Nevada State Motto: Take your pictures from the middle of the road!
And speaking of that, this is Rachel Nevada. By that I mean that this is the sign signifying the entrance to Rachel and in the background is the village of Rachel. Squint. There’s not much to it but I promise it’s there.
Rachel Nevada is famous for plane crashes, UFO sightings, proximity to Area 51, and for just simply being a teensy tinsy speck of habitation in a wide flat array of empty desert.
Rachel and the surrounding countryside remind me strongly of X-Files episodes where green flashes light up the sky, the cars stall out and all the clocks stop (at which point Mulder gets out his can of orange spray paint and puts a huge X in the road so he can further investigate). I drove through Rachel during the day but I can only imagine that driving through at night begets stories of bizarre happenings. The desert in this area is so alien and uninhabited and the most remarkable thing is this place.
Some detours are worth taking all by themselves – Escape from Dinosaur Kingdom – and some places are better visited en route to somewhere else. I’d put Rachel in the second category except that it’s not really en route to anywhere and I might think differently if I had stayed the night at the Little A’le’Inn (so bewildered by the apostrophes, btw…).
Little A’le’Inn is the only bar/restaurant/inn for 80 miles in any direction so everyone stops here. I came in on a Saturday afternoon right after a memorial service that had turned into a happy hour. The locals were nicely dressed in cowboy hats and button down shirts, sitting outside at the picnic table getting tanked on Coors Light and Black Velvet. That’s a story rich environment if ever I’ve seen one. Had I more time, I’d have joined them and heard every UFO story there is and some besides.
Sadly, I didn’t have that kind of time so I ordered my Alien Stout, brewed for the Little A’le’Inn and quite delicious, and a grilled cheese sandwich. There’s nothing fancy here at the Little A’le’Inn but the food is good, all the locals are friendly and the gift shop and accompanying alien merchandise have to be seen to be believed.
Had I to do this detour over, I would plan to stay overnight in one of the Little A’le’Inn’s double wide trailers ($50 a night, I hear), I’d make sure I had plenty of X-Files episodes loaded on my laptop and while the sun went down, I’d order another Alien Stout and say “Tell me about the woman who got advice from an alien named Archibald…”
Bye bye Nevada! You’ve been a picturesque treat.