Painter’s Diary – Area 51

Maybe I’ve watched too many episodes of X-Files. I picked up this little (once silver) guy in Rachel, Nevada (on one of my driving trips down Hwy 375, the “extraterrestrial highway”), which is in Area 51. As is obvious, I’ve had him for awhile (hanging from my rear-view mirror), but he’s starting to get a little beat up.


I use my little A’Le’Inn Restaurant mug for painting, nowadays.

Rachel, NV is a fascinating little “town,” and the Little A’le’Inn bar, motel, and cafe is the place to be if you like people-watching, and listening in on bizarre conversations. The blurb on their website reads: “There are many things to do here and plenty of trouble to get into if you do not read the warning signs posted near Area 51.” The last time I was there, an Italian film crew was running around filming Rambo types in jeeps, and women in tight tees and camo.

In Nevada’s eerie basin-and-range landscape, it’s also easy to see why people in the area might get fixated on the skies and what flies overhead. Its lonely highways are immensely long and straight, and you can see down them for miles, with nothing to interrupt your gaze except an occasional herd of wild mustangs crossing the road.


A’le’Inn Restaurant, Bar, and Motel (photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons). The Little A’le’Inn looks like it’s in a temporary building, but it’s a fixture, and has been there for decades.


Swett777 visits Rachel, NV and the Little A’le’Inn

Overhead, jet aircraft test their speed flying above the long desert basins, and if you’re lucky, you may see the glimmer-ghost of a stealth fighter high above you. Of course, lots of people claim to have seen UFOs in the area, and the locals seem to have a love or hate relationship with Nellis Air Force base, which tests experimental aircraft. Even skeptics about UFOs suspect there may be a cover-up, and that nearby Groom Lake may be the site of a toxic dumping ground. A number of people seem to get a charge out of photographing the base’s perimeter in hopes of getting chased by a security in their white SUVs and living to tell the tale at the Little A’le’Inn. I’ve seen a few strangely shaped clouds, a lot of white SUVs, and that’s about it. Personally, I love the wide open spaces of that area of the Nevada desert, which is why I’ve been through the area several times.


A video by Trumansnare that gives you some sense of the hysteria and mythos that surrounds Area 51.

And yes, I’ve seen the White Mailbox, and it’s black.

Back to the painting! It’s in acrylics on wood panel, 4 x 4 inches, available in my Etsy Shop, Painter’s Diary

See also:

* Extraterrestrial Highway
* Area 51.org