Highway 50 Road Trip : 6th and Final Day – Carson City, Tonopah

Our official sixth and final day of our Highway 50 : Loneliest Road in America road trip concluded in Carson City, Nevada. We continued through Nevada to stay the night at the Mizpah Hotel in Tonopah.

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September 15, 2022

We saw the hotel’s resident cat as we were leaving in the morning.  We stopped to pet her, and she followed us out as we left the building.  It had been a very windy night, and I got very little sleep.  The air was very dry, and I saw that her food and water dishes were both completely empty.  I had my insulated cup full of icy water which I poured into what I assumed was her water bowl.  She immediately stopped to drink from the bowl, and I continued walking to my car. 

Nevada State Museum

We made a quick pit stop once we got to Carson City as I needed some feminine products which I could not seem to find anywhere in Virginia City. (Something to consider when planning your trip, which I obviously hadn’t.) Thankfully, I always travel with a few just in case I need them, so I made it through the previous day reasonably unscathed.  We arrived at our first stop in Carson City, the Nevada State Museum fifteen minutes after they opened.  I took some photos outside before heading inside to pay my admission.  Unfortunately, the one thing I was most looking forward to seeing at the Nevada State Museum, and the one thing I scheduled the ENTIRE trip around, had been canceled.  On Saturdays, the museum has a silver coin press demonstration, and you can purchase a silver coin to be pressed on the machine.  They couldn’t run the press due to an issue with the die.  I was disappointed, but the museum has so many wonderful exhibits to see I just decided that I’ll have to come back sometime soon.

The temporary/special exhibits at the time were on the Chinese woodworkers and the indigenous peoples of Nevada, and they were very well done.  The indigenous peoples’ exhibit was particularly interesting, because they presented both the museum curators’ points of view and those of the indigenous tribe for most of the displays.   I wish more museums and other places would do this. Our favorite exhibit had to be the ghost town and mine.  It was so immersive and fun to walk through there.  I wish we could have spent more time in that area, but we still had a lot do and places to go.

Nevada State Railroad Museum

We did stop at Black Bear Diner to get some breakfast before we headed to the Nevada State Railroad Museum.  The railroad museum is small in that it houses several large train cars and not much else.  I mean to say that the train cars are normal size, which is very large for the inside of a building, not that these are unusually large train cars.  The museum also gives short train rides, but we didn’t have for a train ride this day. 

The Annex, which is a workshop, was also open they day we were there, and we were permitted to explore it, too.  When we got to the Annex a train was being started and moved out of the building.  We weren’t sure we were really allowed to be there during this, but we were being safe and stayed out of the way along the wall.   They parked this train, a McKeen, and we were allowed to go inside of it.  It’s absolutely stunning inside and out.  It was obviously a luxury train car with amazing circular windows which were held open by latching them to the ceiling.  There was another train car inside the Annex we were informed we could also enter.  It was very dark inside this car, and we had to use our phones’ flashlights to see anything.  This train had interesting seats where the seatbacks could flip over to face the opposite direction if wanted.  We went back inside the main museum building to look around the surprisingly large gift shop and buy some souvenirs.  I bought two Christmas ornaments, I just had to get the McKeen ornament, a few pins, and a patch.  I had already pressed some pennies in the machine at the entrance to the museum, and we got the last stamps for our Highway 50 Passports when we had first arrived.  Thus, we concluded our Highway 50: The Loneliest Road in America Road Trip and got back into the car to drive to Tonopah where we would be staying the night.

Tonopah, Nevada

We arrived at our hotel in Tonopah a little after 5pm.  We had a beautiful junior suite at the historic Mizpah Hotel.  We had a delicious dinner in The Pittman Café inside the hotel followed by a brief perusal of the displays inside the vault located next to the café entrance. 

The only thing we had planned for Sunday was possibly visit the Central Nevada Museum before heading to Las Vegas, but it was closed on Sundays.  There was a stargazing event happening at Stargazing Park, but I didn’t have proper clothing for the cold and windy weather.  I stayed in the hotel room writing in my travel journal and going through the photos I took during the trip up to now while John went to the neighboring casino. 

Estimated Cost Day 6 – September 18, 2021 (all amounts rounded up to nearest US dollar): $488

Breakfast: $30 for two

Nevada State Museum: $16 admission for two

Nevada State Museum: $130 for silver coin and souvenirs

Fuel: $50

Nevada State Railroad Museum: $16 admission for two

Nevada State Railroad Museum: $40 souvenirs

Mizpah Hotel: $166

Dinner: $50

Actual Cost Total: $401

Breakfast: $40 for two

Nevada State Museum: $16 admission for two

Nevada State Museum: $20 souvenirs

Fuel: $13

Nevada State Railroad Museum: $16 admission for two

Nevada State Railroad Museum: $60 souvenirs

Mizpah Hotel: $166

Dinner: $70