Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Tucson - Arizona 2017

February 7, 2017.
I left Lake Havasu City at 8:30 AM.
I had arrived at the Tractor Supply Store at 7:30 AM and had in mind to enter the area, where the propane filling station is, from the back of the store. A large truck was being unloaded there and my plan did not work.
I had to disconnect the car from the motorhome and back in the motorhome.
The price of propane was only $ 1.89 per gallon. It was worth the extra work.
I arrived at the Escapee RV Park in Casa Grande at about 2:00 PM. It was enough driving for me today. I saw Randy at a rest area and he will go all the way to Tucson.

February 8, 2017.
I arrived at the Casino Del Sol in Tucson at 10:00 AM.
A group of WINs left for Saguaro National Park at 10:30 AM. I have been there several times and I did not go today.
They did the hike to the mine. Doris and I did that two years ago.
After my visit to the library I went to the casino and checked it out
The Casino Del Sol is very large with a giant hotel. The inside of the casino is very beautiful. It reminds me of Caesars Palace in Las Vegas. Unfortunately they do not allow picture taking.

February 9, 2017.
After Hugs and Mugs we went to the Tubac Festival of the Arts.
Tubac is located near the Mexican border and there is a strong Mexican influence. The town has many artists and at the festival were artists from all over the country.

There are many pottery stores.

Some of the galleries are in beautiful settings.

The out of town artists display their wares in booths.

Those articles made from copper are very beautiful and expensive. The design is created by applying heat, not paint or something else.

The town has a few wonderful restaurants.

We had summer weather today. The temperature was 84 degrees F.

February 10, 2017.
Today was a really warm summer day. The temperature went up to 94 degrees F.
I went to the Pima Air and Space Museum. It is the third largest Aerospace Museum in the United States.

The bus tour to the bone yard was very interesting. Here are military airplanes stored for future use or used for getting spare parts for airplanes which are still in service.
There are rows and rows of engines.

Hundreds of F-16 fighters are there.

C-130 cargo planes seem to be the most planes in the bone yard.

There are all kind of helicopters.

The area encompasses several square miles.
Back at the museum I did the outside viewing area first because it was getting warm.
I thought I would never see again a Tomahawk cruise missile launcher and launch control center.  
Convair built them and per treaty with the Soviet Union they had to be destroyed. And here at the museum were both on display. There was even a cruise missile on a pedestal.
Both units use MAN all wheel trucks.

An artist had fun painting this airplane.

The museum has a Convair B-58 Hustler.

And a Convair B-36 bomber.

A  Convair B-24 bomber.

A Convair PBY.

A Convair PB4Y. This plane is a B-24 with a different tail.

We built the fuselages at Convair for the McDonnell Douglas DC-10. Most of this airplane originated at Convair in San Diego.

There was also a Tornado fighter of the Luftwaffe.

The SR-71 Blackbird is now in most large aircraft museums.

I forgot to take a picture of the Convair F-106 fighter and the F-111 fighter –bomber. I was involved on the spares program of both airplanes.
The museum has three hundred airplanes. Most of them are on loan from the Air Force, Navy, Marines, and other museums.

I spend four hours at the museum and did not see everything. I left something for next time.

February 11, 2017.
We learned a lot today about copper mining at the Mineral Discovery Center at the ASARCO copper mine.

In one cubic foot of copper ore is one pound of copper. To get to the ore a lot of other material has to be moved. The tailing of the mine are visible from miles away.  The mine started as three underground mines and now is a large open pit mine.
A bus took us to the top of the pit.

After dynamiting a section of the pit large machines pick up the ore and load it on giant trucks.

Dust is a problem in the desert and large water trucks spray water in the air.

The tires for those large machines are twelve feet tall.

On the way back we stopped at the mill. The large pieces of ore are crushed outside and then moved by conveyers inside to ball mills where the ore is crushed to powder.

Pine oil and other materials are added and it creates a slurry mass.

A specific size of air bubbles is added and the copper particles are attaching themselves to the bubbles.

The slurry is dried in an outside pond.

At the Mineral Discovery Center is also a movie theater and there are displays. At the outside are large trucks and other equipment. The trucks were not large enough anymore and were phased out.

This was a wonderful experience.
The group’s next stop was the Titan Missile Museum.
 I had been there several times and drove instead to Green Valley to visit Paul Simpson. He and his wife are in Hawaii though. I talked to his neighbor and was told that their daughter is very sick and they went there to be near her.

February 12, 2017.
A group went today to Kit Peak National Observatory. It is the world largest astronomical observatory.
I drove to Oro Valley and picked up my mail at Susanna’s house. She is a friend from Chicago. I worked with her husband at S&C Electric.
We had lunch at a nice restaurant.

In the afternoon Wheel of Fortune had try outs at the casino's amphitheater. 

February 13, 2017.
This was a hiking day. We went to the Santa Rita Mountains and hiked the Nature Trail in Madera Canyon.
It was cool and windy when we started out but after a while the sun came out and the temperature was pleasant. We drove all the way up the canyon.  Then the two drivers brought one vehicle to the place where we wanted to leave the trail.
This made it easier because we walked most of the time downhill.

We saw one bush in blooms. It must have its timing wrong.

We had lunch at a small amphitheater.

When we reached the end of the trail the two drivers retrieved the vehicle on top of the trail. On the way home we visited Lyn, a WIN who is taking care of her mother. The mother broke a hip. It was wonderful to see Lyn. She traveled with us the last four years.

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