Category Archives: Truck Camping,

Truck Camping,

Sabino Canyon Recreation Area

The Fam Camp Office monthly schedule had  Sabino Canyon on for the 28th. It sounded like an interesting outing. The office shuttle bus would take us to Sabino Canyon and from there we took their Tram up the Canyon. The Tram had nine designated stopping areas. We could get off, hike up the road or trails and hop back on the Tram at any designated stop. I looked over their trail system and decided that going to the top of the road, at stop number nine, would be best for our hike. We needed to be back at the Visitor Center for 2pm for our ride back to the AFB.

The Trail Selections

Apparently, we weren’t the only ones with this plan. At stop number nine, 3/4 quarters of the people got off. Some just walked back down the paved highway. About 9 or 10 people started to climb the Sabino Canyon Trail. That was our direction also, but first, a couple of park volunteers started to talk to us. I initiated the talk about the Sabino Creek trail. They said, that this might not be interesting because the creek was nearly dry. “Ok”, I said, “What would you recommend with our limited time of 2pm.” Well a really nice scenic trail would be Phoneline trail. It was higher up on the side of the canyon, but not way up to the ridge. “Sounds good”, I replied. He went over the map with me. First, we would start the switchbacks on Sabino Canyon Trail to gain elevation. At a certain point, a fork would direct us to continue on the Sabino Canyon Trail, or take a right to the Phoneline Trail. Once on this trail, we could hike all the way back to the Visitor Center or take the Sabino Historic Trail back down to the canyon floor.

 

Alone on the Trail

The couple who were volunteers were very nice and we talked to them for a half hour. The subject was on 5th wheel campers. Anyhow, we left and the 9 or 10 hikers were out of sight. The very first part of the climb was steep and switched back and forth several times gaining elevation around 200 to 400 feet. A couple of times, the trail just petered out. Turning around, we obviously saw where the trail went into a different direction.

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Tram ~ Heading down the Sabino Canyon with Hikers Ahead

The Phoneline Trail

The direction clearly marked the Phoneline Trail. We could see across a large gully. The trail paralleling the ridge line, several hundred feet above, well that was the ridge several hundred feet above. The Phoneline Trail is rated moderate and rightly so. The first part of the trail had scary drop offs. Helen was a little apprehensive at first, but soon we had traversed these (moderate) spots! The view was now opening up. Sabino Canyon below was just starting to come out of the morning shadows. I must note that on the open air tram, it was cold! The temperature inversion was at its best. This was not the case as we climbed. The first leg of the trail was in the sun and perfect. The second leg wasn’t bad at all either. It was, I assumed, in the mid-sixties. The trail was still climbing. I had assured Helen that we would be heading down hill once we crossed the upcoming pinnacles! At last hikers coming the from the other direction! I was thinking that they were the 9 or 10 who started ahead of us, but no, they had hiked uphill from stop number 7. The last of the group, an elderly gentleman was red as a beet! My decision would prove correct as far as direction.

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Phoneline Trail making its way diagonally across the canyon sides

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The Pinnacles off in a distance!

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Sabino Creek ~ Docile now, but ragging when rain arrives!

 

This section of the trail had good footing and was just a slight up grade. We stopped several times to trigger the camera. Both shooting uphill, straight on and down towards the Canyon floor, not to mention a few selfies! The pinnacles were getting closer, I had assumed that we would go around, but we would go right into the middle of them. Another younger couple walked towards us. I asked them if they’d seen the trail marker for the Sabino Historic Trail. They said it ‘s literally around this corner. “Thanks”, I said.

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Mouth of Sabino Canyon with Tucson in a distance

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Helen on the Sabino Trail

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Decending the Sabino Historic Trail

 

The pinnacles were very impressive! We hiked  literally in the middle of these huge rock towers. It wasn’t a long distance and the trail dropped precipitously. The problem here was that there was a lot of loose gravel. One had to make sure that we had a sure footing before attempting the body weight shift to the other foot. I would go ahead and reach out to Helen for a secure hand hold, both for her and me. We should have had walking sticks, but they weren’t on our checklist or we just didn’t think we had the room to bring them in the truck camper. I have to mention that I was carrying my Nikon camera, along with its 18 to 300mm zoom lens. Extra care needed not bang these expensive pieces of camera equipment.

