LAS VEGAS (KSNV News3LV) — Our trek along the Extraterrestrial Highway picks up at the town of Rachel, Nev., population 54, give or take.
It’s a tiny community, with a big reputation for stories and tales involving UFOs.
Pat Travis runs the Little A'Le' Inn, a 12-room motel and alien-themed restaurant-bar, with a distinctive flying saucer hanging off a flat-bed truck out front.
"UFO hunters, or any of the paranormal groups, they all come," said Travis. "People from everywhere ask us, how do I get to the gates? Have you seen a craft? Do you believe? What is there to do?"
If it has to do with Area 51 or UFOs, Travis can probably answer all the questions.
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The restaurant doubles as a gift shop, of course. People also send in photos of what they claim are their own alien sightings.
While most of it's all in fun, Travis says years back she too had an unexplained paranormal experience here in town.
"My husband Joe and I had a light come through the center of the room,” said Travis. “I always felt it's another entity."
While she laughs at the thought of little green men, Travis says aliens, in her mind, are real.
"I think they walk among us," Travis said. "Can I prove it to you? No!"
We continue our journey north and veer off onto Highway 6, then head west until we arrive at Lunar Crater National Natural Landmark.
Isolated and windswept, the crater is a breath-taking volcanic formation 430-feet deep, and almost perfectly round. You can walk the rim, hike down to the bottom, or just take in the view.
The crater so closely resembles the surface of the moon, it was used to train astronauts for the Apollo moon missions.
It's also where some conspiracy theorists claim the original moon walk was faked using realistic images.
Nevada's lunar crater certainly appears other-worldly. And it is a Nevada secret worth exploring.
Secrets of the Desert is a series where we explore haunts and hideaways, road less-traveled, and the interesting and unusual in our region. If you have a spot you’d like us to check out, please contact Gerard Ramalho directly at firstname.lastname@example.org or send him a note on Twitter.