Wednesday, August 1, 2007

Let's Do Lunch at the Little A'Le'Inn

Where could you go for a meal when you are hankering for a taste of something a little different? Something unusual with an off the beaten path kind of atmosphere, of course. How about doing lunch at the Little A'Le'Inn located near the mysterious Area 51 in Rachel, Nevada? I contacted Pat Travis, one of the owners of the Little A'Le'Inn, to find out what is on the lunch menu. She told me they have lots of sandwiches, but I think we simply must have their world famous Alien Burger.

Anyone who knows anything about UFO's will instantly recognize the name of this inn as well as being completely familiar with the reputation of nearby Area 51. For years, the U. S. government denied the existence of this top secret military base, and it is closely guarded from any encroachment by the public. A private security force patrols the border of the military's land in their famous white Jeep Cherokees. You could die setting foot on that land. Area 51 is 27 miles south of Rachel.

The whole area around Rachel is notorious for strange lights in the sky and sonic booms from military tests of secret aircraft. More than a few people believe the government is collaborating with aliens who are hidden on this base. A recent popular trilogy of novels by L. A. Marzulli, for example, is based upon that scenario.

Of course, THE place to watch for UFO's around Rachel is what is known as the "Black Mailbox" owned by Steve Medlin, the only ranch owner in the valley. This is located at the intersection of Highway 375 and Mailbox Road. Medlin's black mailbox was replaced by a white bullet proof mailbox in 1996 since it had been shot at several times. People from all over congregate at this mailbox on moonless, dark weekend nights to watch for lights in the sky.

Rachel, Nevada, is nestled in Sand Spring Valley in the southern Nevada high desert. It has been dubbed the "UFO Capital of the World" and sits on Hwy. 375, also known as the Extraterrestrial Highway. Founded in 1973, the town of Rachel started out as Tempiute Village and then became Sand Springs. When the Tempiute tungsten mine was reopened and the population began growing (eventually reaching over 500), it was named Rachel after little Rachel Jones, the first baby born in the valley.

According to the town's official website, Rachel Jones was the first and only child to be born in the valley on February 15, 1977, and the residents considered her birth to be an important event. Most people thought the previous names of the town lacked distinction, so they decided to name the town Rachel after the little girl. Sadly, she died three years later on May 23, 1980. Her family had moved to Moses Lake, Washington, and she died of a respiratory problem which they thought was aggravated by the dust from the eruption of Mt. St. Helens. Rachel Day is celebrated in May.

Today, Rachel's population stands at approximately 75. Yet thousands of visitors travel through every year. At first glance, it seems as though there is nothing but desert around Rachel, but the area is full of history and natural beauty. Ghost towns and historic mines are within driving distance.

The best known place in Rachel is the Little A'Le'Inn, a combination motel/restaurant/trailer park. It is open daily from 8:00-10:00 p.m. The kitchen closes at 9:00 p.m. The Inn was started in 1988 by owners Joe Travis (deceased 9-13-03), Pat Travis and Connie West. Events are planned throughout the year, and information may be obtained from their official website. UFO seminars are also held at the inn.

I asked Pat if she has ever seen any UFO's herself and she replied, "yes." She has heard strange tales of flying crafts doing ultra fast maneuvers. But according to Pat, "we welcome all aliens and humans alike. We are the friendliest place in the world!"

Lots to talk about over an alien burger and a cold one.

Visit the official website of the Little A'Le'Inn.

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