Posted in Friends, Travel

The Adventures of Joan and Jill on The Extraterrestrial Highway

It was a beautiful day in Las Vegas, but I was in the casino where sunlight never is seen. My friend Joan was having an exceptionally good day at the tables. Three different dealers as well as dozens of other players had sat at the table, but nothing could stop her.    Not having the stomach for cards I would walk away to a slot machine now and then, each time coming back thinking certainly her luck must have run out. But as I got closer to the table I could see her mischievous grin. Pit bosses and security were keeping a close eye on her as her stack of chips grew higher. Her contagious laughter could be heard around the casino every time the dealer pushed another stack of winnings in her direction.

As I walked back over feeling happy after winning 30.00 at the I Dream of Jeannie slot machine, she looked in my direction and smiled, “Jill I think we need some adventure today!”
I could not imagine what could be more adventuresome then watching my friend move up two tax brackets in Vegas, but I also knew when Joan said adventure, something great was going to happen.
She left a generous tip with the dealer and walked away. I was not sure if the look in his eyes was relief or disappointment that they had not had the chance to win some house money back.
When we walked out into the bright Vegas sunshine, momentarily blinded by the light, she called for our car and left another generous tip with the valet.
We got into the red mustang convertible I had rented, put the top down and she said “Buckle up. We are going to find us some aliens!”
I love my friend Joan, she is a redheaded spitfire with a heart of gold but does not think twice about putting you in your place if you are out of line. For a moment I was afraid the big winnings along with the bright sunshine had somehow gone to her head. “Aliens?” I repeated. “Like my favorite Martian, or are we just going up to that shopping mall on Las Vegas Blvd that looks like a space ship?” “Aw sweetie” she laughed, “We are going to Rachel Nevada.”
I thought for a second, Rachel? Quickly I googled Rachel, then looked at Joan, and asked. “We’re going to Area 51!?” Laughing Joan stepped on the gas. She weaved in and out of traffic on Las Vegas Blvd on our way to the open freeway. Passing the NASCAR Track, I was pretty sure she could take any of the drivers on the track, keeping pace with the fighter jets on approach overhead at Nellis AFB.
I wondered if they saw the girls in the red mustang below, one with her red hair flying in the wind and the blond clutching to the dashboard, hanging on for dear life.
Once we were in the Nevada desert, I double checked the back seat to be sure there was plenty of water in case of a breakdown.
Our conversation was light and fun so I was surprised to look at the clock later and find we had been driving for 2 hours, there was a gas station at our exit where we stopped for gas and pizza. After that stop signs of life and traffic became sparse we would spy an occasional trailer parked over the wire fences on the side of the road. One trailer had multiple large television antennas on it and an enormous “We shoot trespassers” sign out side, another had two children playing in a plastic pool who ran inside whenever a car drove by.
“Those were not real children,” Joan said.
“Hmm, they did look a little odd” I remember thinking, kind of like those cartoons where they put an adults face on a child’s body.
Just before we turned down The Extraterrestrial Highway we saw billboards of goofy looking aliens with advertisements.
That’s when our car started to misbehave.
Joan was slowing down to navigate past the creepy cows that lined the dusty meadow along the roadside, the car would slow down then speed up on its own. The cows would step in front of the car and we would experience near hits.
“What are you doing” I screamed after getting so closed to one that I could have milked it, if I had wanted to.
“It’s not me” she replied, I respect the cows, look at my feet”.
I looked down and her feet were no where near the pedals?
“Are those real cows,”I asked. “I have no idea” she replied “but I am pretty sure if we got out to check, a sharpshooter would pop out of one of those cactus’ and take us down.”
I hoped our car would at least make it to town, certainly it was a mechanical problem, but once we passed the cows the car returned control to Joan.
Then we were there, Rachel Nevada. If not for the sign I would have just thought we were on another Nevada dust covered road.
There in the middle of nowhere stood a colorful building with picnic tables and a flying saucer, illuminated in all of its’ touristy brilliance.
The Little ‘A’Le’Inn.
