Contact On The Extraterrestrial Highway!
The Humans of WheelingIt have returned to the Earthly Domain and can now report the series of astonishing events that led to contact on the Extraterrestrial Highway on April 15th, 2014 (Earth-Date). Read at your own risk….
It all started out innocently enough. A quick drive down the Extraterrestrial Highway to geek out on all the Alien stuff and gawk at the gates of elusive Area 51. In typical Nina style I had prepared myself extensively by absorbing reams of book material, crafting perfectly-formed foil hats and meditating in the lotus-position (quite a miracle feat, in and of itself I tell you) to be mentally zen for contact. Oh yes, baby, I was ready to immerse myself fully into the experience.
On a fine afternoon we started the adventure. We puttered down the road to Hwy 375, tense with anticipation and eagerly on the lookout. A short way down the trail our radio knocked out (naturally), followed by our phone (obviously) and within minutes we saw them…little, green men sauntering along in the broad daylight of the Nevada sun. Contact!! Thanks to my aforementioned preparations I was properly expectant of all this and not the least surprised. In hospitable Dane fashion I proceeded to engage the creatures pleasantly, posing for shots and even laughing at the cows being abducted around the corner. Inter-planetary a-la-WheelingIt if you will (even Commander Picard would have approved). All was going swimmingly until I rounded the corner and saw hubby disappear….
“Adieu Earthings”….he muttered as he beamed up to the spaceship
This was an unexpected twist. I drove back to the rig for a thought-provoking Rum & Coke and pondered the extraterrestrial philosophy of things. By the time said drink was halfway consumed, I had an epiphany…and a plan. With meticulous detail I crafted a large sign on the RV roof “Free Earth-cocktails in return for Cuban“. Sufficiently satisfied this would be an irresistible draw (and rather hoping the Aliens understood I was looking for hubby and not cigars) I waited. Would he ever return or would WheelingIt be forever one Earthling short of a full beast?
As you can tell I totally dig all this stuff, and if it ever there was a place to experience it this is it. Area 51, more officially called “Groom Lake” is nondescript corner of southern Nevada so steeped in rumors & secrets it’s existence was denied for the longest time. On it’s western side it bounds the Nevada Test Site the location of no less than 739 nuclear bomb tests. On it’s eastern side the Nellis Air Force Range. Declassified documents have revealed it to be a research and test facility for super-secret military aircraft, but it’s what isn’t known that makes it so intriguing.
For years and years rumors have bubbled about secret Alien research and unusual activity, and that’s just the kind of tantalizingly juicy stuff even the most placid of conspiracy theorists can’t resist. For the few folks who live along the 98 miles (158 km) stretch of Hwy 375 this is not just another Nevada highway, it’s the Extraterrestrial Highway and the Alien thing here is so deeply entrenched you just can’t get around it. Whether you come here for the dusty drive or little, green men it is SO MUCH FUN to throw yourself into the spirit of the place and just bask in the outer-worldliness of it all.
There are lots of good websites & blog posts about the sights & intrigues of Hwy 375 so I’m not going to go into alot of details, but what I do want to do is prepare you for the ride. If you’re going to take your “beast” here I propose you do with the proper panache. After all, why just drive the highway when you can live it, Eathling? With that said here’s the WheelingIt guide to the ultimate Hwy 375 immersion experience:
Get In The Mood
One of the best ways to get in the mood for a place is to read about it. Start your week with a little history in the form of Area 51: The Dreamland Chronicles (great info on the base and the fine folks who flew the aircraft there), then proceed into deeper space with UFOs: Generals, Pilots and Government Officials Go On the Record (an intriguing book for anyone even remotely interested in unidentified flying objects). Finish your week with full-out contact and a good laugh by watching Paul (part of which was filmed right here on Hwy 375). Now, you’re primed and ready for step 2.
Scope Out The Spots
All the “must visit” spots for Area 51 are HERE and HERE . Since cellphone can be iffy on the Highway (what else would you expect?) it’s a good idea to print out the details before you go. You can’t “do” the Area without (at the minimum) a stop at the Black Mailbox (now white, but the name persists regardless) and a visit to the dusty little town of Rachel, NV. For the more enterprising you can drive right up to the Area 51 gates (just don’t step across) or 4×4 to one of the Area 51 overlooks. For Geocaching fans there are no less than 1,500 Geocaches (!!!!) along the entire length of 375 including a super-cool Alien Head Geocache right near Rachel (thank you blog reader Yvette for this tip). Who wouldn’t want to snag this one?
Boondock The Night
The full experience of Hwy 375 would not be complete without an overnight boondocking stay. I mean if there’s any chance of sighting unusual activity, this is clearly the spot. Even if you don’t see Aliens you might catch a glimpse (or hear the sonic boom) of some new ultra-secret-fragilistic-tech Military aircraft. Too cool to miss! As it so happens the ENTIRE length of 375 is BLM land and you can pretty much pull off and camp anywhere you can fit. This site lists a few spots, all of which are fairly easy to get to. Our preferences were either the Black Mailbox (why not -> 37.457139,-115.482675), a large pull-out which we saw on the south side of the road between milemarker 16 & 17 (quite scenic) or the large, gravel lot opposite Little A’Le’Inn (thus allowing you to eat and stagger home. The inn offers paid hookups, but also allows you to boondock right opposite for free -> 37.6463559,-115.7452758).
Once you decide to make the drive, take your time and soak it all in. Stop to take pics of the cool murals & down some jerky at ET Fresh Jerky, pose by the massive Alien sculpture at the Alien Research Institute (it’s never open, but it’s fun to pose anyway), ponder the mysteries of the Black-now-White Mailbox and then chow down on a Saucer Burger with an Alien Beer (quite tasty) at the Little A’Le’Inn. Throw in a few Geocaches and you’ve got yourself a full day. Contact (and thus your experience) is now complete.
What did we do? ALL OF IT, of course. We puttered around all the sites, Geocached the Alien Head (with doggie in tow) and boondocked the night at the Little A’Le’Inn (dusty and superbly fun). Despite his abduction experience Paul was returned safely and seems to have no new powers (I was so hoping). Also our quest for an all-night vigil for extraterrestrial lights was thwarted when we fell asleep at 9PM (darn that Alien beer). Perhaps next time we’ll all get beamed up and I can re-market the blog as SpaceTravellingIt (or possibly The Beast In Space? 12 Paws In Orbit? Boondocking On Mars?)…now wouldn’t that be something?
- Dreamlandresort.com -> Maps, sightseeing details, camping spots for Hwy375. It’s all here. CLICKY
- VisitArea51.com -> Another great site with links, maps & camping info. CLICKY
- Little A’Le’Inn -> Make contact, drink beer, eat Alien Burgers. CLICKY
- ET Fresh Jerky -> Pose with cool murals & get some Jerky. CLICKY