Saturday, January 20, 2018

RV Trip: Tucson, Day 3: Pima Air & Space Museum

Another warm day here in Tucson, heavily overcast and windy, and still nice and warm to this Colorado Rider.

Got to the Pima Air and Space Museum on the SE of Tucson by 9:35 or so and would spend about two hours enjoying the viewing of planes both in pristine and boneyard conditions.  Way too many photos taken of course, I culled many but fair warning, lots of photos ahead.

Selection criteria was either:  A.  I liked its looks.  B.  I had some experience in them.  C.  I appreciated the role they played.

 Museum Entrance

 Starr Bumble Bee
Built to achieve the record of "Smallest Plane"

 Sikorsky CH-37B Sky Crane

 Flying Tank: Mil MI-24 (Hind)

 Lockheed EC-121T Warning Star
Just look at that radome underneath!

 An iconic Boeing B-29 Strato Fortress

 Three Decks!
Douglas C-124 Globemaster

 Super Guppy
Aero Spacelines B-377G

 I love this Lockheed VC-121 Constellation's lines
and tail structure

 Lockheed C-130
I've fallen out of several of these while on jump status in the Army

 Lockheed C-141 Starlifter
Another aircraft that I've fallen out of, on purpose.

 Civilian Constellation, lovely lines.

 Grumman OV-1C Mohawk
Flown by Army Pilots

 Douglas C-47 Skytrain outfitted for Paratroop duty
Am sure my kids think I'm old enough to have fallen
out of one of these too.

 North American B-25 Mitchell Bomber

 I've always like seaplanes
Consolidated PBY5-A Catalina

 Vought F4U Corsair

 North Amerian P-51D Mustang

 Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress

 A ground pounder's best friend in combat
Fairchild Republic A-10 Thunderbolt

 Lockheed SR-71 Blackbird

 Douglas A-4C SkyHawk


Hope you liked my choices for pics, a good place to visit but plan on at least two hours to enjoy it.  I sure did.

We actually got about an hour's worth of light rain ending shortly after 5:00 PM.  Hopefully, no muddy conditions tomorrow when I try to exit the BLM campsite.

I climbed a nearby hill to catch the sunset, here's a view from the top of the campsite areas.

 Uma, the URRV is the center RV in the pic above

Much more crowded conditions on the western side

The clouds from the rain storm proved a nice backdrop for a decent Arizona sunset:




Friday, January 19, 2018

RV Trip: Tucson, Day 2

Pretty much a work day today as temperatures rose into the high 70s once again.

Woke up just before the alarm went off and made breakfast while keeping an eye on the sunrise over Tucson.




Rest of the day was spent on work, resoldering the starter switch on Scarlett since the connection had become sporadic again, some minor work on the RV and routing maintenance.

I decided not to do much extensive riding towards either the Pima Air and Space Museum or Mount Lemmon on the NE side of Tucson.  Perhaps tomorrow.

Instead, I meandered over back to the Saguaro National Park.  Here's another view of the many cacti that this park is known for:


A little further down, I parked Scarlett at a trailhead and walked perhaps a quarter mile to get this view of the distant hazy mountains to the west.


Sunset turned out to be a fizzle and so no sunset shots to inflict upon you today.

The plan is to spend tomorrow either checking out Mt Lemmon or the closer Pima Air and Space Museum.  We'll see.  First, I have to repeat my hike up the nearby hill in the BLM campsite I'm currently at, somehow managed to delete all the pictures.  Sigh.


Thursday, January 18, 2018

RV Trip: SW of Tucson, AZ

Drove the URRV with Scarlett in tow from north of Truth or Consequences, NM to a small BLM (Bureau of Land Management) site located near the Tucson Mountain Park in the SW of the city of Tucson, AZ.

Long drive (six hours) but it was worth it in that it was 77°F (25°C) when I there and it is a balmy 58°F (14.4°C) at 8:30 PM as I type this posting.  Lovely.  I can see why folks snowbird down here.

A couple of rocky ridges I saw along I-10

After work, I rode to the nearby Tucson Mountain Park and checked out this county park with twisty roads and some enjoyable dips and hills.  Gates Pass, the main attraction for the place (that's the impression their website gave me anyways) was rather tame compared to Colorado's mountain passes but not bad.

The view from Gates Pass.  It was really hazy and of
course I was shooting into the sun, but Lightroom's DeHazing
tool came through to clean things up.

I checked out parts of the nearby Saguaro National Park.  Lots and lots of Saguaro Cactus of course, dotting the nearby hillsides like pins on a porcupine.

You'll have to enlarge to see all the cacti

The time drew near for a pretty good sunset, I shot the following shots from the location above as cars zoomed by; apparently commuters use the park road to get home.




I then motored on back to the BLM campsite and saw the last acts of this sunset along State Highway 86.  They're doing construction along this section of the road and I was able to pull into the newly paved but still blocked off area for pictures.






Not a bad sunset eh?  The warm evening I enjoyed makes me wonder how hot it gets here in the Tucson area in the summer?!

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Boondocking/Uraling near Truth or Consequences, New Mexico

Off on another RV trip again, eventually ending up in Sun City, AZ, to help out my FIL once he gets out of heart surgery at the end of the month.

In the meantime, due to prior plans, logistics and just plain shack rot, I started out yesterday from Colorado and ended up overnighting in a rest stop off of I-40 near Clines Corner after failing to find the BLM spot nearby in the dark.

Note to self:  Don't try to find BLM campsites in the dark.  There's no signs most of the time.

After an uneventful night in the rest stop (New Mexico allows a max of 24 hours stay but no camping); The cold temperatures woke me, it was 42°F (5.5°C) inside the RV with the heater on low and a chilly 2°F (-16.6°C) outside!  I headed south on I-25 after transiting Albuquerque before their morning rush.

Ended up stopping at the BLM campsites (dispersed) on Monticello Point Road just north of the oddly named town of Truth or Consequences.  I thought it'd be some interesting story of how this town got named but turns out they renamed themselves from Hot Springs.  This was all part of a game show of the same name's promotion effort.  Oh well.

Still, I like the spot, not a soul around me but I can see the I-25 highway way off in the distance.  4G coverage was very good and I got a lot of work done.


The view of nearby mountains from the campsite

After the last work call, I geared up and rode with Scarlett, my 2014 Ural Patrol Sidecar rig down the end of the unimproved road I was parked next to.  It ended up, after a few nasty spots, at the Elephant Butte Reservoir.

The reservoir I found unremarkable and not much in terms of scenery so no pics.  I exited the reservoir area, passed by an RV park and got back onto I-25 one exist south of where I was staying.

Having some time before sunset, I decided to roam the area west of the highway and worked my way neared to some scenic hills.

 This is almost as close as I got to these interesting hills.

I headed back to the campsite for sunset pics, I give you a pretty nice New Mexico Sunset:






The day hadn't been that warm to start with (high of 46°F (7.7°C)) and with the sun going down, temperatures plummeted.  I'm slightly further south and lower in elevation tonight so it's not supposed to get below 32°F (0°C).  I'm not worried, I've got the catalytic heater and an electric heater as backup.

Only a single house battery, on its last legs, so running the generator most of the time.