Inside a few people sat at tables, carrying on quiet conversations. They all became silent and looked up when we walked in. As I slowly walked to the bar I turned to look over my shoulder and they were gone. Beers, food everything!
I shook my head thinking maybe the drive through the desert had affected my mind.
On the wall were pictures of cars that had run-ins with the cows. The cars were smashed and mangled, while the cows stood victorious and unharmed, staring at the cars like a hunter admiring his kill.
We sat at the counter and ordered food and beer. The beer selection was impressive considering how remote a location it was.
From time to time the phone would ring with someone ordering something to go. I wondered if the order was going to those adult children we had seen at the trailer a few miles back, or if possibly aliens were making an order knowing they could walk in without hoopla and have some delicious earthling cooking. Not to be confused with the Twilight Zone episode, “To Serve Man”.
The bartender was amazing. He served drinks, cooked the food, took phone orders and carried on a conversation with us and our food was still perfect. My World Famous Alien burger was delicious, the beer was cold and the atmosphere was homey and friendly, once the other patrons magically reappeared at their tables.
Joan and I chatted with the bartender who told us visitors come from all over this world (and possibly others worlds as well) to eat and stay at the small hotel on the property. After eating we checked out the gift shop that had all kinds of Area 51 novelties.
“We have to leave before the sunset” Joan warned me. I thought about those moving unbreakable cows of steel wandering and our car that was temporarily possessed by aliens and knew she was right.
I kept looking up into the evening sky hoping for a glimpse of a celestial craft landing to pick up their to go order of Alien burgers, but only saw the beautiful Nevada sky.
We jumped back in the car and headed back down the ET highway. It seemed there were fewer cows than we had seen on our way into town. Since the area was flat and endless I could not imagine they had been able to disappear so quickly. Maybe there really is a secret bunker at Area 51 but instead of aliens it was filled with cows.
As we got off the highway the sun had set. That’s when I noticed on our left sideb a huge glow beyond the hills. I did not remember seeing any towns on our way in and the glow seemed to be getting bright and closer. I was not sure if I was scared or excited. Maybe the aliens really were landing. Would they notice us as they flew by, would they stop to talk or take us on a space adventure.
I was contemplating all these things when Joan pulled the car off the road and stopped “What are you doing?” I asked her, “I wanna see me some stars,” she said, not at all concerned about the rising glow coming over the hill. She opened the star chart app on her phone and turned it in a circle over her head while looking at the screen. “Where are all the stars?” She asked. “Maybe being blocked by that light?” I replied pointing to the glow that seemed to be getting brighter and brighter.
She turned to look at the glow over the hill. Without missing a beat she said, “It figures we drive out to the middle of nowhere to see the stars and we end up with a full moon.”
With that I looked and realized what I had hoped was an alien taxi actually was instead a gorgeous full moon rising over the hill.
Sadly its intensity did block out the stars that night, but it was beautiful in its brilliance.
We sat and watched silently as it made its way over the hill before getting back in the car.
On the trip home we discussed the possibility of returning in the future to stay a night at The Little A’ Le’ Inn. It actually looked fun and very unique.
They even offer tours!
As we contemplated this possibility we drove past the trailer of children who this time had a roaring fire all the while pointing to the bright moon and dancing to what I imagined was some sort of tribute to the man in the moon.
By the time we got back to Las Vegas, Nellis Air Force Base and the NASCAR track were quiet. Downtown Las Vegas shown like a beacon on the horizon, we saw the lights of the city long before we arrived on the strip.
Before walking into our hotel I glanced up at the full moon one more time this time seeing a red and blue light flash across the moon before disappearing.
I shook my head thinking my sight was clouded by all the sun today……    Or maybe it was that alien spaceship leaving earths atmospheres with a bagful of delicious World Famous Alien Burgers.

Sent from Yahoo Mail on Android


Favorite color - pink Favorite place to visit - anywhere I am at the moment What I love most about life - spending time with family and friends If I could do anything I wanted - I would travel every inch of the earth and write.

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