Interstate 80

Planning for Field Work

by Patrick McShea

Planning for field work resembles vacation travel preparation in a fundamental way. Much consideration is given to gathering all necessary gear, and the mere assembly of these items triggers a kind of mental departure that precedes the physical one.

As a former English major, I’ve learned to manage this sometimes disorienting state by reading or re-reading destination-related articles, essays, and books.

For the Elko, Nevada sites where Amy Henrici and I hope to collect frog fossils this fall, John McPhee’s “Basin and Range” (Farrah Straus Giroux, New York, 1980) has particular relevance.

The book recounts the author’s travels along Nevada’s Interstate 80 corridor in the company of renowned Princeton University geologist. McPhee successfully translates into layperson language the region’s “geology in its four-dimension recapitulations of space and time.”

Fossils, as signs of ancient life, add critical evidence to such recapitulations. Near Elko, far up in the high desert hills south of Interstate 80, we’ll search for frog fossils to further our understanding of Earth’s past.

Patrick McShea is a museum educator who is traveling through Nevada with Vertebrate Paleontology Collections Manager Amy Henrici to search for frog fossils. He frequently blogs about his experiences. 

You are riding the bus again
burrowing into the blackness of Interstate 80,
the sole passenger

with an overhead light on.
And I am with you.
I’m the interminable fields you can’t see,

the little lights off in the distance
(in one of those rooms we are
living) and I am the rain

and the others all
around you, and the loneliness you love,
and the universe that loves you specifically, maybe,

and the catastrophic dawn,
the nicotine crawling on your skin—
and when you begin

to cough I won’t cover my face,
and if you vomit this time I will hold you:
everything’s going to be fine

I will whisper.
It won’t always be like this.
I am going to buy you a sandwich.
—  Franz Wright, “To Myself”
Yahoo Reclaims Iconic SF Billboard

By Kathy Savitt, CMO and Head of Media

As part of our 20th anniversary, I’m excited to share that Yahoo has reclaimed the iconic billboard along San Francisco’s stretch of Interstate 80. The Yahoo billboard is back to surprise and delight Bay Area commuters with fun messages from the company and its employees. To celebrate Yahoo’s return to the space, for the first weekend the billboard’s inaugural message will read, “It’s good to be back.“ After that, the billboard will continue to reach commuters with different topical messages tied to Yahoo products, properties and local events that touch their lives. Now that construction is complete, we hope everyone finds a little extra brightness from Yahoo while on their journey each day.

Have a look at some photos of the construction! 


Nevada is filled with low flat valleys crisscrossed by asphalt rays that extend through the scrub as far as the eye can see. You can take Interstate 80, dotted with the usual service islands and chain food joints, or you can choose the old route 50 or a myriad of other two lane backroads which hop from ghost town to ghost town at exactly the same speed limit.