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Very Narrow One Lane Bridge ~ Built by the CCC

The Creek Crossing

At some point, on this part of the trail, we would have to cross a creek to descend to the valley floor! Glenn, our Fam Camp driver had mentioned that one of his relatives had died doing this very crossing! A question that was looming on our minds as we started our decent. Would this be a problem or a challenge? I’m just trying to build a little drama in the blog! Actually, it hadn’t rained in months and all the creeks were pretty dry, except for a few watering holes. It does present a major challenge when rain does occur close by, or for that matter several miles away. Our creek crossing was uneventful.

The Number Seven Tram Stop

Had we had more time before our Fam Camp pick up at 2pm, we might have been tempted to continue on the Phoneline Trail all the way to the Visitor Center. I am not a gambler and didn’t want to cut the timing so close that Glenn would have to wait or even comeback later for a pick up!

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Foliage in the Desert ~ Sabino Canyon

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Foliage near the creek

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Manikin or Sagauro?

That is what we saw and did!

 

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Mt Lemmon ~ The Return

We left the last blog on the Meadow 5a Trail on top of Mt Lemmon. You probably remember me talking about loving rocks! Mt Lemmon was no exception! The rocks up here have an unusual color. Light pink and white color. It was at this time, on the trail, that a souvenir might be appropriate. We’ll leave it at that!

Back on the trail, Helen was, at point, in the lead. She noticed a hiking stick leaning on a tree. She is so good at spotting things. Just the other day, she spotted a tool alongside the roadway, as we biked on post. It was a $15 adjustable wrench! A cool find! Back at the trailhead, I headed for the restroom. A girl standing by the information sign had just found some car keys. Now that would be a major loss if the owner didn’t have a second means of entering their car or starting it. I told the girl to hang them on the sign. That might be the best solution. No office or park personnel in the area.

The Canadian ~ Bike Connection

Back at the truck, we were chilling out having a snack and a cool drink. This girl, biking up to the lock gate, stopped and was catching her breath. After a few minutes, Helen asked her how long it took her to do the climb from the bottom. She answered 4 hours! Wow, I couldn’t believe it! Some 31 miles uphill in four hours! Only that amount of time for 6,300′ of elevation climb.

Her husband rolled in about five minutes later. He was in worse shape. The Canadian connection comes in because they live about 200 miles from us in Montreal, Canada. We took a couple of photos with her iPhone, at the top of Mt Lemmon, with her husband. They both deserve a round of applause!

The Observatory

Just before our hike, we walked up past the locked road gate. The University of Arizona operates the observatory. We walked a quarter-mile to another locked enclosure. This time a high chain link fence was as far as we could go. They do offer tours and even night-time tours, but with reservations. The odd thing that I noticed was a sign on the gate that said. “Leave with your headlights off.” Obviously, this was to protect your night vision in the observatory, but I’m thinking of how winding this road was coming up. I can’t imagine driving even a short distance without headlights down hill.

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The End of the Road ~ Steward Observatory

Rock Climbing ~ At Wind Vista Outlook

Our return drive from Mt Lemmon was just as spectacular going down. I stopped in several pullouts to grab a few more memory photos.

Wind Vista was just begging for us to stop again! A parking spot was available and the clincher was a rock climber tackling a HooDoo formation across the street. I took several pictures of the climb and the repel.

 

 

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The Climb!

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Don’t Look Down!

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Tip Top

Across the street, other people were getting lessons on repelling down a 150′ ledge. Other tourist were walking over the ledges to view the splendid “Wind Vistas”. From this overlook we made our way down into Tucson.

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Wind Vista is a Perfect Spot for Photos!

That is what we saw and did!

