"RACHEL - ALIEN WORLDS" Rachel by mtncorg
Rachel Travel Guide: 8 reviews and 21 photos
Rachel is ground zero for people who would have us encountering alien extraterrestial life forms on a daily one-to-one basis. It is the only 'town' - and that is stretching the term 'town' a bit - along NV 375, the Extraterrestial Highway - so designated by the State of Nevada. Rachel is also the only town close to the secret military base known to all watchers of 'The X Files' - Area 51.
There is one little place to stay if alien encounters are your thing - the Little A'Le'Inn - which also serves up some basic food and a bar from which you can pontificate about life beyond Earth or just what the Air Force is hiding over in the hills behind Rachel. Realize that 'rooms' are modified trailers, which basically all Rachel is. There are no accommodation choices here - nothing else for at least an hour east to Caliente, two hours south to Las Vegas, two hours west to Tonopah and who knows how long north to Eureka or Ely. You cannot go west for you would run into Area 51 or Area 52 - the Tonopah Missile Test Site. Long before you would make your transit of these areas, military police would descend upon you in a not-so-polite manner and you would be 'helped' from the area.
The military regions to the west and south of Rachel are vast areas of Great Basin country. You can see some of the scope of building when flying commercially over the area. Sonic booms are routine for residents as not only are US aircraft training at supersonic speeds over the desolate terrain, but you can find aircraft from most other NATO nations flying about here, as well - several craft have crashed around the town including Norwegians, Canadians and British.
Rachel, itself, is an interesting example of a Nevada boom-bust town. Some silver had been mined in the hills to the northeast back in the late 19th Century, but lack of water and isolation had conspired to shut them down. Union Carbide - of Bhopal infamy - reopened the mines in the late 1970's searching for molybdemum - you can still see a couple of buildings in the hills at the mine site at Tempiute. With a drop in mineral prices, Union Carbide shut the mines down again and moved on. The town was started by a local rancher who sold plots to miners and the odd libertarian-minded retiree who wanted to live where the night sky was not only bright, but maybe alive. The town's name came from the town father's daughter - the only child ever born here and who sadly died at the young age of three as a result of breathing ash from the 1980 St Helens eruption after the family had moved to eastern Washington. The population of Rachel is much different from the make up of the rest of Lincoln County - most of whom reside far to the east of here, tending to be longtime residents and of Mormon ancestry. Rachel is mostly newcomers with libertarian viewpoints.
There are several interesting websites for Rachel - many more than you would think for what is not much more that a small spot on a lonely road.
NV 375 links US 6 with US 93 across the northeastern side of the vast military complexes operating out of Las Vegas'... more travel advice
Area 51 is where many believe alien spacecraft flutter around on a regular basis. Others believe US authorities have... more travel advice
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