Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Ft. Huachuca & Tucson

Sunday I went into Ft. Huachuca to see the post museum and the Intelligence Museum. It was a gorgeous day, sunny with temps in the high 60's. A perfect day for just about anything.

I have mentioned previously that I had been assigned to Ft. Huachuca on TDY in 1971. Even though that was almost forty years ago I thought I might recognize some things in addition to the old historic fort....Wrong. There were so many new modern buildings that I recognized nothing and got terribly turned around trying to drive to the museum.

With the help of my GPS I finally made it to the museum. It was not large but it did a very good job of documenting the history and people of Ft. Huachuca from it's inception in the 1870's until the present. While I was stationed here I stayed in an old two story World War II baracks that had been converted to visiting Officers Quarters. Much to my surprise while viewing a display of the fort's more modern history I found an exhibit of some of the "artifacts" that were discovered when the old barracks were torn down in the late 1970's. It was a weird feeling to see things not uncommon in my life forty years ago, displayed in a museum.

Monday morning I headed for Tucson and a date with a LONG hot shower. My schedule called for staying at a "full service" RV camp ground while doing a few things in the area. A few things included the LONG shower mentioned above. Bivouac contains a nice comfortable shower and a hot water tank for plenty of hot water. I was on the road for eight days however, before I had the opportunity do drain my waste water tanks and that necessitated being very frugal with my water/waste water. I took showers but they were "Navy" showers and while they kept me clean they didn't provide much enjoyment. Monday afternoon I remedied that condition.

I had laundry to do as well but got it done with enough time left in the day to take a trip to Saguaro National Park (East) which is only about 8 miles from the RV park. Saguaro National Park actually consists of two different parks, one on the west side of Tucson and one on the east side. The west side park is the larger and more well known facility. I had visited that park last year. The east side park while smaller is still a great place to spend a couple of hours and that's about all the time I had.

Monday evening I had dinner with some friends that had just recently moved, full time, to the Tucson area. Jamie and Betsy had wintered here for a number of years before deciding to move here full time from their home in the mid-west. Last year they acted at tour guides when Guitar and I came down and had our ladies fly in for a long weekend. It was great to be able to see them again.

This morning I intended to visit the Pima Air and Space Museum and take a tour of "the bone yard", officially known as the Aerospace and Regeneration Center, and then head north towards Phoenix. I spent way more time than I ever though it would take to visit these two attractions that I decided to stay another night in Tucson.

Both the museum and the bone yard were just fantastic. I was like a kid in a candy store. The museum had acres and acres of old and historic planes. A lot of them I could remember from my childhood and military service but there were also many that I had only seen in history books. It's probably just a guy thing but a lot of them were just beautiful. Graceful lines and each had a personality of it's own...kind of like a woman.

The bone yard was just as if not more interesting. There are literally thousands of "mothballed" modern aircraft here. We were told that most of them could be put in flying condition in anywhere from a few days to a couple of months. You name it they were there. F-16s, F4 Phantoms, C130s, B1B Bombers, KC135 tankers, C5A cargo ships, helicopters of every sort. It was well worth the time and money for the experience.

Tomorrow I intend to leave here and get to an RV park somewhere north of Phoenix. I'm headed for a date with The Bride in Flagstaff on Friday!

Thanks for visiting.

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