Mt Lemmon

About Mt Lemmon

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Speechless ~ The Road to the Top!

Everybody seemed to be talking about Mt Lemmon. Even Phillip, who we met at Chiricahua National Monument, on our way here, had given us a heads-up on Mt Lemmon. This mountain located 41.5 miles from our campsite, is very visible from our dinning room window. It is in the Santa Catalina mountain range. Driving to Mt Lemmon involves about 10 miles of city driving. The outskirts of Tucson reveals small foothills with million dollar views! This doesn’t include the multi-million dollar cost of the Casa’s (homes).

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The Mountain Road ~ Winding and Switching back and Forth!

The Foothills

The terrain is still covered with sparse brush and varied desert plants. Soon the road climbs a little higher and around the first of many bends the Saguaro Cactus appear! Like a forest of telephone poles, most of them have no arms or limbs. We later learned that it takes 60 plus years for limbs to develop. These Cactus obviously can live to 200 years old. They can also grow to 15 to 20 feet in length. During the “Monson” season (July, Aug and Sep) they can store large quantities of water in their trunks. The trunks are pleated and when water is stored, the trunks can easily expand. They can survive for 2 years without additional water.

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Remember, Looking Down Was Just One Switchback Away!

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Don’t You Just Love Rock Formations!

The Climb

The word switchbacks refers to U-turns to gain elevation in a small footprint. Well that is an understatement. The road is adequately wide and well paved. They did a lot of planning on this mountain climb, because several pull off parking places and rest areas dot the road up the mountain. Our first overlook was of Tucson, at a relative low altitude overlook. Not exceptional, but inspiring that more would come as we traveled. We had just, so far traveled a couple of miles of steep grades, another 28 miles of grade would follow. It wasn’t that further up the road that the Saguaro Cactus petered out. More rock outcroppings appeared regularly. We are “Rock Lovers!” My new dash-cam is working great. I am learning how to save the important (to us) 5 minute clips on my laptop. Well at first I was trying to save them to the iCloud, but at 580MB per 5 min clip, wasn’t working at all with the WiFi. I didn’t want to overload my laptop, so the best option for me was to save the important stuff to my portable external hard drive. This is a 1TB drive (WD Elements) I hope to be able to upload some to You Tube and have a link in the blog.

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HooDoo Vista Point

The Traffic and the Views!

Surprisingly, a lot of people are on this mountain daily. There are signs that say, “Tire chains required,” at least when snowing. No snow today or even this fall. It was in the low 80’s in Tucson metro area and the forecast for the summit was for 61 degrees. You’ve got to realize that the summit is at 9,145 feet above sea level! Tucson is around 2,388 ft in the valley. It is the best time for a visit to the top, especially for a little hiking.

Most of the traffic was moving slowly and admiring the views. The most popular overlook is called Wind Vista Point! Here we found a good size parking area and a lot of cars and people. It’s one of those places where you can walk out onto the ledges and grab one of those shots that makes the viewer think you’re on the edge. Well that is particularly true, but most times there is no danger! I say that with tongue in cheek! Example: Parents with small kids, around 4 to 5 years old, not controlling their kids, were a concern to me. The father says to his daughter, “if you see a snake let me know”, this is after she’s going down a very steep incline with no adult within reach.

Nearing the Top of Mt Lemmon

The terrain now changing again. From many outcroppings of ledge and rocks to very large pine trees. One would think that we would have been in an Alpine environment at 9,000 plus feet, but we weren’t. Reaching near the summit was a fork in the road, going left, which we took and it brought us to an Alpine style village with cottages dotting the mountain side. The village about a half mile long had restaurants, gift shops and people walking around. I soon realized that this road was coming to a dead-end. I had missed my turn onto Ski Run Rd. The road now narrowed considerably and climbed at a steeper rate. Nearing the forested top, the Iron Door restaurant was on the right overlooking the ski lift across the street. No skiing or snow, but a lot of people enjoying the afternoon sun.

The Private Road!

