Our blog is to keep family and friends informed of our motorhome journeys.
We have dreamed of this for many years and finally our dream has come true.
We are looking forward to many happy miles ahead.
One's destination is never a place, but a new way of seeing things. Henry Miller.

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Last Days at Agave Gulch Davis-Monthan AFB

31 March 2015

Tomorrow we leave for Alamogordo N Mex at Holloman AFB. We sure have enjoyed our time here Agave Gulch Famcamp at Davis-Monthan.We have reconnected with friends, had many laughs, shared experiences and managed with the 90 degree heat.

Took some more pictures of the Palo Verde Trees and some blooming cactus. The Palo Verde trees are beautiful. The Cactus are just starting to bloom.

Blooming Cactus

Palo Verde

Blooming Cactus

Palo Verde


Tonight we are going to dinner at  Pinnacle Peak Steakhouse located in a re-created western village off Tanque Verde. Connie,Ken,Loretta and Rocky will certainly give us a good send off with their stories and laughter.

Connie,Loretta,Ken and Rocky


When Bob and Joyce came in on Sunday for just one night, they suggested we go there for dinner. We liked it so much we decided to go again tonight.  If you wear a tie, they cut it off and hang it from the ceiling. Food is good with steaks being a featured entree. As we were leaving the restaurant, I looked up and saw a huge ring around the moon. Bob said this is a Moon Dog. Had never seen one before. It is made up of ice crystals.
Dinner with Bob & Joyce


We also enjoy our lunch at Oregano's with Kerry's brother Kevin and his wife Dale last week. They are a nice couple and enjoyed talking with them.
With Dale and Kevin (I used to be that thin)


While we were here made friends with Maxwell, a cute dog that belongs to Keith who is active duty. His 5th wheel was invaded by bees and he finally located around 4 hives which he removed. Loaned him one of our mosquito suits. Supplied Maxwell with dog treats and made Keith cookies before we departed.
Sweet Maxwell

Sure will Miss Maxwell


We plan to return next year on our 2016 circle journey.

Steward Observatory Mirror Lab University of Arizona

30 March 2015

A very hot day good for touring indoors so we went to the Steward Observatory Mirror Lab on the University of Arizona Campus next to the football stadium. Reservations are required and if using the savings passport booklet, be sure and enter code for discount which is in the booklet.


The tour is 1 1/2 hrs and gives you a unique opportunity to learn how engineering and optical technology melds to produce the largest and most advanced giant 84 meters/27ft telescope mirrors in the world. The University of Arizona College of Science is ranked #1 among observational, theoretical and space astronomy in the US.
Mirror in Making

Lab

Polishing Machine

Lifting Device

Top of Oven

It took 7 years and $27 million to create the first of 7 mirrors for the Giant Magellan Telescope (GMT) to be built on a peak in Chilie's Atacama Desert at Carnegie's Las Campanas Observatory. It will feature 7 8.4meter mirrors. Total cost of the 7 mirrors plus 1 spare is estimated to be $150-$170 million. Five mirrors are in some stage of production in the cavern beneath the east bleachers of the stadium. Each of the mirrors weighs about 10 tons and transported by truck to Houston and by ship via the canal to Chili. Would like to see one of those trucks on the road.

Current projects of the Lab besides the GMT is the LSST (Large Synoptic Survey Telescope) that will take time-lapse digital images of the entire night sky every three to four days.

The tour was very interesting and would recommend it.

This evening brought a beautiful sunset.




Thursday, March 26, 2015

Cacti in the RV Park-Davis-Monthan

26 March 2015

The Campground features many different species of Cactus, so decided to walk around and get some photos. Some I could identify and others I may have misnamed.
Cholla

Prickly Pear

Barrel

Buckhorn Cholla

Ocotillo

Purple Cactus

Agave

Ocotillo

Add caption

Agave

Cholla

Ocotillo



Our days are drawing to a close as we leave on the 1st for Alamogordo and Holloman AFB for several days before going to Kirkland AFB in Albuquerque. We have enjoyed getting together with friends, touring interesting sights and relaxing. Plan to make this a stop in March 2016 on our way east.

