2015 USA Road Trip Day 12: Henderson NV to Tonopah NV

After the stress of last night, had a great day's driving today. First, I headed back past Boulder City and on to Hoover Dam, on the Nevada/Arizona border and about 20 miles from my overnight stop.

Hoover Dam NV

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I spent about an hour there, walking up and down the top of the dam and then along the viewpoint bridge which is way above it. Both are amazing feats of engineering and it was incredible to think how it was created in the first place. There were a lot of tourists walking up and down, and it was like a summer's day - small breeze and temperatures in the high 60s at 11am.

From there, I didn't have many stops in mind today. The plan was to drive US375 - The Extraterrestrial Highway - and spend the night at Tonopah. After the problems with getting a hotel last night, I decided to call the Best Western, one of the few hotels in town, and was lucky enough to get their last room. I stopped for lunch in a Subway about 20 miles north of Las Vegas (which still had Las Vegas as its address) and then headed north from there on US93. After about 85 miles of seeing very little, I turned onto the ETH and the photos started. I took far too many photos today, as you can see.

Subway Las Vegas NV in Subway Las Vegas NV driving in NV start of Extraterrestial Highway NV start of Extraterrestial Highway NV start of Extraterrestial Highway NV Extraterrestial Highway NV Extraterrestial Highway NV Extraterrestial Highway NV Extraterrestial Highway NV

Half a mile down the road, you'll find the Alien Research Centre. This is basically a very large Area 51-themed gift shop - which was closed when I was there. Great photo op though.

Alien Research Centre NV

I managed to find the road to Area 51 - Groom Lake Road. It's a very strange thing - it's the only road I have seen in 3,000 miles with no name or destination information - nothing, it's just a road. And you can see it trail over for miles and miles across the desert. Area 51 is about 20 miles in the distance. I was told later that you could drive down it but if you're caught you will get arrested and you can expect a $600 fine for trespass for a first offence. I decided it probably wasn't worth exploring.

road to Area 51 NV road to Area 51 NV road to Area 51 NV Extraterrestial Highway NV

Sadly I was unable to find the Black Mailbox - a well known meeting place for UFO enthusiasts. I wondered if I had seen it, and if someone had found me and erased my memory and sent me on my way.

The 98 mile length of the ETH has one town - Rachel - which has a population of 46. It does include the world famous A'Le'Inn bar, which has featured in many programmes and films. I spent about an hour there. The woman serving was a little bit hard work but I tried to get some conversation out of her. It didn't start well when I asked for a tea and she said "yes, we have tea" and then gave me a cold drink with lots of ice that smelled of tea and tasted like very cold tea. I had to give it back and ask for a real one.

Little A'Le'Inn Rachel NV

Rachel NV Rachel NV Little A'Le'Inn Rachel NV Little A'Le'Inn Rachel NV Little A'Le'Inn Rachel NV Little A'Le'Inn Rachel NV Little A'Le'Inn Rachel NV Little A'Le'Inn Rachel NV Little A'Le'Inn Rachel NV Little A'Le'Inn Rachel NV

I told her that I first found out about the bar because of the movie "Paul". Straight away she answered back - "They didn't film it here. They just took some of our merchandise away and filmed it somewhere else." She didn't seem very happy about it. I need to watch it again now just to check .... There was a film crew there filming a movie called Paradise Ranch. (I found their blog but it hasn't been updated for a couple of years).

I spoke to an Australian woman in the bar who had a list of things to see around Area 51, so I asked her if she found the Black Mailbox and she said she hadn't and had heard it was taken away now.

Back on the road to the 109 miles to Tonopah, which included about 50 miles on US6 once the ETH ended. It was a drive like no other I've ever had. I can honestly say that I saw no cars going northbound - whatever speed I was going at, I didn't catch anyone and no one caught me. I maybe saw a dozen vehicles going the other way for the length of the ETH and very few after that too.

Extraterrestial Highway NV Extraterrestial Highway NV Extraterrestial Highway NV near Tonopah NV

The first picture above is a roadsign full of bullet holes - nearly every sign on the whole road was full of bullet holes.

The big danger on the road is from cows, who are "open range" and frequently wander onto the road, and if you hit one you're probably dead. I did see quite a few clusters of cows close to the road, but the good news was the road was so long and straight that I could usually see them about 2 miles before I reached them.

