The CIA may have only acknowledged the existence of Area 51 on June 25, 2013, but this isolated patch south of Rachel, Nevada has been a hot-spot of ufo, extra-terrestrial, and conspiracy theory for decades. Of course, we were not looking for lanky grey men when we turned down Highway 375. I think it was the giant mural that tipped me off that we were entering one of those not quite real stretches of highway. Where the desert has stretched on for so many miles that time looses meaning and location is marked by a lonely, static dot on my phone screen, traveling along a long isolated line. Or maybe it was the label on that line that queued me to the fact that we were somewhere…otherworldly.
We were on the Extraterrestrial Highway.
Somewhere south of us is the (in)famous Area 51. It is a stretch of lonely desert lit by strange lights and raised to national attention with tall tails. . And if you think we are going to just drive through without a stop to take in the sights. You don’t know us very well.
Visiting Area 51
There isn’t that much to see around area 51. It’s not as if the top secret military base does tours. Even the local hotel, the Little A’Le’Inn only has 5 units and a cabin to accommodate the occasional wanderer. Granted, people don’t really come to Rachel, Nevada for entertainment during the daylight hours. No, they gather in the evening to look to the sky for the light show.
Stories abound of strange Unidentified Flying Objects, but we were on out own quest. So, after a little exploring, we return to the highway and keep traveling west.