Two hundred feet beyond the restaurant an open gate with a sign that read, “Not a National Forest maintained road, pass at you own risk.” This is always a people stopper. I had plugged into my GPS “Meadow 5a” trail. It indicated that is was further up the now very narrow road. Always a sign for adventure! Off, I started, up the very winding road, Helen being a little apprehensive. Around the next corner, two bikes coming down the hill at full speed. They were not coasting, but pedaling, I stayed on my side of road, as they flew by. At least, I knew people were ahead, on top of the mountain. Through the tall trees, I spotted an observatory dome. I knew we were close to the summit. two more curves and we reached a locked, closed gate. To my left a parking lot with maybe 20 cars, I turned into the lot, but it was full. I backed out and was able to park next to the locked gate.

The Picnic and the Plan

It was time for a late lunch. At the end of the parking lot was a picnic table. A sign indicating that we were, now again, in a fee area and part of the National Forest. People were coming and going from several directions. The Mt Lemmon trail, the Meadow 5a trail, the observatory and the parking lot. The picnic hit the spot. It was time to take on the Meadow 5a tail!

Meadow 5a Trail

I picked this trail because it was relatively easy. Only 320 feet of elevation from one end to the other. We would hike the meadow and return the same way. We could have looped around and joined the Mt Lemmon trail, but it was a moderate to difficult trail. My thoughts were to take it easy on our first Arizona hike. I was so right! At 9,145 feet the air is thin and I was sucking for wind constantly. Nothing serious, but my 72-1/2 years were telling me that I wasn’t ready for Everest. Helen on the other hand didn’t seem to be bothered.

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Meadow 5a Trail on top of Mt Lemmon

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The Split with Helen

The trail followed the observatory fence line for a while. The sun shining on us, the temperature, at truck read 63º F and it was about the same on the trail. Soon we were in the tall pines with sun filtering through. It was like the golden hour for photographers. The view here was of the forest, but as we crested the knoll, I could see distant mountain ranges, probably the Rincon Mountains to the Southeast. Just a little further, closer mountains revealed layers of color, dark green closer to us followed by blueish mountains and beyond that Tucson and its fast metropolitan area covered in a light smog. We were told that the smog only happens in the winter months when the temperature inversion kept it trapped by the mountains.

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Rincon Mountains ~ Southeast of Tucson

Photos

Needless to say, if you own a camera or phone for that matter, there are many opportunities to photograph nature, people and landscapes. I may never print all those photos, but looking at them, on the computer, will bring back wonderful memories!

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Greater Tucson

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Trippel Mountain Ranges

That is what we saw and did!

 

 

Old Tucson

Helen did the research on “Old Tucson”. She was thinking that “Old Tucson” was in the downtown area. The attraction was artisans and their wares. What was wrong with that! Sally and Jamie where interested. Paul, Jamie’s husband had work to get caught up on. I was good with going. Sally, plugged in the address and off we went. Tucson is a fairly large area so we didn’t notice how far we had traveled until we were in the country. The Saguaro Cactus were getting plentiful. We were very close to the Saguaro National Park, that was the western side. This National Park is divided in two (East and West).

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Sallyanne, Jamie and Jewlery!

“Old Tucson” ~ Looked Familiar

The minute I saw the entrance, I said, “We have been here before”. Yes, a few years ago, we stopped in here to recon the area. Old Tucson, was and is noted for over 400 movies being filmed right here! We had gone into the gift shop back then, but had never gone into the “Theme Park”. Helen had bought an “Arizona Pass Port Book” that had a “Two for One” admission discount. The passport book pays for it self in two bookings.

 

Entering the park, more like an old western town, I was pleasantly surprised to see actors performing a courtroom scene. A young man being accused of murder was found guilty and sentenced to hang. Wow, I didn’t really think they would hang him, but they did! From than on it was fist fights, gun fights and amazing stunts! Three story falls, dynamite and good acting. They kept the audience in suspense. It really was neat to watch the stunt men do their work.

