My Australian Friends, October 25, 2008
by Robert Hull

I took an Australian couple out to our most famous "secret" military base in the world. They had been interested in Area 51 and the myths surrounding it for many years. I picked them up at the MGM on the Las Vegas Strip around 11:30am. We headed out around noon. They were amazed at how beautiful the mountains surrounding Las Vegas were. That is something I never take for granted. I always appreciate the beauty of the desert. The conversation on the way to Alamo was interesting. I have never been to Australia, but would love to visit. The beaches sounded great.

Upon arrival in Alamo, we headed to the Court House to see if the "White Bus" was parked there. It was parked there and covered in Groom Lake Road dust. They jumped out and took a few photos. I looked over at my wife's SUV and imagined how the nice car was from the morning would soon be ruined by the wonderful Groom Lake Road dust. I learned my lesson this time. I paid for one car wash and then they gave me a deal on a second for half price. As soon as I am finished typing this, I will be heading to the car wash.

The next stop in Alamo was the Chevron gas station. We got gas, donuts, and took a much needed bathroom break. We now were headed to the Alien Research Center. Once we turned onto HWY 375, I notice that the state had finally replaced the ET HWY sign. The sign must have been replaced recently because there are no stickers on it yet. I really liked the F117 on it. We took photos of the new sign and headed out. Upon arrival at the Alien Research Center, I could tell it was closed. I have no idea if it is permanently closed. I would have figured Saturday must be there best day for customers. I don't think it looks good for the future of that souvenir store.

We stopped at the intersection of Groom Lake Road and HWY 375 for a few shots of GLR. I could see dust from two cars coming back from the restricted area warning signs, so we headed down for ourselves. We passed the two cars and everybody waved. When the odometer hit 13.2, I pulled over and parked the vehicle. There is more room and comfort here than right in front of the signs. We could see the "Cammo Dudes" looking at us. We walked down to the signs and took a few photos. I noticed the security guards flashed there lights at us once. It felt like they were saying, "That is enough". We finished our photos and headed back to the vehicle. About half of the way back to the HWY, we stopped at took a few pictures of Tikaboo Peak.

Our next stop was the "Black Mailbox". We got out and Conrad placed a cup from a coffee house in Australia on the mailbox and took a picture. He said the coffee house is having a contest to see the most interesting place one of their cups could be photographed from. I think he might have a chance of winning.

Finally we headed out to Rachel for a much needed Alien Burger. We all had Alien Burgers at the Little A' Lee Inn. They were fabulous as usual. My guests bought plenty of souvenirs and we visited with the lady behind the bar for short bit. She told us all about the Red Flag exercises that had taken place this week. She said the flares they sent up at night were amazing. I wish we could have seen some of those activities.

It was now dark, so we headed to the gravel parking lot near Groom Lake Road. We sat out there and had a few beverages. The moon was nowhere in sight, so the sky and stars were incredible. With living in the city it is so easy to forget how beautiful night sky can be. Area 51 is truly a beautiful place at night. I truly love that entire valley. I hope it never gets ruined by that proposed prison down the road!

After about an hour of star watching, we headed back into Las Vegas. They had never seen the Strip at night so we went down the Strip looking at all the hotels. We arrived at the MGM at 10:45pm and said our good-byes. They were very nice people and we all had a great time. Area 51 is certainly a great place to spend the day. Who needs the casinos! The best attraction in Las Vegas is Area 51 and the beautiful Tikaboo Valley.

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