Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Las Vegas Space Aliens Tour

Where in the World are Keith and Kathy?

As those of you who know us will recall, Kathy is fascinated with weird stuff like prophecy and space aliens, all as promoted on the Art Bell nighttime radio program. Please don’t write back to tell us that Art is no longer on the air, and that the show is now hosted by George Noory. We know this, but will forever think of this genre as Art Bell.

Those of you who follow our blog saw a bit of this fascination when we visited the Space Aliens Museum in Roswell, New Mexico. “Area 51”is another venue of interest to those who follow news from the remoter regions of the galaxy. Supposedly located in the vicinity of Groom Lake, within the vast boundaries of the Nellis Air Force Range Nevada Test Site, Area 51 is the supposed crash site of a supposed alien space ship. Overuse of the word “supposed” in the previous sentence emphasizes the very highly speculative nature of this fantasy world. One still hears TV “documentaries” which claim that we are in the process of reverse engineering the propulsion system from these alien spaceships.

Groom Lake and the Nevada Test Range are by no means a fantasy. It is speculated that the Air Force uses this very remote ground to test fly super secret developmental aircraft. What aircraft, you may ask? If I told you, I would have to shoot you. Seriously, this is thought to be the location where then-secret planes such as the SR 71 hypersonic spy plane, and the more recent stealth fighters and bombers, were test flown befor their coming out.

Needless to say, the Air Force takes a very, very dim view of sightseers. Used to be, fanatics (and Solviet spies, probably) would observe operations at Groom Lake from the mountain ridges 30 or 40 miles away. One day the Air Force woke up to this practice, and extended their security perimeter beyond the ridges. Trespassing is strongly discouraged, and the use of deadly force is authorized.

To appeal to the continuing alien fascination, an enterprising couple has named their roadside café in Rachel, NV, on the north side of the ridges, “LITTLE A’LE’INN”. This stretch of Nevada Rt. 375 is designated the “Extraterrestrial Highway”.

Nevada Route 375

On Wed., March 19th we drove the Subaru 180 miles north from Boulder City, where we are camped at the Elks Club, to visit this café. The ride north through the basins and across the ranges was very scenic and enjoyable. Some scnes from this drive are included below.

Great Basin Highway (AKA US 93)

Beautiful Rock Strata

Bear Grass

Valley Oasis

Open Range

Roadkill Cafe

Roadside Sculpture

To those of you from the east, 180 miles may seem like a long way to drive for a day tip, but with the cruise control set at the 75 mph speed limit, it is only about three hours, including gas stops. In this country, one does not neglect the gas gauge. At the junction of Rt. 93 and 375 is a sign which reads “no gas for next 160 miles”. The destination was actually less tacky than Keith expected, and the proprietress seemed very nice. We dropped $35 on souvenirs and one Bloody Mary.

This is Where it Happens

Home is Where You Park It

Space Alien Tourist

The ride back was less enjoyable for several reasons, including more traffic, driving into the sun, and encroachment on Keith’s nap time. Nonetheless, we arrived safely back in Boulder in time for a late lunch at the local Italian joint. Decent spaghetti and lasagna (3 COW’s).

Boulder City Elks Club

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