The search for Alien burgers
Area 51 Travel Blog› entry 1 of 1 › view all entries
Feeling the heat of the city and wanting to explore the open desert, my roommates and I set out to see the real Nevada, far away from the bright lights and crazy mood of the city. We needed an open highway and a change of scenery. We uploaded a map to my Magellan GPS (which finds archaeological and natural sites), set a loose path to follow, and hit the road for an adventure. We only had 3 places that we absolutly had to go.... Rachel, for an alien burger and a ride down the Extraterrestial Highway, Ely, for the Loneliest Highway in America, and Caliente, to see Cathedral Gorge.
Our trek took us north up highway 93, where the mountians rose up on either side of the highway. Suddenly the mountains gave way to flat open desert. The road stretched for miles an miles, disappearing over the curve of the earth in the distance.
The town of Rachel appeared out of no where, we crested a small hill and suddenly there it was, a little oasis in the middle of nowhere.
Inside it is a bit on the creepy side, with the feeling of a small town right out of The X-Files. I dont think I would have been suprised if Mulder and Scully walked in from a side room discussing the realness of Area 51. A few small folding tables dot the linolium floor, with a low bar along the right wall, a few locals talking in low voices and sipping on lukewarm coffee.
The town of Warm Springs showed up on my GPS as having a gas station, and we made it our next stop along the way. But when we arrived, it was a completly deserted ghost town, as if all the inhabitants just left, there were satillite dishes still on homes, the paint still seemed new, businesses were locked and had hours posted.
At the Warm Springs Junction (i.e. a fork in the road), we turned to the Northeast via Route 6 towards Ely. By now my car was running low on gas, and we had only seen 6 cars. So the question came up, do we run for Ely, or drive slow to conserve gas? Being the adventurers we are, we chose Option C, and went down a dirt road in search of a ghost town that my GPS said was just over a hill. But 20 minutes, 2 sand traps, a boulder, and the hill from hell later, we discovered that the ghost town was probably inacessable in my little Toyota.
Somehow we survived and 9 hours later, with less than a quarter of a tank of gas, we pulled into Ely.
As we went south, my GPS again lit up, showing us literally hundreds of abandoned mining pits along the road. But the beeping changed from historic places of interest to archaeological interests, and we soon found ourselves again flying down a dirt road towards the Charcoal Ovens.
At the town of Caliente there was really nothing to do or see, other than the Old Spanish Rail Station. Our real reason for visiting Caliente was further south, at the beautiful but not well known Cathedral Gorge. The easiest way into the gorge is through Miller's Point, the only place I have ever found that had stairs down to the first level of the gorge. From there we had to hike to the bottom. The pictures do not do the sunset within the gorge justice. After watching the sun set below the rim, we lingered for a few minutes enjoying the stars.
15 hours, 750 miles, and a few close calls later we made it back to Vegas, tired but ready to see where our next roadtrip will take us.