Jerry and Lindsay 2012 travel blog

The long, desolate road on the "Extraterrestrial Highway" to Rachel.

Some of the signs showing the highway's name and how badly marked...

Here's the Little A'Le'Inn restaurant and bar.

Some of the comical things outside the restaurant in the parking lot.

On the other side showing the landed "saucer".

Also in the parking lot.

The ceiling is covered with U.S and other country's currency with notes...

Some of the memorabilia.

Located outside the entrance to the restaurant.

Hard to read, but this is the time capsule dedicated by the...

And now the desolate trek back from Rachel to civilization.

Saw this off to the side of the Extraterrestrial Highway just as...

Checking out her digs!

Today we thought it would be fun to drive up and check out “Area 51” on the Extraterrestrial Highway in Rachel, Nevada. Oh my goodness, this is one really long and relatively boring drive through a lot of barren lands in the middle of nowhere . . . but Jerry was behind the wheel and on he drove, and drove, AND drove!!!!

The town of Rachel enjoys modest celebrity particularly among aviation enthusiasts and UFO hunters. The town is located along Nevada Highway 375 with an unofficial “speed limit” of Warp 7. Rachel also receives a modest number of visitors interested in the U.S. government’s secret doings. There’s a small tourist shop, a three room motel and an alien-themed restaurant and bar, the Little A’Le’Inn (yes pronounced alien)! There are also numerous unpaved roads near Rachel off Hwy 375 that lead across the terrain to the boundary of Area 51. Still being in the rental car, we didn’t pursue any of these unpaved roads, nor really was the inclination to do so there after the long, boring drive to get to Rachel.

The population of the town generally hovers around 80 inhabitants, some involved in ranching. The town was originally established as a tungsten mining town, but the mines pulled out circa 1988 – it was one dismal looking “town” with most inhabitants living in mobile homes. Some other “highlights” about Rachel – it was featured in an episode of “Louis Theroux’s, Weird Weekends” which covered the UFO subculture and also mentioned in a two-part episode of “The X-Files”. And the producers of the movie “Independence Day” gave the town a time capsule installed near the Inn. The Little A’Le’In is the only remaining local business providing service to tourists and there isn’t even a gas station located in the town!

While the federal government wishes everyone would go away, in April 1997, the Nevada Department of Transportation designated the desolate 92-mile stretch of Route 375 as the “Extraterrestrial Highway” putting up four sins to that effect at a cost of $3,300! During the ceremony, Nevada Governor at the time, Bob Miller, quipped that some of the signs should be placed flat on the ground “so aliens can land there.” Governor Miller also commented that the designation shows Nevada has a sense of humor. We spotted two of the signs, both badly marked up with stickers and graffiti making the sign barely legible – even spied three individuals dressed up in “alien garb” for their own photo shoot!

We did go into the Little A’Le’Inn and Jerry had the Alien burger and I enjoyed a grilled cheese sandwich – it was definitely covered with all types of alien memorabilia, tee shirts, masks, mugs, etc. The single-wide trailer sporting more information about Area 51 Research apparently was no more because we drove around looking for it, and quite frankly, with as remote and desolate as this town is, if it was there we would have seen it! And then we turned around and headed back home.

Till the next time . . .

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