Visit to Area 51 and Rachel in the Snow, January 23, 2010
by Robert

Click to enlargeThe family and I headed out the Area 51 to see what was going on and play in the snow. We are are really lucky living here in Las Vegas and being so close to such a beautiful park of the country. The high desert in the winter is incredible.

We left at about 7:45 so we could get a nice early start and in case we needed extra time due to the snow. I rained for the last few days so we know the snow would be amazing. We were right. It was beautiful. Even the mountains around Las Vegas itself are covered with snow. The mountains near Area 51 were really covered by a deep fresh blanket.

We headed down GLR with about 2 inches under our wheels. The closer we got to the warning signs, the deeper the snow became. We pulled over at about 200 yards before the warning signs. I figured it was getting a little deep and there was no use taking any chances with the family. We walked the 200 yards to the signs.

The new cammo dude truck was waiting for us. The family and I were lucky enough to be joined by a long time Area 51 researcher. He had some cool equipment to take some nice shots. As we approached the signs out of nowhere an F-16 came up from our rear and buzzed over us. He appeared to give a left wing dip to the cammo dudes (or us) and then he banked extremely hard right and was gone. He flew very low and fast. That was a real treat. After many years and visits, this was my first time to see a "cool" F-16 in action.

We took some nice winter snow photos and the kids built an alien snowman for the "cammo dudes". I did notice that some person has recently stuck a Denver Broncos sticker on the main sign. Wish it was a Raider sticker.

After leaving GLR we headed to the back gate at Rachel. The snow over Coyote Summit was almost too much to pass. It had not been plowed. We carefully made it over the summit and headed to Rachel. The gravel pit to the right of Rachel is getting even bigger! The back gate road had about 2-4 inches of snow. We made it to the back gate and took a few photos. There was a cammo dude in the shack.

The entire Rachel valley was covered with a real dense fog. It was like something from that movie the Mist. This is where I also found the interesting track that appears to be a jack rabbit. After the back gate, we went into Rachel for a burger. The Inn was dark but open. I guess power had gone out to most of Lincoln County Friday night due to the storm. Rachel was yet to get power restored, but the Alien Inn was running on a generator. Once the generator was restarted we were back with lights. The burgers were great and the photos around Rachel were truly beautiful. Our friend headed up TTR for a few days of photos around the range and then off to his home in California's Bay Area.

Robert

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