As great a drive as it was, I spent the last 45 minutes driving into the sun. Being on a road which is straight for miles and miles and on which you can see cars coming about 4 or 5 miles away, it wasn't too bad a problem.

near Tonopah NV near Tonopah NV

Got to Tonopah and checked in - still 6,000 feet up here. Apparently 2,500 people live here but there's no evidence of human life here. There's a barbecue restaurant and brewery across the road to my hotel and a Shell garage and shop next door - that's all I needed!

Tonopah NV Tonopah NV Tonopah NV Tonopah NV

Next:     2015 USA Road Trip Day 13: Tonopah NV to Sacramento CA
Previous:     2015 USA Road Trip Day 11: Flagstaff AZ to Henderson NV

Last updated 27 February 2015 16:01

A bird

I think I'm meant to do an "About" here but I think you'd be more interested in seeing a random seagull.

USA Road Trip 2015

  • Introduction
  • Day 1: Philadelphia PA to Atlantic City NJ
  • Day 2: Atlantic City NJ to Bedford PA
  • Day 3: Bedford PA to Richmond IN
  • Day 4: Richmond IN to St Louis MO
  • Day 5: St Louis MO to Joplin MO
  • Day 6: Joplin MO to Elk City OK
  • Day 7: Elk City OK to Tucumcari NM
  • Day 8: Tucumcari NM to Gallup NM
  • Day 9: Gallup NM to Monument Valley UT
  • Day 10: Monument Valley UT to Flagstaff AZ
  • Day 11: Flagstaff AZ to Henderson NV
  • Day 12: Henderson NV to Tonopah NV
  • Day 13: Tonopah NV to Sacramento CA
  • Day 14: Sacramento CA to San Francisco CA
  • Day 15: San Francisco CA

