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.

Sunday, March 24, 2019

Thunder And Lightning Over Arizona Airshow-Davis Monthan AFB

23 March 2019

Today we attended the "THUNDER AND LIGHTNING SHOW OVER ARIZONA" at Davis Monthan AFB. This is also open to the public. We first attended in March of 2016. Shuttle busses take you to the show with the closest to the campground at the Med Center. Temps in the middle 70's with slight breeze. After escorting son Darin through the gate, we took the 930AM shuttle over with a return at 600PM. Thunderbirds were last to perform.

Performers included:

WWII Dogfight over the Pacific featuring a PBJ (B-25) Mitchell,Japanese Zero and a US Navy F-6 Hellcat


US Airforce A-10 Thunderbolts

US Air Force Thunderbirds

US Air Force F-22 Raptor and F-35A LigntningII


US Air Force C-17 Globemaster III

Desert Lightning Team Combat Search & Rescue Demo

US Air Force Heritage FLight with the A-10,F-22, F-35 and F-86

Wings of Blue Parachute Team

Red Bull Air Team

Shockwave Jet Truck

Vicky Benzing, Kent Pietsch and Joe Shetterly --all stunt and aerobatic pilots

Unfortunately, I was not able to get photos of all the performers. Just not a professional and have trouble focusing.

Ground Displays Included Aircraft from the Boneyard, Active Duty Aircraft and Heritage Aircraft flown in by civilians for Display. You can see the full display on thunderandlightningoverarizona.com



 Darin was a loadmaster on the C-5 and C-141
Darin & John Inside the C-5

John and Darin enjoying the airshow.

This is definitely an airshow not to miss.

Thunderbirds Over Campground

21 & 22 March 2019

The Thunderbirds were practicing for the Thunder and Lightning Show Over Arizona at Davis Monthan AFB.After reviewing my photos from the Airshow on Saturday, think the ones over the campground are better.

Had Darin, Dan & Loretta over for Salmon dinner and visit. Dan and Loretta are leaving on Friday to return to Oregon.

John discovered a hot water tank leak so he ordered a new one from PPL in Houston to be shipped to El Centro Navy Campground for our arrival on 28th. We were originally going to stop in Ajo and Ehrenburg on the way, but this install is more important. Fortunately they were able to change our reservation. Seems something is always going wrong, but considering the 90,000 miles of hard driving and the 10 years on the road, guess we are rather lucky compared to some. Just hope he can do the install with no problems.

Wednesday, March 20, 2019

Lunches with Family and Friends

16 March 2019

The next few days we are meeting family and friends for lunches at different restaurants. Seems we are eating our way around Tucson, but glad for the gatherings.

On the 16th we met Darin, Eric,Cindy, Parker and my ex Dan and his wife Loretta for lunch at Barrio's Brewery near downtown. A good family gathering and conversation. Tonight we are going to Darin and Kerry's for steak barbeque. This will be last time we see Eric, Cindy and Parker until September. Since their flight back to San Antonio was cancelled, they will have a 12 hour drive tomorrow.

On the 17th we met our good campground friends Phil and Denise who are here for an Escapees Rally at the Fairgrounds at BJ's Brewery very close to DM campground for lunch. We first met them in 2016 while camped at Nellis AFB and several times since. They are also fulltimer's . Glad we could get together again and the lunch and visit very good. We will see them again when we go the the Escapee's open house on Wednesday.

On the 18th we met our good friends Marta and Bill whom we met at the AF Academy in June of 2015. They now live in Tucson and no longer RV'ing. We also met them again in 2016 and 2017 while camped at Davis Monthan AFB. Marta's mother is now living with them. We met at Little Anthony's for lunch. This is a 50's style diner and our 2nd visit here with them.
Darin is teaching at the same Middle School in which Marta once taught. It was nice meeting your mother and she looks fantastic for a 91 year old. Of course, you and Bill look great as well. Hopefully we visit again before we depart on the 28th.

It is always wonderful to visit with friends we have met in our journey. So glad we have kept in touch.

