Border To Border

Some lone peaks, a stretch of badlands and buttes, and a couple of north-south ranges usher US-93 down a long basin toward the little junction town of Wells (pop. 1,261). Just under 70 miles from Jackpot at the interchange of US-93 and the I-80 freeway, Wells was named by the Central Pacific Railroad, which chose the site for a depot and town to make use of the plentiful springs in the hills a few miles northeast. Before Wells got hammered by a devastating earthquake in 2008, the old downtown had the most intact abandoned railroad row on the entire main line across northern Nevada. Now many of these old landmarks languish. Wells provides an explicit illustration of the Wild West’s transition from open range to rail to road to superhighway. The newest action in town is around the east- and westbound exit ramps of I-80, while the 1950s-era “strip” stretches along the old Victory Highway around 6th Street.