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Extraterrestrial Highway, Little Ale-Inn, Black Mailbox – Nevada

What sci-fi nerd doesn’t want to drive the Extraterrestrial Highway and stop in at the Little Ale’inn and the infamous “black mailbox”? I did, at night… I drove the highway just as it was getting dark and confused a great deal of cows who were roaming about and wondering why on earth I was stopping to take their photos. As it got darker still I searched the skies, in vain, and eventually stopped in at The Little Ale’Inn. There was another car full of tourists there, from California, they looked at us as we drove in like, “Fuck! Someone caught us!” They avoided eye contact, painfully so.

I walked in, a bit quiet and confused myself. This place was weird… it had dollar bills tapped to the ceiling, all had something written on them and there were a lot from other countries. Around the perimeter there were T-shirts, magnets, the whole kit n’ caboodle. I sat at the bar with this tiny town’s version of Barney Gumble. It was awkward… I quietly ordered a hamburger and a bowl of soup and read the bumper stickers lining the back… a great deal of them were anti-Clinton (both Bill and Hillary for the sake of fairness) and then there was the pro-bush ones and the one anti-Obama one… there were other bumper stickers ripping on socialism and a few other things. I think if they leaned anymore to the right the whole bar would have flipped right over. I had come here hoping to find some interesting nut jobs all excitedly talking about the strange space men that came to take them away… but alas it was just us, quiet as mice. Still, I went there!

When I came outside I saw their little UFO with blinking lights that could be seen for miles and several moths trapped in the cockpit trying desperately to get out. I laughed at that, pondering if they too believed themselves to be abducted.

My next stop was the infamous black mailbox, which is actually white and very padlocked now. It belongs to a local rancher, not Area 51 as some seriously ill-informed people believe. I took a picture in front of it and then beat it like a bat out of hell because someone was feeling anti-social and didn’t want to be caught loitering at some poor bastard’s mailbox. Apparently it’s a nice place to watch the Area 51 aircraft at night. Oh well. Coming out of there I went back into town (adding an hour to the trip) to get gas, which I knew was notoriously not on this strip anywhere. As it turns out I would have come within 40 miles of running out of gas had I gone without. That was cutting it close, should I have done that.

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