Happiness and the Extraterrestrial Highway

Happiness and the Extraterrestrial Highway

ET Highway Sign
Is E.T. out there? Well, I work at the SETI Institute. That’s almost my name. SETI: Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence. In other words, I look for aliens, and when I tell people that at a cocktail party, they usually look at me with a mildly incredulous look on their face. I try to keep my own face somewhat dispassionate. ~ Seth Shostak

Somewhere in the desert of Nevada, just Northeast of Las Vegas lies Area 51.  Long believed to be a hot spot for UFO sightings and secret government projects, it is a magnet for UFO believers.  Of course as it is a military base that doesn’t technically exist, it’s also fenced off and patrolled my military affectionately known as the “camouflage guys.”  So you can’t actually approach Area 51 but you can drive Highway 375 in Nevada which runs close to Area 51.  On the way I stopped for gas and a drink and was finally assigned a drivers license that explains so many things about me.

alien licenseNow the state of Nevada will never pass on an opportunity to create a tourist attraction and some time back the governor designated Highway 375 as the Extraterrestrial Highway.  I’ve always wanted to drive it and recently this May I got the chance.  Normally this is brutally hot desert, but I caught a break and not only was it not very hot but a rainy spring had left the desert in bloom.

desert bloomdesert bloom and snowMy first stop of course was the Extraterrestrial Highway Sign and my timing was beautiful and the cause of the facial expression in the photo.  It was a sunny day and I was squinting to see the screen on my phone to take the picture, and just at the point I clicked the picture a sonic boom exploded over my head.  What a perfect introduction to the highway.

highway signJust a short ways up the road from the sign I spotted my first alien, it was a big grey.

giant alienThe road itself was imposing for it’s remoteness and lack of traffic but in many places was beautifully framed in blooming wildflowers.

the roadThe real attraction of the ET Highway is of course the metropolis of Rachel, NV.  Basically a spot on the highway that includes the Little Ale Inn.  It contains a bar, restaurant, and a gift shop all in one room.  It also has a couple of rooms for rent if you are so inclined to hang out for the night and UFO watch.  The food was actual ok and the people were super nice, you may recognize the Little Ale Inn from the movie, Paul.

Little ale inn 2Here are a few shots to give you a feel for the place.

little ale inn menu little ale inn little ale inn side little ale inn bar self parkingOn my little adventure I unfortunately didn’t encounter any aliens but I had some fun, a pretty drive, a decent lunch and picked up a couple of souvenirs in Rachel.  Now it wouldn’t be the ET Highway without a little weirdness and I did see two dead cows along the road.  Additionally, I saw a fur covered carcass that I truly could not identify.  The desert will do that to a carcass, or maybe it was just the drive on a lonely desert highway playing with my perspective, or maybe….The Truth is out There, have a happy day my friends ~ Rev Kane

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About Michael Kane

Michael Kane is a writer, photographer, educator, speaker, adventurer and a general sampler of life. His books on hiking and poetry are available in soft cover and Kindle on Amazon.
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