  • Gigs

  • 08.12.2015 Shed Seven, Hatfield
  • 27.11.2015 Vile Electrodes, Brentwood
  • 07.11.2015 Asylums, Southend
  • 30.10.2015 Baby Blues, Brentwood
  • 02.10.2015 Fireworks, Harringay
  • 25.09.2015 Lydia Lucy, Brentwood
  • 28.08.2015 Dani Clay, Brentwood
  • 24.07.2015 Indietracks
  • 17.07.2015 Latitude Festival
  • 11.07.2015 Brownstock Festival
  • 11.07.2015 Southend Village Green
  • 26.06.2015 The Who, Hyde Park
  • 20.06.2015 Blur, Hyde Park
  • 13.06.2015 British Sea Power, Camden
  • 06.06.2015 1000 Yard Stare, Charing Cross
  • 03.06.2015 Madness, Great Leights
  • 31.05.2015 Los Endos, Hornchurch
  • 29.05.2015 Juke, Brentwood
  • 28.05.2015 Pop Will Eat Itself, Shoreditch
  • 24.05.2015 Ride, Camden
  • 24.04.2015 Kaleidophone, Brentwood
  • 27.03.2015 Finding Miranda, Brentwood
  • 13.03.2015 Francesca Priest, Brentwood
  • 13.02.2015 Kaiser Chiefs, Greenwich
  • 06.02.2015 Ryan Green, Brentwood
  • 31.01.2015 Sulk - Hackney
  • 23.01.2015 Velvet Tree, Brentwood
  • 11.01.2015 Bis, Pentonville
  • 19.12.2014 High/Low, Southend
  • 12.12.2014 Break For Cover, Brentwood
  • 28.11.2014 For The Love Of Bob, Brentwood
  • 22.11.2014 Carter USM, Brixton
  • 31.10.2014 Band From Co Hell, Brentwood
  • 28.10.2014 Steve Hackett, Westcliff
  • 20.10.2014 Hafdis Huld, Charing Cross
  • 11.10.2014 Stillmarillion, Ruislip
  • 26.09.2014 D'Ukes, Brentwood
  • 13.09.2014 Flag Factory Festival, Brentwood
  • 03.09.2014 Kate Bush, Shepherd's Bush
  • 30.08.2014 Brownstock Festival
  • 08.08.2014 Killing Jimmy, Brentwood
  • 20.07.2014 Brentwood Festival
  • 19.07.2014 Latitude Festival
  • 18.07.2014 Juke, Brentwood
  • 20.06.2014 Pete Brame, Brentwood
  • 30.05.2014 Bow Flats, Brentwood
  • 25.05.2014 Pop Will Eat Itself, Islington
  • 23.05.2014 Arctic Monkeys, Finsbury Park
  • 14.05.2014 Wolf Alice, Cambridge
  • 30.04.2014 Yes, Westcliff
  • 25.04.2014 Ordinary Noise, Brentwood
  • 19.04.2014 Darling Buds, Charing Cross
  • 28.03.2014 Mannequins, Brentwood
  • 26.03.2014 Menswear, Shepherd's Bush
  • 23.03.2014 Republica, Islington
  • 14.03.2014 Franz Ferdinand, Camden
  • 28.02.2014 Ryan Green, Brentwood
  • 27.02.2014 Republica, Balham
  • 03.02.2014 Maximo Park, Bethnal Green
  • 31.01.2014 Scarlet Echo, Brentwood
  • 22.11.2013 Nedstock, Shepherd's Bush
  • 18.11.2013 Pub Serv Bcasting, Cambridge
  • 04.11.2013 Art Brut, Tunbridge Wells
  • 01.11.2013 Steve Hackett, Cambridge
  • 23.10.2013 Suede, Westcliff
  • 27.09.2013 Primitives, Southend
  • 21.09.2013 Duckworth Lewis Method, SB
  • 14.09.2013 The Flag Factory Festival
  • 06.09.2013 Jonny Cola/A Grades, Harlow
  • 25.07.2013 Bis, Pentonville
  • 19.07.2013 Latitude Festival
  • 17.07.2013 Taffy, Camden
  • 05.07.2013 Brentwood Festival
  • 26.06.2013 Bleech, Bethnal Green
  • 22.06.2013 Battle Stage Final
  • 09.06.2013 Tibetan Tea Company, Romford
  • 26.05.2013 Battle Stage 3
  • 25.05.2013 Muse, Highbury
  • 21.05.2013 Dirty Royals, Islington
  • 18.05.2013 Mika Bomb, Southend
  • 18.05.2013 Battle Stage 2
  • 27.04.2013 Battle Stage 1
  • 06.04.2013 Dingus Khan, Southend
  • 16.03.2013 Republica, Tunbridge Wells
  • 09.03.2013 Phoenix In The Foyer
  • 27.02.2013 Kaiser Chiefs, Cambridge
  • 26.02.2013 Bleech, Cambridge
  • 19.02.2013 History Of Apple Pie, Shoreditch
  • 12.02.2013 Sonic Boom Six, Southend
  • 06.02.2013 The 1975, Southend
  • 25.01.2013 Archetype, Brentwood
  • 02.12.2012 Lighting Up Shenfield
  • 01.12.2012 Lighting Up Brentwood
  • 24.11.2012 Lovely Eggs, Southend
  • 20.11.2012 Focus, Chislehurst
  • 10.11.2012 Carter USM, Brixton
  • 03.11.2012 Taffy, Clerkenwell
  • 02.11.2012 Bleech, Harlow
  • 27.10.2012 Phoenix In The Foyer 2
  • 15.09.2012 Phoenix In The Foyer 1
  • 01.08.2012 Blur, Margate
  • 08.07.2012 Brentwood Festival
  • 29.06.2012 Bis, Pentonville
  • 22.06.2012 Knifeworld, Pentonville
  • 08.06.2012 Jim Bob, Bedford
  • 02.06.2012 Coldplay, Highbury
  • 30.05.2012 Evans The Death, Chelmsford
  • 11.05.2012 The Others, Putney
  • 04.05.2012 BAS II, Basildon
  • 29.04.2012 Break For Cover, Ingatestone
  • 18.03.2012 The Brownies, Shoreditch
  • 24.02.2012 Neil Hannon, Felsted
  • 29.01.2012 Kaiser Chiefs, Westcliff

  • Interviews

  • 28.06.1996 Frank and Walters
  • 01.07.2006 Sultans of Ping

  • Random writings

  • Aris Salonica
  • Lake Margaretting

  • Essex Walks

  • 1. Goldhanger
  • 2. Downham