Highway 375 in Nevada claims to have the most UFO sightings of any stretch of road in the country. Aliens, evidently, have good taste. On Eruç's five-plus-year journey around the world, the Extraterrestrial Highway in southern Nevada was one of his most memorable stretches of pavement.
“It is this vast expanse where you can just pedal away and you’re by yourself and not bothered by traffic,” Eruç says. “You can just enjoy nature.”
The Extraterrestrial Highway itself leads 98 miles along Highway 375, from Warm Springs to the quirky desert town of Rachel (population: 54) to the intersection of 93 between Hiko and Ash Springs. Along the way, mountains flank the highway, a classic empty road that looks straight out of a movie set.
Bikers pass by the secretive Area 51, part of an Air Force base, old ghost towns, historic mines, and the Mount Irish petroglyphs. Every now and then, an F18 might zoom overhead and break the sound barrier, but most often, you’re alone on one of the least trafficked highways in the country.
American Southwest offers information on the Extraterrestrial Highway. Other roads connect with Highway 375 for those who wish to ride a loop.
Turkish explorer Erden Eruç has tallied an impressive roster of firsts. He was the first person to cross an ocean from the Southern Hemisphere to the Northern, the first to row from mainland Australia to mainland Africa on the Indian Ocean, and the first person to row three major oceans. But easily his greatest accomplishment was completed in 2012, when he finished the first official solo human-powered circumnavigation of the Earth on foot, by bike, and by rowboat that included summiting the highest mountains on six continents. His record stands at 5 years and 11 days.
Erden Eruç's Gear Pick: REI Power Grips
“These straps fit on bike pedals diagonally and one enters from the side then turns the foot into position,” Eruçsays of Power Grips, which are simple weatherproof straps made of elastomeric polymer laminate. “I covered a lot of ground around the world and I don’t think one can do that with cleats on. These straps allowed me quite a bit of control on the pedals and were fairly efficient, allowing me to walk up hills and on sand and on mud.”