Road Trip to Area 51 – Down the Extraterrestrial Highway
Yesterday was a perfect day to get away from the summer heat here in Las Vegas. The temps had been high (106) and the forecast for the temps up in Central Nevada was about ten degrees lower with possible showers. It sounded like a perfect get away!! We loaded up the truck with the usual photo gear and armed ourselves with a cooler of ice-cold drinks. Google maps said it was a two and a half hour drive from Las Vegas.
We left mid-day which put us up in the Rachel area around 2 p.m. I hoped to get that late afternoon light and chance missing the rain showers that were to pass thru the area. I have never been up to the center of the state but I wanted to be well prepared!! I had read, that gas is available in only a few places but my truck would hold enough to get us there and back.
I researched a few items over the internet and located a rough map of all the key points in and around Rachel, Nevada and along the Extraterrestrial Highway. I wanted to make sure we found all the cool things to do and see. A few things have changed and I have added pictures in a gallery below.
I had not been up there before so the road was unfolding before us. There were a few surprises, like the Nature Wild Life Viewing areas that we stopped at to take in the scenery and Lower and Upper Pahranagat Lakes which are a cool place to camp. After passing thru Alamo, NV and noting that it was probably the last food and gas for a while, we kept driving. We had our sights set on other things.
A little further down the road found us at the intersection of U.S. 93/375. A left turn and we were headed west and quickly rolled up on the U.S. 375/318 intersection were the ET Highway Rest Area is (http://goo.gl/maps/eWhSC). This is where we found the world-famous Extra Terrestrial Highway sign.
Back on the road, and after winding thru some hills over Hancock Summit, we rounded a corner and I recognized the area as the approach to where we would find the infamous “Black Mail Box” which is now white. The internet says that the original black mail box that stood there was auctioned off to a UFO fan for $1000 back in 1996. I wonder if it was stolen? The new one is securely cemented in the ground and a huge lock protects the contents of this new mail box!! This is a working cattle ranch and there is a lot of free roaming cattle in this area. I read that people use to sort thru the ranch’s mail thinking that it belonged to Area 51. What ?? Top Secret Documents in the U.S. Post!!?? We spent a few minutes there taking photos and taking in the scenery. There was a lot of signatures on this mail box. Most of the visitors were from the United Kingdom. One person had to actually spray paint “I want 2 Believe” on one side!! Just as we drove off a black Chevy SUV with Tennessee plates rolled up on the location. I know…a Black SUV!!
Down the highway we entered some more hilly terrain and I recognized the name as we past Coyote Summit. I am not sure what attracts people to this point to try to photograph low flying planes. I looked over the terrain and I am not even sure where they would park and hike up from. Maybe in the future I can research this more.
In the distance I can see farm land and the little town of Rachel. This is the end of our journey and a place to rest. It was different from what I expected and was surrounded by green pastures and had a farming feel to the area.
The sun was striking as it passed thru slits in the clouds. The rain came and went and the town had a fresh smell to it. It sure was different from what I had left in Vegas. Hot and dusty!! Slowing down we took a leisurely approach into town and then we spotted the Little A’Le’Inn. It sits right in the middle of town on the edge of the Highway. It’s not hard to spot. And since it has a Flying Saucer hanging on the back of a tow truck makes it even easier to find.
Once inside I walked around the bar/restaurant area and took some pictures. The lady behind the bar noticed my Photorecon.net shirt and asked what we were doing up in Rachel. I replied that we were on a day trip out of Vegas and just looking around. She noticed my Canon 40D and commented that with such a camera…that we were up to more than that!! We did stay there for lunch.
The employees inside were very friendly and the special of the day was Meatloaf. My companion for this trip was Rexington and he managed to put away two Meat Loaf dinners and a Heineken. We had the place to ourselves except a young couple who were there from Italy. Not sure if they were UFO fanatics or just stopping for food along this lonely highway thru central Nevada.
After poking around outside for ten more minutes we loaded up and set our sights on the dirt road that would take us to the Area 51 Back Gate. Info inside the A’Le’Inn mentioned a $600 fine for passing the warning signs and that was enough to keep us wary of doing any trespassing.
We did drive up this road for about ten minutes when we finally reached the gate and check point. We sat for a few minutes. Took a few photos and then departed back down the dirt road towards the ET Highway. We did not notice any humans at the CP. But I am sure they knew we were there. We did not see any Aliens either… (We filmed some short videos with our phone that came out pretty poor. I am not sure if we are going to include that footage here but just know that we did get to drive up to the gate that they call “Back Gate”. It’s the closest to the A’Le’Inn.)
On our way back to Vegas we stopped at the Alien Research center that I am guessing has reopened. You can see some of the latest additions to that store in the gallery.
Overall it was a fun-filled day. I am expecting a return visit as I think there is still more to see. Maybe I will plan a camping trip and stay past sunset and see what actually happens in the desert in the darkness!!!
(Oh and if any of you reading this is connected to the base…I’d appreciate a private tour!! You’ll know how to get a hold of me!! LOL)