which have guardrails or shoulders. I am so glad my side of the coach hugged the rock walls on the 3 mile 8% downhill serpentine stretch!
Photos from our CR-140 Ride