Back on November 20, 2019, and after 7.75 years since my last visit, I was finally able to return to Dreamland. I was very happy to be able to visit again, and to make the timing even more significant, it was exactly 2 months after the, "Storm Area 51" event, and 30 years after Bob Lazar went public.
The rainy day started with us leaving Las Vegas and heading onto I-15 to US-93, where we stopped to get gas before heading into the remote desert. The drive was scenic even though visibility was poor due to the heavy rain. After 2 hours of driving, we drive through Alamo and Warm Springs before turning onto Highway 375, and I get my picture in front of the newly raised ET Highway Sign.
From there we continue driving and after some time, enter the Tikaboo Valley and finally spot Groom Lake Road after searching for it. We turn onto the road and drive slowly, as the rain is flowing down the middle of the road. After a few miles, the rain stops and we enter a clearing, where I'm able to see some of the mountains, including White Sides, one of the former viewing spots of the base. Afterward I look behind me and see another pair of headlights coming towards us. I figure they're just other Area 51 tourists. They get closer to us and as we pull over to let them pass, it's a blue F-150 with Nevada license plates with two guys in it, and they drive past us. They disappear ahead of us while we continue driving. After some time I see the bend in the road, and a white truck on a hill, which is the security truck. As we approach the bend, I see the white truck drive down toward the gate, which is where the blue F-150 is, and by the time we arrive at the Front Gate, the blue F-150 is gone and the Security truck is back on top of the hill. At that point, I knew two Area 51 employees had driven past us and had entered the base.
We park the truck on the side of the road near the Front Gate, and I'm amazed at the new signs, FLIR camera, and the yellow gate that goes across the border between the two signs. I look at the gate and hills to the left for a moment before hiking up the hill to the right, where I see White Sides Mountain again, and the road turn inside the restricted area. I see the cammo dude truck turn off his lights, so that must mean he's turned off his truck. I only saw one dude in the truck. I take a Panorama shot before walking back down the hill and getting back in the truck to head back to HWY 375.
From there we head back down Groom Lake Road and turn off near the Medlin Ranch and see the new/fake Black Mailbox and some cows. We get back on the highway and re-enter the rainstorm yet again. I think about how there is speculation of a B-21 Prototype being test flown out here, and probably various other projects, I'd say relating to UAVs. The rain stops again as we cross Coyote Summit and then I see Rachel off in the distance. We pull into the Little A'Lee'Inn parking lot and show my parents the time capsule from the "Independence Day" Producers. We go inside the Inn and are greeted with a Hello. I look around for a moment and then go back to the truck to head to the back gate.
From Rachel we start the drive to the back gate. We see more cows as we drive there. Once there, I see an Area 51 Tourist Guide van at the Back Gate as well. I get out of the truck and observe the area and guard shacks for a moment. I look at the sky and think of the Aurora, and how cool it must be to see one of these aircraft flying around. I take some pictures in front of the gate and signs before getting back in the truck to head back to Las Vegas.
On the drive back we go through the same rainstorm we drove through when coming up to the base, except now it's a thunderstorm. Being from the East Coast, Thunderstorms aren't new to me, but seeing one in the desert for the first time was a spectacular scene. I also knew it was delaying the JANET flights from leaving Area 51.