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Guilty!

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Hung!

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Padre, Prisonner, Sheriff!

 

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Going Down!

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Not Good!

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The Landing!

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Dynamite! Pow!!

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Hot!

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She no pushover!

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The Fight!

The Saloon!

After the first performance, it was time for lunch. We found a restaurant, with A/C as it was now hot in the sun. After lunch, we wandered over to the Saloon to watch the “Can Can Girls” perform. They, as I suspected got the audience involved. It was also a kid friendly performance. Later in the afternoon, we toured the town. One stop was at the “Buffalo Soldier’s” table. They had many hand and long rifle guns to display. All authentic! The knives were also cool to view. A couple in particular caught my attention. A surgical knife with a ten inch blade, like a bowie-knife, was extremely sought after weapon. It’s thinner, lighter than issued knives. The second knife was in the shape of a garden spade, but this knife had a cylinder shape that fit onto the end of a long rifle barrel. When a Buffalo Soldier was working in the fields, he could raise this spade shaped bayonnette and attack any close-by intruder instantly!

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Garden Spade Weapon

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Barrell Fit on Long Rifle

So, there were a few artisans working and selling jewlery, but I was very happy seeing those young stuntmen doing their trade. We ended the afternoon, happy with our day in “Old Tucson.

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Sallyanne ~ Sleeping again!

That is what we saw and did!

 

What We’ve Been Doing!

Nov 18th to Thanksgiving Nov 23

Our excursion with the Fam Camp Office was a trip to Bisbee, Az. The ride, only about an hour and a half, was pleasant. We sat on the bus with our new Lewiston, ME friends, who are friends of friends. They have been coming here to Arizona for three or four years and have a good idea of what to visit. Bisbee was a must see on their list.

The Mine!

Our first stop was the copper mine. Nope, it was the rest room at the mine! My first thought was, I’ve been in a few caverns and this would be the same. Entering the gift shop was like any other shop of this kind. Looking across, to the back wall, I noticed something a little different. A row of hard hats, raincoats and all kinds electrical cords. The cords about three feet long had a light and a small 4×4 battery pack on the other end. This must have been the stuff the miners used when they worked the mine. Richard, our friend from Maine, said that if we got this one guy, David, as a tour guide we would not be let down. The older gentleman had worked this mine for several years.

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The Tunnel Squeeze ~ David the Tour Guide ~ Doing his Introduction

Ok, we bought tickets, the girl gave us a brass medallion with a number on it. She said, “pin it on you’, if 42 people go in 42 people come out or if  a missing medallion is not accounted for then someone is still in there”. With 124 miles of tunnels and track this could be interesting! Sounds like an adventure awaits us!

At first, I was thinking that we were going to ride this “toy”  train into the mine. Well, that wasn’t a toy train, but a real working mine train with man cars! The tour guide, the old-timer, was our guide. He said, “I’m going to ride in about one hundred feet and stop the train. If anyone wishes to not make the trip, you can get off and get your money back”. Claustrophobia is a problem for some. The train would eventually bring us some 1,500 feet into the mountain. Now and then, he would stop and talk about different things about mines. This type of mine is not like a coal mine. No explosive gasses, no coal dust, The tunnels are drilled and blasted in rock! Air is brought in from a  50 hp blower. He explained how shafts are sunk at a 45º angles to  a different horizontal level. He also mentioned how miners were paid bonus for increase production. That’s how accidents happened!

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1500 feet into the mountain! 

The Mother Load!

At a point further down the track, he stopped the train and a lit stairway led us 20 steps or so to this giant sphere shape cavern. This is where the mother load of copper, silver, gold and other minerals were mined. Bisbee’s mines produced:

  • 8 billion pounds of copper
  • 2.8 million ounces of gold
  • 77 million pounds of silver
  • 30 million pounds of lead
  • 371 million pounds of zinc

Not bad investment for San Francisco’s De Witt Bisbee who purchased the Queen Mine with other investors. I

It was interesting to actually see veins of silver and other minerals in the cavern. I asked David, the tour guide, if it would be possible that another “mother load” would be hidden in this mountain. He said, that with diamond core drills, the whole mountain was sampled and nothing worth the expense was left!

