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From: firstname.lastname@example.org (Glenn Campbell, Las Vegas) Date: Tue, 20 May 1997 17:29:20 -0800 Subject: Visiting Rachel Nevada and the E.T. Highway I often get email from people asking about visiting the E.T. Highway and Rachel, Nevada, near Area 51. The first thing I ask is, "Why?" You must understand these things before you come: 1) There is nothing much to see here but empty desert. If you enjoy deserts, you may like this one, but nothing significant is likely to happen to you, and you'll probably get bored quickly. 2) I have never seen a UFO here -- and I lived 2-1/2 years in Rachel full time. I have never seen anything in the skies I cannot explain, so you shouldn't expect to either. There is certainly a lot of activity overheard, but it is the ongoing wargames exercises out of Nellis Air Force Base -- conventional military aircraft on maneuvers that have nothing to do with Area 51. 3) There is nothing to do along the military border except annoy the guards, who are used to tourists by now. 4) Except on roads, the border is very poorly marked, and you could easily wander across if you hike in the desert. (There is no great risk on dirt roads, as long as you do not drive past the Restricted Area signs.) If you cross the border, you will be captured and fined about $600, with little leniency given. You will probably lose any optical and photographic equipment you have. In theory you could get as much as a year in prison if you really piss off the base authorities. 5) Realistically, you cannot intrude into Area 51, and you are an idiot to try. The problem is the 13 miles of open desert between public land and the Groom Lake base. Only a skilled desert survivalist approaching from another direction has any hope of getting near the base. 6) Rachel is just a scatter of mobile homes and there is nothing much to see or do here. You can visit the Little A'Le'Inn, the Area 51 Research Center (my bookstore) and the two other small shops in Rachel, but that won't take very long. (My store sells mainly books, maps and a few non-alien souvenirs -- most of which are also available by mail order. The others shops sell all manner of alien and E.T. Highway paraphenalia.) 7) If your car breaks down on any of the dirt roads here, you could be in serious trouble, as it can be a long walk out. 8) Running out of water can be deadly. Always carry plenty. 9) You can see the "Area 51" base only from Tikaboo Peak, requiring a 90 minute drive from Vegas, followed by a 1 hour drive on dirt roads and 1+ hour hike up a mountain. What you see at the top are some VERY distant hangars (26 miles away) that are not very satisfying (although the view of the surrounding desert is nice). You will need binoculars or a telescope to see anything of the base, which looks like any other Air Force base. 10) You cannot see Papoose Lake from public land, except for extremely distant views from the south. 11) Rachel and vicinity can be bitterly cold in the winter, often well below freezing and with fierce winds. Nights can fall below 0 degrees F in January. Summer is more pleasant and not unbearably hot, so that's the best time to come. 12) Local police are not very friendly to tourists and are known for searching vehicles without cause. To avoid problems, you should strictly obey all laws and speed limits. Unless you are a hard-core desert enthusiast, the most that Rachel and the "E.T. Highway" deserve is a brief stop enroute to someplace else. In my opinion, there are more interesting places in the Southwest to spend your vacation. If you still insist on coming here, my Area 51 Viewer's Guide is essential. It contains all the practical information you'll need here, including tourist info, highway logs, Tikaboo peak instructions, maps, etc. You should get it _before_ you come so you know what to expect. The cost is $15 plus $4 priority mail postage. See www.ufomind.com/catalog/v/vg or call us at 702-729-xxxx. (Credit card orders accepted for prompt delivery within 3-4 business days.) I also recommend the DeLorme Nevada Atlas for any touring in Nevada. We sell this for $16.95 plus $4 postage. ($5 postage for both books.) The only motel in Rachel is the Little A'Le'Inn, which makes Motel 6 look palacial: Spooky bedrooms with shared bathrooms in converted trailers. (It could be fun or downright unpleasant depending on your mood.) 702-729-2515 There are also two fairly normal motels in Alamo: Meadow Lane Motel at 702-725-3371 and the Alamo Motel 702-725-3336. Another option is to stay in Las Vegas and come up to Rachel as a day trip. (Rachel is 150 road miles from Las Vegas.) You can also camp virtually anywhere, since most of the open land here is public. Just don't camp near a cattle water trough. For general info on Area 51 see our huge website: www.ufomind.com Glenn Campbell Area 51 Research Center PO Box 448 Rachel, NV 89001
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