It was actually chilly at the National Wildlife Refuge when we woke up that morning. We had a good breakfast — pancakes! To celebrate Ruth’s 13th birthday! We can’t believe our little girl is a teenager now!
Packing up was easy — all we’d unpacked was chairs and the telescope.
We headed off with growing excitement. We were going to drive the Extraterrestrial Highway today! When we made the turn, we stopped to get a photo — you don’t get experiences like this everyday.
This highway has been designated The Extraterrestrial Highway because it travels close to the infamous Area 51. We kept our eyes peeled but never saw any signs of alien activity along the road.
The center of the Extraterrestrial Highway is The Lil’A’Le’Inn (http://littlealeinn.com/) in Rachel, NV. You pull in and you can see all sorts of alien influences here. Inside, there is a bar (keep the kids out of the “red zone”) and a cafe and lots and lots of merchandise. Gage got a shirt that says he works at Area 51 but he can’t talk about it and a pin that says he’s authorized to use deadly force. The people there were SO nice and SO friendly. We really enjoyed our visit with them.
We headed off again — our next destination was Tonopah, NV. (http://www.tonopahnevada.com/). Tonopah is a Silver town. We found a good lunch spot but weren’t thrilled with the RV park we saw. We decided to press on. Our next idea was Benton Hot Springs where you have a hot spring right at your campsite. We kept driving through the desert, with more and more high passes.
Eventually, we unhitched and the FMC was able to negotiated the passes more easily. The best road in the world is the road between Benton and Highway 395. It’s one of those desert roads where they just paved what they found in a straight line. Hills . . . Pave over them. Valleys . . . Pave over them. The result is the Benton Bumps. A series of tummy-tingling bumps that are better when done at high speed and with the knowledge that there could be a cow or ten at the bottom of a valley because it’s open range. Watching the FMC do the Benton Bumps was even more fun that doing them in my car. Wow!
When we got to the Hot Springs, I was feeling the pull of my parents. They live just an hour and a half away in June Lake. We had a discussion and decided to give in to my longing . . . Benton Hot Springs may be a really cool place but . . . We headed on into June Lake.
We spent the first night in the June Lake campground (National Forest Service) and had dinner with my folks at the Tiger Bar. They have AMAZING food and great atmosphere!
We went back to my mom’s and showered and did a quick load of laundry. Nothing like clean underwear!
I think Ruth had a good birthday!