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Mother Load Caern ~ Lights Shinning on copper, silver and gold deposits!

Dynamite!

At the last stop, before heading back to the surface, we stopped at a place that ore was loaded into carts from shafts on the sides. He explained how the size of the carts were increased for production and how miners would, sometimes get crushed by the carts as they traveled through the tunnels.

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The five Center Holes ~ 13 feet deep into the rock!

I like the part where he explained how to blow a tunnel into a sold rock face. Dynamite always takes the path of less resistance. To simplify this procedure, five circular closely spaced holes are drilled in the center, from their another circle of holes and so forth. Timing is everything. The center sticks of dynamite go off and the next circle and the next and so on. The bottom dynamite goes off last to clear the new hole. The whole is usually 13 feet in-depth. The timing of the fuse is controlled by the length of the fuse. It is well orchestrated with one guy watching the time. Cool and dangerous stuff!

To be continued ~ The Rest of Bisbee!

That is what we saw and did!

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Cribbing An Important Part of Mining!

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David our Tour Guide with  many years working in the Queen Mine

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The Suit-up Room ~ OSHA Mining Rules

 

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The Mining Bike! With 124 miles of track a bike would come in handy!

 

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David Explaining the different types of  Drills

Davis/Monthan AFB ~ Home Away from Home

Nov 13th to 18th,

The Base!

 

We’ve been here for nearly a full week. The base is amazing! The ride around the central part is around six miles. This is not counting the thousands of acres that encompass the entire base. They can’t call it an Air Force Base unless it has a Golf Course, it does, just next door to the FamCamp. A very large Base Exchange and Commissary are also relatively a couple of miles down the road. The Base exchange also has a food court that equals any major mall complex. It’s interesting to watch air crews from different countries stop for lunch. Patches on their sleeves indicate they are from France, Italy and a few other European countries.

Hobby Shops!

I was particularly impressed with the auto hobby shop! Sixteen bays with lifts, with anything you ever wanted in a repair shop including, ACF Certified mechanic, if you needed one. A tow truck is available, if you break down. What about a state of the art “Paint Spray Booth” to repaint your vehicle, they got it!

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A Hobby Auto Shop? Yes, First Class!

Next door is the hobby and arts shop. I’ve already taken an “Art Framing class.” I now have a certificate to operate their equipment, or any military framing shop world-wide. How cool is that! What really caught my eye was their $3,000 double-sided frame shear, made in Denmark. I’ve been making frames, at home, for a long time, but I knew I would learn many “Tips and Tricks” from this lady instructor. Della, who is from England. She gave us nearly a four-hour class. We learned to cut framing stock, use colored corner glue and a hydraulic corner fastening machine. After a glue-up on the frame, we tackled a double matt cut. Here again, I have a matt cutter, but their, “state of the art” machine was fun to use. I may not ever have their equipment, but the knowledge gained will be useful when I get back home.

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Della our Instructor for the Framing Class

The First Week ~ Settling In

On the 16th, here at the FamCamp, a potluck Thanksgiving dinner was given at the Ramada. Now the Ramada is not the hotel that you are probably thinking of. It is an open air pavillion here in the park. An RV dealer prepared the turkey and some of the fixings. The campers brought potlock dishes. There was a lot of food! Naturally, the RV dealer had several RV’s to look at from class A, 5th wheel and class C’s. It reminds me of auto dealers having an open house with prizes. The only difference here is that the dealer came to the campground. It was a perfect time, for us, to meet follow campers.

The Eagle Nest, a restaurant at the Golf Club, started their seasonal November ~ April, to have their Friday night special, a 16oz T-bone steak, salad, baked potato and rolls. This at a very reasonalble price. Last night, we were at Mama Louisa’s Italian Restaurant with Sally and her frineds Jamie and Paul, (recently retired from the Navy) There is no shortage of places to eat in Tucson! That brings me to an important point!

