A few weeks ago we checked something off of our bucket lists. I've wanted to go to Area 51 and the Lil A'le'Inn for as long as I can remember. You have to do it at least once, it's Nevada law. Not really, but it should be. Rachel, Nevada (the town closest to Area 51) is roughly 150 miles outside of Vegas. I've already told you I will turn a two-hour trip into 5, easily. Here are the stops we did along our Extraterrestrial Highway adventure.
👽 The proper name for this attraction is RyanHenge. It is located in the most unusual of places.. the landfill
. According to Roadside America
, Ryan would come out to the landfill to look at the stars and began to map their movement. When he decided he could create a calendar, he went all in. It tracks the 21st of each month. Maybe one day I will check it out. There are some fun aliens placed around, so it made the perfect first stop. The property had some animals, and the largest dragonflies I have ever seen booping around.
🛸 I started this project back during the beginning of Covid times when I was looking for things to do. There are these big giant blue Nevada-shaped signs placed around our state that signify various historical moments. I am on a mission to photograph as many of them as I can. The adventure has taken me to places I would of never otherwise thought to stop and appreciate. I haven't uploaded the photos from today yet (I wanted to get on here and write about my day while it was fresh.) so you will have to use your imagination or look at my website for reference
of other signs. #57 reads The 37th degree north latitude marked at this point the dividing line between the territories of Utah and New Mexico under the provisions of the Compromise of 1850, which originally organized the land ceded by Mexico in 1848. When the territory of Nevada was carved from western Utah in 1861, this line became the southern boundary of the new territory and continued to serve as such when the territory and state were enlarged by extensions to the east in 1862 and 1866, respectively. In 1867, the Nevada legislature approved the action of Congress to add the portion of the territory of Arizona which lay to the south of this line, west of the 114-degree west longitude and the Colorado River, and to the east of the boundary of California. This action, taken on January 18, 1867, gave the state of Nevada the permanent boundaries as they are today.
Pahranagat National Wildlife Refuge
👽 On the drive towards Rachel, we stopped at a viewpoint to admire the Lower Pahranagat. We saw a turn off for a visitor center and had to stop. We have a nasty little habit of collecting magnets from all of the places we visit on our travels. I got one! I planned to pee here, but the water was not working! At the time, I was unaware of the other bathrooms stationed around the lakes. We stopped at the Upper Pahranagat on the way home. We were driving along the dirt road and came across the perfect spot that had a crossing between two sections of the upper. I hoped to do some birding, but I did not see anything I could identify. Water is always a beautiful site to see in the middle of the desert. I think I got some great photos. This would be a beautiful place to have lunch if we weren't having a humid summer.
🛸 This marker is in the tiny town of Alamo. Pahranagat Valley is named after a local Shoshone Native American Tribe. Three local springs fill the valley’s lakes, which farmers have used for irrigation since the mid-nineteenth century. In the late 1860s, outlaws pastured hundreds of head of stolen cattle in the valley meadows. In 1865, ore was discovered in the area. The following year, a stamp mill was established at Hiko, twenty miles to the north to crush the ore. Hiko became the center of activity for the valley and the county seat between 1866 and 1871, when local mining declined and Pioche claimed the county seat. The valley received international notoriety in 1867 when Dan De Quille of the Territorial Enterprise published an article titled “The Rolling Stones of Pahranagat,” about magnetic traveling stones. De Quille was notorious for publishing comedy and satire, sometimes mistaken by his readership for truth. In this case, De Quille described these round stones as having a magical quality that, when scattered on the floor, would immediately began traveling toward a common center. De Quille published similar articles on the stones in 1876, 1879, and 1892. The town of Alamo before you, established in 1900, is the valley’s largest present-day settlement. Watered by Pahranagat Creek, the area includes several ranches and the Pahranagat Valley National Wildlife Refuge.
