Trip Report 2-17-08
by Robert Hull

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Alien Research Center
What better to do on a three day weekend than visit Area 51? My father and mother were visiting from Fresno California, so my dad and I ventured out to Area 51 on Sunday morning. My mom was definitely not up for a long ride in the desert when so many slot machines were so close.

My dad and I left around 9am. This was his first time being south of the Downtown area of Las Vegas. He was amazed at the amount of new houses still being built in North Las Vegas. The first curious thing that we noticed was about 60 minutes out of Las Vegas on the Great Basin Highway. It appears, right in the middle of nowhere, they are in the early stages of building a golf course with houses to follow. It seems like an odd place for a community to "spring up".

Our first stop was Alamo Nevada. It was a great spot to refill our soda and coffee. After a very brief drive around town, my father quickly realized that he could not live in Alamo. He is much too dependent on the local movie house down the street and many good eating joints near where he lives. Once we left Alamo it was a quick drive to intersect the ET HWY. I was disappointed that the newly opened Alien Research Center was not opened. I hope it is not closed up for good. It should have been opened on a three day weekend. There were a few more cars then normal on the road this weekend. The huge metal alien was still "cool" to look at.

The next stop was Groom Lake Road. No matter how many times I have been out there, I still get excited turning the last corner before Groom Lake Road is in view. We stopped at the entrance to the road and took a few pictures. My father had no interest in driving to the signs marking the restricted area or making faces at the "cammo dudes". I admitted to him that it makes me nervous as well each time that I drive down the Groom Lake Road. Anyway, the Alien Burgers were calling our names and we were both very hungry!

We stopped at the "Mailbox" and took a few pictures. My father noticed the big rock that says, "Alien under that rock" was turned over. I wonder if there was an alien under that big rock near the mailbox.

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Little A' Le Inn
I don't think there is anything that I could say that can prepare a person for Rachel Nevada. It is truly a hauntingly desolate town. I am not sure what my father expected to see. Pictures can only describe it to a certain extent. To truly appreciate Rachel, you must go there and experience all that it has to offer. We took a few pictures of the ET HWY sign before entering the town. (FYI: the ET HWY sign that is missing as you enter the ET HWY is in a side room at the Alien Research Center on display.)

As we drove into the Little A' Le Inn parking lot I noticed a few cars and motor cycles. I am always glad to see people stopping in at keeping the place busy. There was a young man eating his breakfast, working behind the bar and taking food and drink orders. A young family of three had just finished eating and was playing pool. There were two couples at opposite ends of the bar eating. My father and I sat down and ordered two Alien Burger specials. I noticed Pat in the back cooking and knew they were going to be great. They certainly were great burgers.

I couldn't help but over hear the "Harley guy" at the end of the bar telling a story. A local lady had walked in and started cleaning behind the bar and he started to tell her a story. The story sounded really interesting. He was explaining a time many years ago when he and some friends were arrested trying to get into Area 51. Unfortunately his story started falling apart quickly when the veteran local resident started poking holes in it. He stated that after being arrested they were taken to the Clark County Jail in Las Vegas. She corrected him about the county being Lincoln. The story rapidly fell apart after that. He quickly moved on to another person who had just come in from the road. I am sure it will be easier to tell the story to him. I think that is an example of what makes Area 51 so interesting. The stories, the mysteries, the objects in the sky all play an important part of the Area 51 attraction for me. I will never let anybody tell me it is just a military base. It is far more than that for many people.

After we left the Little A' Le Inn, we drove around Rachel. We saw the gas station, senior center, and the namesake marker. The contrast between the town and what lies just over the mountains is "mind blowing". Such a simple desolate place near such a larger than life place creates an immense desire to understand what it all means. I hope they never open or declassify Area 51. Once that happens and all the questions are answered, there will be no reason to get an Alien Burger, stop in Alamo for gas or even turn off the Interstate 15. I am thankful that I had this experience with my dad.

Rob

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Senior Center -Rachel Nevada
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Baptist Church -Rachel Nevada


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