Welcome to Nevada!
100 miles north of Las Vegas, is the tiny place of Rachel. Located in the middle of an arid desert and next to the US Military facility of Groom Lake, also known as 'Area 51'.
As we headed down Route 375, the "Extraterrestrial Highway", tumbleweeds and 'dust devils' crossed our path every now and again on our way into Rachel.
Rachel has a population of 67, at the last count. You can imagine our tiny it looks in the middle of the desert!
We stayed at the famous Little A' Le' Inn, which featured in one of Louis Thereoux's Weird Weekends. There's a cafe, souvenir shop and bar here, as well trailers to rent for the night. We actually stayed in 'Trailer 51', which was the one Louis stayed in!
Click on the 'Read More' link.
After an 'Alien Burger' and a few beers in the bar, we borrowed 'Back To The Future' from their free video library and watched it back in our trailer.
In the morning, we bought a map of the local area and headed up to Area 51. The map showed you were the perimater of the base was and the infamous 'Black Mailbox' (which is now white!). Area 51 is 575 square miles in size and the whole testing area is a massive 1600 square miles, some of which is highly contaminated with radiation from nuclear tests.
Several high-tech super-secret planes were developed and tested at Area 51, including the U-2, F-117 Stealth Fighter and the SR-71 Blackbird.
More recent projects include the rumored high speed high altitude "Aurora", various unmanned planes (UAVs) and a new stealth plane to replace the F-117.
Some believe that the research at Area 51 also includes Alien technology. Supposedly the remains of the alleged UFO crash near Roswell, NM in 1947 ended up here and are used to reverse engineer alien technology.
However, there is no credible evidence to support such claims.
To get to the heavily guarded perimeter, you need to drive almost 10 miles over rough dirt track. As we approached, security personnell watched our every move from atop of hill above us.
They are 'Authorised to use Deadly Force', if they catch anyone trespassing, and will not hesitate to use it.
Joo was not too chuffed that we'd ventured up here. As long as you stay behind the perimeter, they will not bother you at all.
Photography isn't allowed, but I did manage to get a few quick ones as we drove off..... very quickly!
A very entertaining stay in Rachel and we were very well looked after by Pat and everyone at the Little A Le Inn. Thanks a lot!
Route 375 - the 'Extraterrestial Highway'
Little A Le Inn - Rachel
The famous "Black Mailbox", which is now white.
Groom Lake Road
"Use of Deadly Force Authorized"
"Cammo Dudes" are watching your every move.