If you’re set to come in peace, you should also come prepared this week if your plans include getting in on the “Storm Area 51” phenomenon.
Being prepared to get there is a must, or you might wish you were abducted by alien beings on the Extraterrestrial Highway.
The Area 51 Basecamp event in Hiko and Alienstock in Rachel are expected to drum up traffic congestion, causing drivers long waits in their vehicles in mainly rural areas.
“We are notifying event attendees that limited restroom, gas, water, power and food facilities are available within a 60-mile radius from the festival site,” said Tony Illia, transportation department spokesman. “Heavy traffic is expected through the area, so festival attendees should plan accordingly.”
To prepare for the event, NDOT last week began staging traffic control devices at the department maintenance stations at Indian Springs and Alamo, including work zone signage, changeable message signs and cones.
Additionally, 126 segments of barrier rail are being moved from Las Vegas to Beatty for event staging as well as for future use by our Tonopah subdistrict, Illia said. Each concrete barrier rail section measures 12 feet in length and weighs about 5,500 pounds.
Gassing up before you hit the road is necessary. The stretch of U.S. Highway 93 between Interstate 15 in Las Vegas and Rachel — with Hiko, where the Area 51 Basecamp is occurring, on that route — has three gas stations on it:
Love’s Travel Stop: The stop is right after the I-15/U.S. 93 interchange. The Love’s features a full convenience store, showers and a Subway sandwich shop. Love’s has 16 pumps, so it can handle a large rush of people.
Sinclair: The Sinclair station is located in Alamo, 73 miles to the north of the Love’s station. There are eight gas pumps and a sizable mini-grocery store, Great Basin Foods. Great Basin has produce, various food items, home items and some tools. There’s a fast food chicken place attached and also Area 51 souvenirs.
The establishment does not sell alcohol if revelers are looking to stock up en route to either of the two events.
Green Valley Grocery Shell Station: If motorists travel 7 miles farther to the north, they reach the final gas station en route to Hiko and Rachel, the Shell Station in Ash Springs.
Aside from gasoline, the station also sells propane if those in RVs need to top off their supply before being stationed in the desert for a few days.
The Green Valley Grocery convenience store is fully stocked and sells beer, including heaps of the Bud Light Area 51 12 packs.
Again, this is the final stop for gas for the trek to the two alien centers of the world for next weekend.
The Alien Research Center in Hiko is only about 6 miles farther from the Shell station, with the E-T Fresh Jerky shop just before the U.S. 93 Route 375 junction, which will be used as an overflow parking spot for the Hiko event.
Alienstock in Rachel is a bit more of a drive, sitting at 45 miles away from the Shell station, with a portion of the two-way highway winding and featuring steep declines.
Having proper supplies to make sure passengers in the vehicles are covered is also a must. Similar to tips given to travelers who might be stuck in traffic surrounding popular travel holidays, the following items are also a good idea to keep in mind.
Temperatures will range from the low 80s during the day to around 50 at night. Bring enough blankets for everyone in the vehicle in case an unexpected stay in the desert occurs.
AAA also recommends motorists keep the following in their vehicles:
— Plenty of water for every passenger in the vehicle.
— Nonperishable food items.
— Flashlight, with extra batteries.
— A small toolkit.
— Jumper cables.
— First-aid kit.
— Extra medication in case your party is stuck in a place longer than planned.
— Small fire extinguisher.
If you come prepared, you’ll be well on your way to having a safe Area 51 celebration.