Also enjoy our family visits and not as often as we should. We try to visit at least once a year and sometimes more, but 5 children and grandchildren scattered in 4 directions makes it difficult.

Our weather has turned hot in the 80's. Personally I would like temps in the high 60's or 70's with no wind, just a slight breeze.

Tuesday, March 19, 2019

Casa Grande Ruins

18 March 2019

As an after thought upon leaving the Relocation Center since we were so close and on the way back, we decided to stop at the Casa Grande Ruins NHM in Coolidge.

The Ruins preserves remains of an ancient Hohokam era farming village and also the Great House. The Visitor Center has exhibits of Hohokam artifacts and displays of their way of life. You can either do a guided or self tour. We choose the self guided. The entrance fee has been waived.

The Great House stands 4 stories high and 60 feet long. Its walls face the four cardinal points of the compass and a circular hole in the upper west wall aligns with the setting sun at the summer solstice. Other openings align with the sun and moon at specific times. The house was completed in 1350 and built of Caliche with hundres of trees to anchor the walls.

These people were called the "First Masters of the American Desert". They were hunters-gatherers and traders who lived in Arizona for several thousand years along the Gila and Salt Rivers. They built canal systems to irrigate their fields. Also known as Ancestral People, they traded pottery and jewelry for other needed items.

The Classic Period began in 1150 and lasted until the 1400's. When the missionaries arrived in 1694, only an empty shell remained of this village. Two centuries of visitors and souvenir hunters further damaged the site. in 1892 Casa Grande became the nation's first archeological reserve. A steel and concrete canopy built in 1932 protects the Great House.

An interesting stop if in the area.

Tomorrow we are having lunch with friends Marta and Bill we met at the Air Force Academy several years ago and again in the campground . They now live in Tucson.

Gila River Japanese Relocation Camp

18 March 2019

Today we decided to drive 100 miles north on IH10 to visit the Gila River Japanese Relocation Center. In our travels we have visited several of these camps as John has pages about them on his fortwiki site. On our way back decided to stop at the Casa Grande Ruins. Will post separate blog on this.

The camp is located on the Gila River Indian Reservation and not an easy place to locate even with GPS. After driving around we decided to go to the Reservation Police Station for info and they referred us to the Governance Building. This is a very impressive complex and appears rather new. There are many buildings housing the different offices and even a medical and hospital. Tim at the Governance gave us good directions following a dirt road to the site. Aside from a monument up on a hill there are no remaining buildings, only foundations of some of the buildings.

This Relocation Camp seemed to be the most relaxed of all the camps with only one watch tower and barbed wire removed early on. Construction of the Camp began in May 1942 and opened in July 1942. By December it has a peak population of over 13,000. There were two camps, Butte and Canal with both closing in late 1945. Eleanor Roosevelt visited the camps in 1943.

Canal Camp had 404 buildings consisting of 44 for administrative purposes,232 for barracks, 16 mess halls, 17 ironing rooms,17 laundry rooms, 34 latrine and shower buildings, 24 school buildings and 20 community buildings.

Butte Camp had 821 buildings, 22 for administrative purposes,post office, garages,police office,court, water filtration, laundry,and other staff facilities, 627 barracks, schools, churches and other needs for day to day living conveniences.

Life in the Camp improved with the internees running the day to day operation. Civic, cultural and religious activities grew and there was an active Japanese American Citizens League, Boy Scouts and American Legion. Vacant blocks were used for athletic purposes built by the internees as well as an outdoor theater and elaborate gardens and ponds.They also grew their own food and raised livestock. By the end of 1943 they had 1,377 cattle,1,106 hogs,8,584 chickens. Food was also shipped to other relocation camps.

The Memorial on the Hill list the 23 soldiers killed during the war. 487 men from the camp enlisted in the US Army in 1943.

In the fall of 1945, the last to leave were 155 Hawaiian Japanese. Most of the buildings were moved to other institutions in Arizona. Rebuilding their lives was difficult as they did not know where to relocate.