On May 19 I was returning to Hawthorne in the RSVP van when I came upon a Nevada Department of Transportation (NDOT) ‘High Wind’ warning sign near milepost 55, north of town. Yes it was the usual truck lying on its side. Emergency crews were there and, thankfully, no one was seriously injured.
Oh, the truck driver may lose his job or in the worst case, be a private businessman and lose his livelihood. But what the heck! Our wind warning system functioned as normal again. Except NDOT did not close the road. True, you could still get around the wreck of this hapless driver, as did double and triple trucks, large campers and motor homes.
But why? In Washoe County NDOT is very aggressive about closing the highway to high profile vehicles before there are any accidents. In the three decades I have lived in western Nevada I have only seen a handful of times where wind has caused accidents through Washoe Valley. I can’t recall a single time where Highway 95 has been closed except after the first accident that blocks the road. Can you?
Truck drivers depend on the state to keep them safe. What will it take to cause NDOT to change their criteria? A truck rolling over on to a car filled with children might do it. Do you want to wait until then before demanding a better system from NDOT?
NDOT spent a lot of money on electronic billboards for Highway 95. Why don’t they use them proactively instead of reactively?
Our group, Nevada Backroads, held our annual get together in Hawthorne over Armed Forces Day weekend. We had a great turn out with a welcoming feel from the people of Hawthorne and look forward to possibly returning next year. When we discussed where to have the 2016 get together Hawthorne soon became our pick due to the rich history of the area and a place a lot of our members have never explored. During the 2015 get together near Luning our members had such a good time that Armed Forces Day was a natural fit.
I’d like to thank the county commissioners and the Armed Forces Day committee for helping us find the location. I’d also like to extend a thank you to Larry Grant and Mike Trujillo for allowing us to use the fence netting our members used to enclose our area as well as letting the water truck used for the monster truck event to make a couple passes through our area to keep the dust to a minimum. It was great to have a couple small dumpsters on site for our members to use area cleanup is a big thing with our group and these were a welcome addition. So in closing thank you Mineral County, the AFD committee, the county department, the Town of Hawthorne and the people of Hawthorne. We had a great time and look forward to doing it again.
Founder Nevada BackRoads