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Visiting Rachel Nevada and the E.T. Highway

From: campbell@ufomind.com (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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