I woke up early and grabbed some breakfast before hitting out on my trips to the gates. The first gate I went to was on Groom Lake Road. I studied the map and knew where to go but that drive is a long one when you are going only about 35 or 40 down the road. It seemed like it took forever to get there and at one point I thought I got turned around. I was a little worried because I saw a crow perched atop a random street sign out there in the desert. I was rewarded with a sign that I was going the right way when I heard the distant sound of helicopter blades in the air. I couldn't find the bird but I finally saw him coming at me on my right side flying directly towards me. He wasn't very low, maybe about 150ft in the air or so. He flew right over me and then banked towards the sign at the border. I knew I was already on their radar coming down the road and within five minutes of the bird buzzing me I arrived by the border and saw the camo dudes parked on the top of the hill to my right. I parked about 50 meters from the sign and got out to walk around and check things out. Snapped a few pictures of the sign and camo dudes on the hill with my phone. I stood there looking around and checking out the landscape and not seeing anything at all. Right before I got in the car to take off, I heard the helicopter coming back my way. This time they came straight down the road I was on from their side of the border. It was like a showdown in a way because I was standing in the road watching them and they were flying right towards me. I snapped a few pictures with my phone and got the best ones I could as they flew past me and then banked to the left and flew back towards Groom Lake. At that point I went ahead and drove off towards the North Gate.
On my way to the North Gate I stopped by the Black Mailbox to check it out. On the way there I noticed something a little off about a lone tree on the side of the road. I parked and walked over to it and found the severed head of a cow laying at the base of the tree. To say I was taken aback was nothing but when I looked at the cow's head I realized one side was pretty much bone and the other was still covered in fur and skin. It was pretty weird to see that to say the least. I took a few pictures at the Black Mailbox then kept an eye on the cows roaming by the roads and headed off.
The trip to the North Gate was not anywhere as eventful as the one to Groom Lake Gate but it was better driving. No helicopters or anything cool like that but I did see a truck come tearing ass down the road from the direction of North Gate and they definitely were not worrying about other traffic on the road. When I got to North Gate I realized they had come from the base because there was no other place for them to be driving from. As soon as I got close to the gate there was a pickup truck that pulled up to the gate shack with security guys who got out and were keeping an eye on me. This is where I decided to do my photo op since it was more aesthetically appealing than a warning sign on the side of a dirt road. I was wearing some jean shorts with a t-shirt that showed a UFO sucking up a person in the desert with the caption "Get in loser, we're doing butt stuff." I also had a green alien mask to wear as well when I was getting a couple of pictures. Rather immature but that is me and it fit the ambience of the area as well. I noticed cameras watching me, my car, and everything I did. I popped the trunk to the car and realized they got a good look at my gun cases in the trunk and ammo cans I had. I figured I would finish up with the pictures and then head on out. It was pretty early in the morning still and no one else was around at all so that was a good thing since I didn't have to deal with any other traffic. I packed up my stuff and gave a wave to the cameras and I was on my way. Driving down the road I was just relaxing and feeling good listening to some music and then I heard two big booms and realized there were a couple of sonic booms going off as I was leaving.
That was the extent of my trip and exploration of the area. I had a great time driving around and seeing everything in the area but I definitely want to go back and do some more. I was a little apprehensive of getting close up to the gates, especially after I flashed my mini arsenal in my trunk, but it was still fun. I went real early, about 0800 is when i got to the first gate so no one else was really out and about. When I left Rachel that afternoon I noticed more people venturing out where I had gone. One of the final cool things I got to see while fueling up the car outside Rachel was the white bus heading out to drop off the workers from the base. I didn't have my phone on me so I wasn't able to get a picture of it. The windows were darkened and it looked like there was a shade drawn on them but I recognized it as a Blue Bird bus I had ridden on many times during my army career. I picked up a few souvenirs from the Little A'Le'Inn before heading out as well because I wanted a few mementos. I stopped by the Alien research Facility and it was ok, nothing fancy but they did have a few cool pictures and fun things to buy there. With my trip complete I headed on out to Vegas for some beer and relaxing before continuing on to Los Angeles to visit family.
I know this was long winded and probably rather boring but I tend to get into a lot of detail when I tell a story so such is the case with the long report. Hopefully this helps people who are curious about going out there. I felt like I got lucky by seeing the helicopter and it buzzing me while heading to the gate. I also got buzzed by a F-5 or something similar when I left the Middlegate Station on my way to Rachel. I want to say they came form the Tonopah test range or somewhere else in the desert but I was blasting some CCR and next thing I know a fighter is screaming down the highway about 100 feet off the ground. If anyone is on the fence I would say just do it and go. I got there the afternoon before my trips to the gate ands was done by the early afternoon after driving out to the gates and doing pictures. If you want to avoid any crowds then head out early in the morning to see the sites and you will have them all to yourself. Good luck everyone and I do plan on going back again, maybe sometime next year.