Today was going to be INSANE. We had our first hike planned, that being an ascent up Tikaboo Peak. If that sounds familiar to you Area 51 buffs, it’s around 26 miles from the Area 51 base, and the nearest location that a civilian can actually see the physical base. We had done quite a bit of research prior. Mark ordered Glenn Campbell’s Area 51 Research Guide, which had specific directions to Tikaboo Peak. Trust me, we’d need it more than you think!
I vaguely remember stopping at a McDonald’s for breakfast, because remember, we’re high class. I-15 North took us out of Las Vegas, to highway 93 for the LONG drive north through the desert! Here’s where things start to go sideways. Our dumb asses misread the directions in the Area 51 Viewers Guide. Our turnoff was on highway 93 before Alamo, but we kept going all the way to Alamo, then west onto the Extra Terrestrial Highway. Here on the ET Highway is where we mistakenly THOUGHT we were supposed to turn off to Tikaboo Peak. WRONG!
Ironically, there was a gravel road at the mile marker post for us to turn at, that had the exact same number as the one on the other highway that we were SUPPOSED to turn at. So we turned onto this wrong gravel road, drove for a few minutes, and it came to a dead end. We incorrectly determined that the Area 51 Viewers Guide was out of date, and that the road had grown over, making Tikaboo Peak inaccessible. We re-traced our steps back to the ET Highway, and proceeded along the road to the small “town” of Rachel.
After a few minutes back on the highway, shit got weird. An unmarked black helicopter showed up, and pulled up right beside us. Probably no more than 15 feet off the ground, and 20-25 feet away. It followed us for a minute or two, and I suppose once they figured out that we were just a couple of harmless shmucks from Canada, decided we were not a threat. But we had to wonder… Just what exactly did we get close to when we hit that dead end on that wrong, unnamed gravel road?
With that out of the way, onward to Rachel! Lots of photo ops on the way of course. The highway signs, the infamous Steve Medlin black mailbox. What’s the deal with the mailbox? It’s a meeting spot for UFO hunters.
We had a couple stops to make in Rachel. First was the Little A’Le’Inn, which is a little bar & restaurant. Had to have the Alien Burger while I was there. Tasted like chicken, as one would logically and reasonably expect. And in behind was the Area 51 Research Centre, which was basically a UFO souvenir shop.
Things got weird again while we were out in the parking lot discussing our next move. Everything got loud. REAL loud. As in, the ground was physically vibrating, kind of loud. We looked to the sky, and saw the source of the sound. We saw three small aircraft, all triangular in shape. They were all emitting something out of the rear of the plane that resembled cottonballs. These “cottonballs” all started falling to the ground in a perfect zig-zag pattern. This went on for probably 15 or 20 seconds ago, and then everything disappeared and went quiet again.
Upon a VERY brief further inspection, we learned that the nearby Nellis Air Force base conducted some sort of tests on Wednesdays. Lo and behold, it was Wednesday!
Next up on the agenda was to explore Tempiute, a local ghost town. DAMN was the road in ever rocky. We were right, there was zero chance that the green Mazda would have survived that road. We get to Tempiute, all excited to start exploring, and we hear a hissing sound that we soon discovered was coming from one of the tires. SHIT!! We raced back to the highway and got the tire changed. We’d figure out what to tell the rental company later. You know what was nice though, we figured about three quarters of the cars that passed us stopped to ask if we needed help. (Not that there were many cars mind you, but still a nice sentiment!) Tempiute may have been a bust, but we still had one big stop to make – Area 51 itself.
Groom Rd, the road to Area 51, looks like it stretches on for eternity. The closer we got to the base, the more watched we felt. We knew the “camo dudes” were around. We made it to the entry point (which we didn’t cross, because y’all silly invaders WILL LIKELY GET SHOT if you cross), but we did find time for a quick photo op, and an even quicker turnaround. And then, just like in Rhyolite the previous day, it started to RAIN!
Back to Vegas we went. That was yet another crazy long day. We were definitely disappointed about Tikaboo Peak, but the other adventures more than made up for it!