One place we do plan to return to on this year´s trip is just about the most remote area we have found so far. Nevada is a huge state – but very few people actually live there. Just the way we like it.
So we plan to travel Highway 375 again. This road is also known as the Extraterrestrial Highway. It is close to the perimeter of Nellis Air Force base – the USA´s most secret and secure area where the most advanced planes are tested. Signs near the base warn the over-curious – `No Trespassing. violators may be shot on sight´. Scary. It is also the area where most UFO sightings have ever been reported.
State Route 375 is a state highway in south-central Nevada in the United States. The highway stretches 98 miles (158 km) from State Route 318 at Crystal Springs northwest to U.S. Route 6 at Warm Springs. The route travels through mostly unoccupied desert terrain, with much of its alignment paralleling the northern edges of the Nellis Air Force Range. The road originally traversed through what is now the northern reaches of the air force range in the 1930s, when it was previously designated State Route 25A.
The top-secret Area 51 government base is near SR 375 and many travelers have reported UFO observations and other strange alien activity along this road. Such stories prompted the state to officially designate the route as the Extraterrestrial Highway in 1996. The small town of Rachel, located near the center of the highway, caters to tourists and UFO seekers with alien-themed businesses. Although the area receives some tourism due to alleged extraterrestrial activity, SR 375 remains a lightly traveled route.
A big concern for us on this ride was the fuel – would we make it? There is a gas station in Rachel – but word is the government bought it and then abandoned it to deter too many tourist.
We had bought a very small petrol can – I think it held half an US gallon (smaller than a UK gallon). We prayed that would be enough to get us to the nearest place to top up – Tonopah – which was a left turn and about another 50 miles from the end of HW375.
We decided to spend the night in Rachel. We booked a trailer – very basic and, if any other visitors turned up, we would have to share. MG decided to wait until morning to pour the extra fuel in – in case any evaporated overnight – or worse, an alien spaceship might syphon it out of the tank!
So we just chilled…. an Alien Burger with a couple of beers sat outside the Little ALE´INN.
Afterwards, we watched a film crew turn up and remove a HUGE lens from the car; believe it or not, but it took FOUR men to carry this lens. The crew was dressed for a hike into the hills – the only reason can have been so they could zoom in and try to capture some footage from the goings on at Nellis. Rather them than me. Actually, we never did see them return and their car was still there in the morning…..
Mgm spent hours outside our trailer watching for UFOs – he saw none, but was rewarded with some incredible star activity once all light had disappeared. Being in this vast desert has to be the closest thing to being mid-ocean; the heavens were spectacular.
Next morning we topped up the tank – almost squeezing the canister for the last drops.
And headed back on down that long and lonely old highway