Hanging out with the local aliens near Area 51.
I’ve got two car keys instead of one for Bob after our Zion episode, so we are all set to cross Nevada to the west. First stop: the elusive Area 51, then the Loneliest Road in America: Route 50. Fasten your seat belts! If you enjoy this series, make sure you check out all previous iterations of our U.S. North to South adventure here as we started all the way north in Barrow Alaska – the northernmost settlement in the U.S.
Near Coyote Springs NV
Entering Nevada in Mesquite and the Moapa Valley brings back landscape reminiscent of Death Valley we traversed last year with Albert the Ram 1500, in fact just 150 miles west of here. Cars are sparse, and we’ll take this opportunity to detail the best-sellers in the state before we attempt to find the elusive Area 51. For more detailed U.S. sales data by state, make sure you check out our Exclusive 2015 State by State sales charts. Dominated by Las Vegas, sales in Nevada are biased towards passenger cars with 5 of the 6 overall best-sellers in 2015 belonging to this segment. They are led by the Nissan Altima, Hyundai Elantra, Toyota Corolla and Camry followed by the Ram Pickup at #5. The Toyota RAV4 outsells both the Chevrolet Silverado and Ford F-150.
On the Extraterrestrial Highway.Spooky: the gate to Area 51 near Rachel NV
It wouldn’t be alien fun without a grainy picture… Is that a flying saucer landing on the right?Easy as. At Little Ale’inn, Rachel NV
At Crystal Springs we get onto Highway 375, dubbed the “Extraterrestrial Highway” partly because of the high number of UFO sightings along this stretch, but mostly due to the proximity of top-secret Area 51, part of Ellis Airforce Base and the central focus of many alien-involving conspiracy theories. The Little Ale’inn in nearby Rachel banks on the legend and offers free parking for flying saucers. Generous. I feel sorry for asking what the barman must hear about half a billion times a day but “where exactly is Area 51?” as there’s obviously no road signs. “It’s easy, you have to trace back your steps for about two miles and drive for 14 miles on an unsealed track. You’ll get to a closed gate. You can take as many pictures as you like but by all means do not walk in!” By the time I arrive darkness is settling in, the guarding post seems unmanned and the only sound around is the stop lights blinking on the gate. I can’t help but feel watched, probably by a half-dozen surveillance screens a few miles away in a top-secret bunker. It’s spooky. Time to leave.
On Route 50, the Loneliest Road in America
The next day, we join Ely to start on one of my most anticipated stretches of road in this trip: the fabled Route 50, nicknamed “The loneliest Road in America”. On it, we cross Nevada from East to West to reach Carson City near the border with California. Route 50 follows the route of the Overland Coach, the Pony Express and the first transcontinental telegraph lines. Among the very few towns we passed, Eureka stood out with its quiet quaintness and its collection of vintage cars. Tired and lonely, we get rewarded with a delicious burger at Middlegate Station and sigh of relief at not needing to refuel at $3.999 per gallon, by far the steepest diesel price of the entire trip.
Next we return to Eureka on Route 50 for a full Photo Report, so be sure to check in tomorrow!
The Full Photo Report continues below.