Ash Springs Petroglyphs
👽 Why are the petroglyph sites never marked well? Do they not want people to visit them or know about them? I found this place last night and added it to the itinerary last minute, so on the way towards Rachel, we had to skip it. I couldn't find the road to enter. It would help if I got the gas station they were talking about correct. On the way home it was easier to see the dirt turnout we needed to take, and we found our way to the ancient rock arts. They were worn and faded, but you could make some out. A lot of bighorn sheep. You can read some information about them at this Lincoln County, NV website
E-T- Fresh Jerky
🛸 This place is like an exact clone of the Alien Fresh Jerky down in Baker. They even have the goofy ass Trump Zoltar thing and sell all of the same alien merchandise. I asked if they were related, and the lady working the counter told me no. We bought some magnets and a sticker. If you make this drive, this is the only shop you will find AIR CONDITIONING! And when it gets to be over 100 in the other indoor places I visited, you will rate them highly just for that alone
. I just looked it up on the computer before I started typing this entry and I found out that the Alien Fresh in Baker was originally at this location and moved to Baker in 2001 or something. The location was empty for a long time until these other people moved some portables in to start ET Fresh Jerky. They are totally infringing, lol, but I guess it's like.. historical? But I don't understand why they literally have the SAME things. I went to other alien giftshops today and they all had different merch from each other. Hella sus.
Rest Area - ET Highway Sign, MARKER #205
👽 The Extraterrestrial Highway sign is missing from this location. I am going to find out who I need to write in the government to ask about when it will be returning. The poles are gone, too :( Thankfully there was still another ET Highway sign in Rachel. Marker 205 reads.. Crystal Spring was used as a watering place and campsite on an alternate route of the Mormon Trail in the mid-nineteenth century. The town site was designated as the provisional County Seat for Lincoln County in 1866. With the intention of organizing the new county, Governor Henry G. Blasdel left Carson City in April 1866, accompanied by over 20 people. After a perilous journey through Death Valley, California, they ran out of supplies and food. One man died; the others survived on lizards and other desert animals. The Governor and another man raced to Logan City to obtain supplies and returned lathe party so they reached Crystal Spring. The Governor found that the region lacked the number of voters necessary to meet the requirements to become a county. A year later the county government was organized at Hiko.
🛸 We had to detour 5 miles down 318 for this one. As early as 1865, a camp was established here, and during the spring of 1866, W. H. Raymond and others laid out the townsite. The name Hiko is apparently based on a Shoshone term for “white man” or ‘white man’s town. Raymond purchased a five-stamp mill and had it shipped via the Colorado River to Callville and then hauled by oxen the 140 miles to this site. In November 1866, milling began on Pahranagat ores and soon after, Hiko became the first county seat of Lincoln County. In March 1867, Raymond spent nearly $900,000 developing the region before the enterprise failed. The mill was moved to Bullionville in 1870. Hiko consequently declined in population and importance, which accelerated following the removal of the county government to Pioche in February 1871.
Alien Research Center
👽 This place had a lot of really cool AND cute alien merch. My favorite was the Galactic Cuties alien plush line. They had many colorful magnets to choose from, and their souvenir line that has names on things actually included Shelly, so they get extra points for that. The building is a giant metal box with a larger-than-life alien attached to the front. You're gonna want to stop and take a picture. But there is NO AIR CONDITIONING! It is over 100 inside. It was so hot I forgot to get a selfie the first time and we had to stop again.
The Black Mailbox
🛸 This is just a black mailbox
on the side of the road that once belonged to a local ranch owner. It has become a tourist attraction. Inside of it were plenty of handwritten notes to aliens, condoms, joints, snacks, food.. you name it! If it could fit, it was in there. I stashed some fliers about dolphin captivity. We stopped again on the way home and I could tell there were even more things inside. I wonder who empties it now and are the notes saved somewhere? A future Rachel museum maybe? I would archive all
of that material if I was a Rachel resident, honestly.
