"Damn it" (May 28th-29th 2005)
by CJ Hurtt

For about the eightieth time the wind had turned our canopy cover into a parasail and made it impossible for us to set it up. Mary and I were just about ready to resign ourselves to having no cover from the sun save for our tent when two guys who were also attending the Area 51 campout came over. Without an introduction or so much as a spoken word, they started grabbing stakes and guy lines and helped us set up our canopy. This is how we met Trouble and Norio. We didn't know what to expect at the campout to be honest, but it was nice to find that our fellow campers were caring friendly people. The wind got pretty crazy over the weekend but our canopy stood its ground the whole time, which is a little better than how the porta-potties fared on Friday from what I've heard.

The next few hours were spent hiding from the sun. I'm Irish and we burn easily. From where I was sitting though I was able to keep an eye on the cammos on both Hawkeye hill and Cammo hill. Both of which were keeping an eye on us.

When the heat of the day had passed, Joerg led a few of us on a hike up Hawkeye to get a peek at the guard shack. I had always wanted to go up there but I don't really know the area too well. Crossing the border (and paying the fine) has never had much appeal to me. Also on the hike was a film crew who were doing a documentary on Area 51.

When we got up there the camera crew set about interviewing Joerg and the rest of us snapped pics of the guard shack and the cammos. We saw a cammo dispatched from the guard shack and tear off down a road that led to another gate. As we left a cammo dude came rushing up the hill so we had to stop and take some pictures of him. He quickly backed down the hill after that. We hiked back down and as we got to Groom Lake road, a white jeep cammo raced past us.

When we got back into camp we could see that the one on the road had joined another on Cammo hill. Meanwhile, the Hawkeye cammo dude was back inplace on top of the hill, this time with his lights on. He left them on for several hours. We wondered if maybe he was trying to let us know he was up there orůmaybe just accidently left them on and locked himself out of his truck. Area 51 is a mysterious place so we may never know.

When we got back to camp, Bill announced that it was happy hour and everyone sat down for food and drink.

Everyone was very friendly and had a good time. In all, Area 51 had a good birthday party.

I'd like to say a thank you to Joerg, Bill, Gary, Norio, Peter, and the rest of the gang, and my longsuffering wife.

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