Tonight we are going to dinner at Culver's with Loretta and Rocky. Tomorrow we are meeting Kerry's brother and his wife for lunch.We met Dale and Kevin last year at the Las Vegas family celebration of Darin and Kerry's union.

Sunday, friends Bob and Joyce we met at Nellis AFB 2 years ago, arrive. Sorry our visit will be short, but we will reconnect next year at Nellis.


In the evening I got a photo of a C-130 and also the "Mother Ship". John and I are tuned to the Aliens on the History Channel and whenever we see an unusual cloud formation, remarked that it is the Mother Ship.

C-130

"The Mother Ship"



Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Biosphere 2-Oracle AZ

24 March 2015

Today with Rocky and Loretta we visited Biosphere 2 NE of Tucson off Hwy 77. Biosphere 2 was created to better understand how natural environments generate conditions appropriate for life. B2's research facility is used to study ecosystems under controlled conditions. Water,air,soil,sun and life interact to transfer energy and exchange nutrients. The Upper Habitat housed the living quarters during the 1990's. The Lower Habitat where you meet the tours now has hands on exhibits and offices. The Rainforest under the glass shaped structure contains 90 different plant species. The two white domes, nicknamed lungs, are air controlled devices.We were also given an underground tour of the mechanics of the operation.

With John

Rocky and Loretta

B2 Complex

Another View

In Front of B2

Map of B2 Complex

Ocean Area

Pretty Plant

Another View of Ocean Area

Rainforest

Desert Area

Basement

Basement

Basement

South Lung


B2 has been under the management of the University of Arizona since 2011.

For those interested in this type of ecosystem facility, this is a good tour. As for me, did not find it that interesting.

After the tour, we had lunch in the cafe.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Biosphere_2


Monday, March 23, 2015

Civil War Re-enactment Picacho SP

22 March 2015

Once a year in March Picacho Peak SP 40 miles north of Tucson off IH10 has a Civil War Re-enactment. The event runs 2 weekend days and features artillery demonstrations,battle re-enactments,presentations and fashions of the period. The battles re-enacted took place in Valverde New Mexico and Glorietta New Mexico. There were no civil war battles, just skirmishes in Arizona.

We stayed only for the Valverde battle as the weather was very hot. The battle of Valverde took place 21 February 1862 under the command of General Sibley on the Texan side and the Union under the command of Colonel Roberts. 2,000 Texans were engaged by 2.500 Union and 8 cannons. The Texans were equipped mostly with old hunting arms. 5 hours into the battle, Union artillery moved closer to the Confederate center. In danger of being beaten, some 200 Texans with four 6 pound cannons charged the Union battery. This forced the Federals to flee and the Confederates were victorious. The Confederates suffered 36 killed, 150 wounded and 1 missing. The Union suffered 68 killed, 150 wounded and 35 missing.

Union

Texans

Texans

Union

Ready,Aim Fire


Fire in the Hole

Casualties of War

Hillside Viewers


The battle of Glorieta New Mexico took place 28 March 1862 east of Santa Fe. The Union forces were victorious. During the main battle, the hidden 80 wagon supply train was discovered. The draft animals were slaughtered and the supply wagons burned. The Texans were forced to retreat back to Texas.

The volunteers who perform these re-enactments provide their own equipment, uniforms and time.

Picacho Peak SP features hiking trails, campground,picnic areas,visitor center and gift shop. Note that the park is closed during the summer months due to the heat and rattlesnakes.

Peak is 1500 ft


Yesterday we had a get together with friends Connie and Ken and Rocky and Loretta. I stand corrected in that we met Connie and Ken five years ago not three at Wright Patterson AFB in Dayton OH. I am so glad we have kept in touch and we plan to get together again when we pass through Wichita in June. We met Loretta and Rocky last year at Nellis AFB and reconnected again while there.Tomorrow we are going to Biosphere for a tour. with Rocky and Loretta. Both are fun couples and we enjoy their company. Lots of laughs about RV adventures.

Loretta,Rocky,Connie & Ken

Dinnertime

Looking for Dinner