Dear Aliens, Are you coming back to Earth anytime soon? There have been so many isghtings of you. Today is 8*7*22 and myself and 2 sons have came to Area 51 to see evidence of existence as well as tour this forbidden area. I do believe there is life on other plants but us humans have yet to find out. Stay safe! From Christina
Dear ET, feel free to contact me!
Dear ET, you have NEVER visited and NEVER will. Signed CAMJ
Dear Aliens, we are family Italian/Polish who is visiting USA and tonight we are staying in Tonopah. We will be observing the sky tonight. Show us your starship and give us some signs please.
I know you're out there. Give me a sign!
Dear Aliens, if you fancy probing someone Alastair Senior, Conor Sewell, Aaron Whitside, Andrew Sutton and Ryan Howalth are up for a good time. All our love and peace, Emily and Jordan
Dear Alien visitor, welcome to Earth! Enjoy your stay here. If you findt he climate too hot here, I highly recommend Sweden where I will be happy to host you. Love Live The Alien Leader!
Alien Cowpoke Gas & General Store
👽 Just a tiny little gas station, but it's nice there is a gas station in Rachel again. The closest gas isn't for like 70 miles or something. It was very hot in here but I was able to pee and I got an energy drink.
🛸 Teenage me wanted to come here and rent a little trailer and spend the night talking about UFOs with locals and fellow freaks. Adult me is glad I never did, lmao. I love desert towns and people, but I love my comfort a little more. This is another stop on the route without any air conditioning. I don't know how the people who work here deal with it. I did not eat breakfast this morning (unless you count the pieces of buffalo chicken lunch meat I haphazardly threw into my mouth before the journey) so I was happy we were able to split a "World Famous Alien Burger" even though I had already spent a good chunk of money on stupid little knickknacks. The burger was not anything to write home about but it's hot food in the middle of nowhere. The bartender gave me a nice map with instructions on how to get to the back gate (I couldn't get any signal to load the maps and I never remember to do offline downloading) so off we went!
Area 51 - Back Gate Road
👽 OMG... were we really going to drive down the 11-mile dirt road to the back gate of super top secret military installation? Sure, why the fuck not? It's public lands. The contracted security doesn't have permission to fuck with you unless you are breaking the boundary or doing illegal activities. We didn't plan to do either. The scenery surrounding Area 51 and the town of Rachel is absolutely gorgeous. If anyone tells you the desert and/or Nevada is ugly, they must not have eyes. If it were not for the giant military base, this would be one of the most desolate places we have ever visited. There is absolutely nothing around for miles. The town of Rachel has a population of like 50. Another car was coming toward us not far from the back gate. Was this going to be one of the infamous Cammo Dudes in their white vehicles? Nope, just some dudes in a mustang. We got to the back gate and got out of the car. I made sure Jim stopped far enough back. I did NOT take out my DSLR because the gate "technically" says no photography and the 300mm is kind of big. I used a disposable to take a picture. Took a 15-second clip on my phone and popped 2 photos. Jim took a picture or two and managed to get one of us together with the warning gate in the background. He commented on the FLIR camera and the siren.... and BAM! The siren was triggered. I'm not about to get shot for a meme so I booked it to the car. I'm assuming because there were already visitors before us that the people were tired of being on high alert or whatever their protocol is when tourists are at the gate. We were not there long and not breaking any laws, and not even anywhere close to walking over any borders. What a story though.
Somewhere along the ET highway, we saw a deer that had been hit by a car. We did not witness the accident but noticed the birds circling above. I took a few photos and then the rain started to really hit. I didn't want to ruin my camera. A little further up the road, I saw some wild cows. Perfect! I wanted to see ALIVE wildlife. There were three and one of them was all black but his face was white and it was in the pattern of a skull. It was so fucking cool!
I can't believe we did that!!!! If you want to read learn more about Area 51, visit the extremely detailed website Dreamland Resort