Colorado Plateau Photo Odyssey 23: Across the Great Basin 2

Cathedral Gorge SP13-193

In my last post, I found myself at the brink of one of the oddest places in the United States: the eastern entrance of the Extraterrestrial Highway, State Route 375. The highway stretches 98 miles from “Crystal Springs” on Route 93 to Warm Springs on Route 6. I needed to drive this remote, alien infested highway to get to my ultimate destination, Lee Vining, on the shores of Mono Lake:

From the very start, my suspicions were aroused. Note in the following picture the camper off the road on the left side of the image:

Notice how it leans to it’s side. What do they got in that thing?

From the entrance to the Extraterrestrial Highway, I headed toward Rachel, the only real town (as far as anyone can tell) on the highway. On the towns’ website, I found the following: “Population: Humans 98, Aliens ??” The notorious Area 51 is 25 miles south of the town.

Part of the Extraterrestrial Highway is bordered by Nellis Air Force Range; the rest seems given over to vague cattle ranches. You see the cattle, but you rarely see a house or barn or other sign of civilization. And such cattle as you do run across are, well, rather unusual. Consider the following specimen:

Doesn’t seem so unusual in this pic, except that it looks like she’s eating gravel. Never mind. But now consider this portrait view of the same mangy animal:

Keep in mind, this is an animal with an udder (look at the above pic). So what on earth is she (or perhaps “it”?) doing with horns? Well obviously those are not horns. Just look at them. They’re antennae. This creature is in constant communication with the mother ship.

Desert wasteland dotted with Joshua trees greets the traveller as he pushes forward along the ET Highway:

At last we reach to the end of the highway at Warm Springs, which is not even a town or village, but merely a couple of abandoned shacks:

I did not see any UFOs (i.e., unidentified flying objects) while traversing the Extra Terrestrial Highway. But at Warm Springs I did run into a URO (i.e., unidentified rolling object). Escorted by Nevada Highway Patrol and taking up the entire length of Route 6 came the following extra wide load:

After this enormous rig passed, I turned head west toward the California border, more than two hour drive away. Landscape here remained not so different from what it had been so far:

Here and there could be found signs of civilization:

And of the military:

As I drew closer to the California border, the mountains got higher. The neighboring peaks still had remnants of their winter snow mantles:

At the intersection of Route 6 and Route 95, I ran across not so much a ghost town and a ghost stop—a few odd buildings, including a small “restaurant,” obviously abandoned along the highway:

Just as well that it has been abandoned. It is not missed.

California soon came into view in the guise of Border Peak, the highest point in Nevada:

Once in California, I turned on Highway 120 and traversed the last section of the trip. After a few winding turns, I turned a corner and ran across this:

Mono Lake, at last!