It is seriously hot out. I swear that I just got a whiff of some of my nose hair melting. I have been riding well above the posted speed limit of 70 for the past few hours. With no cars in sight for the past hundred miles, I set the cruise control up another 10 miles an hour. The extra wind offers no reprieve from the heat. Cruising at 95 mph feels like an industrial hair dryer cranked up to the mega-high setting.
I stop at the Y-intersection of SR 318 and 375—about 100 miles north of Sin City—to take a snapshot of me and my bike next to the sign declaring Nevada State Route 375 as the Extraterrestrial Highway. This is Alien Country, where more UFOs are sighted each year than at any other place on the planet. The digital air temperature gauge on my White 2011 Victory Vision reads 107. Every breath I take evaporates more vital moisture from the lining of my lungs. I fear that my water and gas supply is running low. Mental note to self: always stop at every gas station to fill up on water and fuel while riding through the Nevada desert. I am in desperate need of some cooling shade.
One lonely cottonwood tree creates a mini oasis of shade in the vast desert. I battle for a shaded spot with six parked cars and lie down on the sun-bleached earth for a rest. There is nothing out here. There is no logical reason for these cars to be parked here. I quickly drift off into a deep sleep and dream about alien abductions. The Victory was able to fly. It wasn’t too odd since many people have told me that the bike looks like a spaceship. I was six years old and trying to find a hiding place from the aliens. They captured me and were arguing with each other whether they should dissect me or the motorcycle first.
I awaken to the sound of the diesel engine of a large white bus as it drops off six men who drive away in their sun faded cars. None of this makes sense to me. My mind just can’t compute in this heat. Why would there be a bus top in the middle of nowhere? I board my aerodynamic spacecraft motorcycle and ride northwest over the 5,592-foot Hancock Summit and into the Tikaboo Valley.
I find out later that I just left the so-called “Groom Lake Park ‘n’ Ride,” the spot where workers catch a shuttle bus into the high security military base next to Groom Lake that the CIA calls Area 51. Area 51 is the most famous secret military installation in the world. Conspiracy theorists believe that Area 51 stores the crashed spacecraft from Roswell and a few of its alien occupants. If you have ever seen any footage of an alien autopsy, this is where it was supposed filmed.
The Black Mailbox
Twenty minutes from the Groom Lake Park n’ Ride, between mile markers 29 and 30 is the “Black Mailbox” which has been thought by UFOoligists to be the official mailbox for Area 51. I was told that it is just the mailbox for an unlucky rancher. After years of people digging through his Victoria Secret magazines in search of US Government secrets he replaced the original Black Mail Box with a white, locked, bulletproof one.
The dirt road that intersects here with the highway leads to a ranch, and also to the mysterious Area 51. I heard that you are allowed to camp here as long as you do not block the intersection.
This has become a popular location for people to pull over at night to search the skies over Area 51, only 20 miles away. People now write messages on the mailbox to aliens in hope they get some deep probing. I stayed there for awhile and read some graffiti on the box while contemplating if I should ride down the dirt road to Area 51 or continue on towards the only town on the Extraterrestrial Highway, Rachel. On the box scrawled in black marker was “I just fucked a hot alien at behind the A’Le’Inn.”
With alien sex on my mind I continued northwest on SR 375 towards the Little A’Le’Inn in the town of Rachel climbing in elevation again to reach the top of Coyote Summit at 5,591 feet. I shared the road with a few cattle that openly graze along the side of the road. I have heard many stories about extraterrestrials’ fascination with cows. It is claimed that more than 8,000 cows were abducted by UFOs before they were mutilated and thrown back down to earth over the southern United States during the ’70s. You see the official documents recently released by the FBI about these incidents at vault.fbi.gov. The vault also has a scan of the ’50s FBI memo that alleges aliens did in fact land in New Mexico.
The extraterrestrial highway is a long and lonely stretch of road that passes through the small town of Rachel, but because of its proximity to Area 51, it is known for its numerous UFO sightings. The town’s population is less than 100. Rachel doesn’t have a post office, but it does have the Little A’Le’Inn.
Rachel was founded in 1973 as the “UFO Capital of the World” and attracts visitors from around the globe and possibly the solar system. The community has been featured in books, magazines, and TV shows, such as The X-Files, declaring it as the center of UFO activity. The result of this publicity was the renaming of SR 375 as “The Extraterrestrial Highway” by Nevada State legislator. The producers of the sci-fi movie Independence Day gave the town a time capsule.
I stopped at the A’Le’Inn for a quick bite. The menu consists of basic diner fare with the word “Alien” preceding each item. Alien Burgers, Alien Fries, etc. The food wasn’t very entertaining so I chatted up the server who seemed to be annoyed with all of the tourists asking the same questions over and over. Have you ever seen a UFO? Do you believe in aliens? She started to ignore me after I ask if there are any slutty ET chicks around here? I spent a few minutes looking at the faded photographs of UFOs on the walls and bought a guide map of Area 51 from the gift shop for 33 cents.
“It’s no fun/Being an illegal alieeeeonn.” Come on and sing it with me “I say, its no fuuun. Being an illegal alien.” These are the terrible Genesis lyrics I was singing out loud to myself as I drove down the gravel roadway to the back gate of Area 51. I was warned by the rotund teenager I met at the Alien Café not to go there and if I didn’t listen to her warning to keep a sharp eye out for the camo dudes in dark silver pickups. “They are always watching you” and “Read the warning signs and obey them,” she reminded me as I paid my bill. As I approached the boundary there were signs on both sides of the road. “WARNING! NO TRESSPASSING,” “PHOTOGRAPHY OF THIS AREA IS PROHIBITED” and the most unsettling of them “USE OF DEADLY FORCE AUTHORIZED.” Off in the distance I saw a grey Chevy pickup truck with a camo dude inside watching me. I make the executive decision that it was probably a bad idea to venture any closer and turned around.
The surrounding mountains of Rachel are littered with Paiute Indian artifacts like arrowheads and petroglyphs. Are the odd Indian drawings proof of past alien life in this area? Make sure to leave anything that you find. Everything is protected by the Archeological Resources Protection Act.
The byway ends at Warm Springs, the intersection of Highway 375 and US 6. This is a great base camp to explore many of Nevada’s ghost towns (see ????? ?? Baggers issue). I don’t think that Area 51 is hiding any aliens. But I do know that Uncle Sam ain’t fucking around about this place. I might not ever find out if alien sex is an out-of-this-world experience. I do suggest that if you are cruising through the back roads of Nevada to explore the Extra Terrestrial Highway and write me if you have any close encounters. B
Do a search for Rachel Nevada on Google Maps. With a quick search you can see a giant KFC logo from the satellite view. If you know anything about this please write us.
There used to be an unofficial speed limit sign of Warp 7 on the way to Rachel. It is now mysteriously missing.
The Extra Terrestrial Highway is one of the most deserted roads in America, and has more reported UFO sightings than any other road in the country.
Rachel and the ET Highway is a good stopping point between visiting the many ghost towns of Nevada.
Designated in 1966
There aren’t many people in South Central Nevada. Services and gas stations are sparse. Fill up your tank every time you see a gas station. Take plenty of drinking water. Cell service is sporadic.
Note: The gas station in Rachel is closed. The nearest gas stations are 50 miles south in Ash Springs and 110 miles north in Tonopah.
Length: 98.0 mi/157.7 km
Time to Allow: An out and back trip can be done in one day, but if you take the entire loop from Vegas, plan on spending from two to six days.
Dreamland Resort The Leading area 51 Research Website