Dreamland & The Extraterrestrial Highway | Day Drunk: Dreamland & The Extraterrestrial Highway

August 28, 2014

Dreamland & The Extraterrestrial Highway

Okay, I lied. I am a bit more like Mulder than I am like Scully, which is I would go far out of my way to drive Nevada State Route 375, also known as the Extraterrestrial Highway and home to the infamously paranormal Area 51 at Groom Lake, also known as Dreamland. Scully would never willingly go to such a place.

Just how out of the way is the Extraterrestrial Highway? The only reasons you would ever have to drive it would be:

1. If you were trying to get from Cedar City, Utah to Tonopah, Nevada (extra points if you have heard of either of those places). 
2. If you were a UFO nut headed out to Dreamland to catch glimpses of covert paranormal activity - which apparently happen 2-3 times per week. 
3. If you had family in Rachel, Nevada; the only town that the Extraterrestrial Highway passes through in the entirety of it's 98 mile expanse. 
4. Or if you are me and Nessa on a westward cross country trip with an "out there" bent and a love of the 90's television show, The X-Files. 

So naturally we spent a splendid September afternoon attempting the lonely feat of cruising through the southern reaches of Nevada's Great Basin Desert, surrounded by, well, pretty much nothing. And trust me, as someone who has traversed the Canadian plains AND lived briefly in central South Dakota, I do not use the word "nothing" lightly. But if you ever find yourself traveling the Extraterrestrial Highway into Dreamland one day chasing the ghosts of Mulder and Scully (and I sure hope you do), you will find little more than miles of barren open cattle range against a backdrop of linear mountain ranges interrupted by brief patches of Joshua trees, and then back to nothingness again until you reach the small town of Rachel, where you WILL stop for nothing but a bit of ambiance. We saw far more cattle than cars or people on our journey that day. 

Of course, that's exactly what the government wants you to do. If you aren't looking close enough, you just might pass by the clandestine entrance to Area 51, the top secret military airbase whose main purpose is still publicly unknown. Ask a conspiracy buff and it is where our government is obtaining extraterrestrial technology from flying saucers and conducting classified aviation experiments. Well, one part of that is true. They ARE conducting aviation experiments as verified in recently declassified reports, but whether or not the technology is extraterrestrial is still unclear. Basically, Area 51 is the government's worst kept secret - these days you can drive right up to it's very locked gates and the cloud of paranormal mystery that surrounds it does nothing to keep UFO seekers away. Just take the road at the infamous "Black Mailbox" and drive until they turn you away. Oh, and the legendary Black Mailbox is white now, so don't get fooled. 

Once you have made your peace with Area 51 and have either seen the aliens or not (Pro tip: if you didn't see any little gray men, you probably just had your memory erased by MIBs), head on over to the Little A'le'inn motel and restaurant, the heart of Rachel, Nevada. There you can swap stories with other SciFi freaks over beer and pie before turning in for the night. Be sure to add your dollar to the collection on the ceiling so you have proof that you were there before you get abducted. And look for ours while you are there!
Or instead of spending the night, you can press onwards to Tonopah surrounded by more of the same: cattle, open range, and distant mountains that never seem to get any closer. We actually made it all the way to Mono Lake in California that night, but only after some major white knuckle driving dodging the shady cows that peppered the road. 

As you can see in the above photographic evidence of flying saucers, I was very nearly beamed right out of Rachel! Good times.10/10 would get probed again.

(Oh, and for those curious, you can watch Mulder and Scully experience a temporary transtemporalia in the season six episode arc, Dreamland and Dreamland II.)

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