Health!

Eating out often is not the best way to stay healthy. To counter this habbit are the bikes. Nearly every morning, Helen and I headout biking. First day, it was 5 miles, than 6 miles. Now that we’re limbering up 10 miles is the norm.

I had to replace both bike tires on my bike. With 2,000 plus miles, the tires were getting to the point that the tire cords were showing on the side walls.

Back to health, we’ve been here for just over a week and a couple of notable things have happened, especially to me. First, for a long time, back home, I had joint pain. Totally gone, possibly from the low humidity. Secondly, I used to wakeup around 2:30am and than toss and turn till morning. I now sleep through the night. Who knows, I’m just a happy camper!

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A Stop at Outdoor Recreation for Bike Trails!

Travel Cost!

Some of you are curious as to how much our trip down here cost. For camping fees, we spent a grand total of $42.00, no typo! For gas, just over $700.00. It was 3,255 miles, which includes a few side trip adventures. I averaged about 10.6 to 11mpg. Eating, we didn’t keep a record of that as we tend to eat the same at home or on the road! Propane about $18.00.

That is what we saw and did!

 

 

 

Three Encounters!

Nov. 12, 2017

Sunday morning, it was time for church. Sierra Vista has a few Catholic Churches to choose from. St Andrew the Apostle was 3.8 miles away from the campground. These Southwest churches are of the old mission architecture style and are gorgeous! After mass, coffee and pastries were served outside, in the shaded veranda.

Phillip and the 3rd Encounter

Leaving the church grounds, we decided to enter Phillip’s home address in the GPS. He was the gentleman who we met at Massai Point and later at the Coronado National Forest for disperse camping. He had said, “if you can’t get a campsite at Ft Huachuca, go over to my house, park, use the water and electricity. I’ll be there in a couple of days.” We just wanted to thank him for the offer and leave him a card in the door with that message. We found his house very easily. As we drove into his driveway, there were two beautiful adobe houses. We figured he lived in the smaller of the two. Getting out of the truck camper, simultaneously, who walks out around the corner, Phillip and Mike (the German tourist who had a malfunctioning furnace, in his rented RV). Wow, what a surprise! Phillip said, that the smaller building was his garage! He took me inside and my eyes bugged right out! There in this carpeted garage, were several motorcycles, all of the best caliber. The walls covered with paintings that one would not find in a garage.

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Phillip & Helen in the Garage

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The Collection ~ A Young Man’s Dream!

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The Dirt Riders

A short time later, I was digging into Mike and Chris’ (his wife), rented RV, trying to discover why the furnace wasn’t working. After eliminating several electrical problems, I think I narrowed it down to a bad circuit board. A dealer would have to make the final conclusion.

Back in the big house, Helen was getting a guided tour of Phillip’s home. I joined them for the tour. Phillip, if I remember right, him saying, that he hasn’t worked since 1974. Originally from Vermont, he his a person that lives his life to the fullest! Not extravagant, opinionated yes, but a nice guy. We were fortunate to meet him, but that is what we like to do. Find unexpected adventures in both places and people. This whole part of the trip was unplanned, a stop at the Visitor Center, a question, “What’s to visit around here?” “Well if you have time.” And so, the journey moves forward.

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The Living Room

North to Tucson ~ Davis/Monthan AFB

Sierra Vista is a mere 75 miles south of Tucson, so the drive was pleasant and short. AZ-90 than I-10 West off at exit 265, a few more city turns and we were at the Air Force Base. I’ve been to many military RV campgrounds, but this one seems very well run. We feel like we are at a resort. Really, full of activities, nearly overload with possibilities. We’ve signed up for a couple already. We’ll keep you posted on how they turn out.

Site 77 FampCamp Davis:Monthan AFB.jpg

Site 77 FamCamp ~ Davis/Monthan Air Force Base ~ Our Home for a While!

That’s what we saw and did!