America didn't invent the road as an art form, but each generation of pilgrims has helped perfect it, and every road has a story to tell. This story belongs to Highway 50. It's a cautionary tale, slipping through proud towns that died slowly, and a success story, widened and paved through the towns that were born again. It is a history book, surveyed by George Washington, planted by Johnny Appleseed, portaged by Daniel Boone. It is a tragedy in a mountain pass, winding round a curve at 11,000 ft. where the bus carrying the high school football team went over the...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now


Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!