Saturday, January 27, 2018

Sun City Sundial, an old WWII Airfield near Surprise, AZ and Sunset Self Portraits

Friday, while my FIL was doing a very light workout at the Sundial Rec Center in Sun City, I wandered about outside to take pictures of the center's name sake.

Picture taken at 12:05PM
The Sun Dial is a bit off.  :)

Saturday mid-morning through 1:30PM, explored the area near the regional landfill which had looked promising in terms of trails and off road opportunities.  I encountered more fenced off areas than I hoped for so exploration was limited.

Still I did manage to explore what used to be the Wittman Army Air Corps Auxiliary Field back in WWII and is now the Luke AFB Auxiliary Airfield.  Per the following link, it's only used now for practicing approaches by light aircraft without actually landing as the surface conditions are pretty rough.  LINK

Source: Google Maps
The complex in the bottom right is the Ford Arizona 
Proving Ground.

 Posing Scarlett by the end of the airfield where one can
see old light fixtures? and a series of yellow painted arrows.

source: google maps

We rode on the air strip, very rough conditions even where pavement remains.  I did manage to spot what I assume are the remnants of a tower :

My location per google maps where I
took the last pic.

The rest of the area was fenced off or was part of the easement used by nearby giant power line towers which stretched out to the horizon on the west.

A dissapointing area, but then again, I am pretty near Surprise, AZ and the nearby Phoenix Metro area too.

 Shot in Auto mode

All but one of the sunset pics shot using "sunset mode" to bring out the reds and oranges.

Friday, January 26, 2018

RV Trip: Sun City - A Sunset Ride leads to possible nearby offroad riding area.

Finishing off the work week here in Sun City, AZ.

My FIL is still scheduled for surgery this coming Tuesday so this weekend will be used to prepare for it, finish off remaining chores and taking care of family-related matters.

I decided to not use the same spot for sunsets near the hospital, instead Scarlett and I headed out of town on US60 aka Grand Avenue and turned onto Deer Valley Road once west of the 303 Bypass.

This initially paved road turned to dirt near the still-being-built North Copper Canyon housing development.  I saw very little in the way of fencing, and several promising trails heading off into the desert.  I hope to explore this area, which is where the Northwest Regional Landfill is located, further this weekend.

The sunset tonight turned out to be pretty colorful, here's the pictures that made the cut, in sequence:

Thursday, January 25, 2018

RV Trip: Tonopah AZ Sunrise, now in Sun City and sad news....

Woke to a nice sunrise while boondocking on BLM land near Tonopah, AZ.

Later that morning, broke camp and drove to my FIL's place in Sun City where I unloaded stuff needed for an expected two week + stay at his place while he undergoes surgery at the end of the month.

I then drove Uma to a RV storage yard in Goodyear, AZ, about 15 miles away and parked her there as I couldn't park for longer than 72 hrs at my FIL's parking area in Sun City.

Spent the rest of the week helping my FIL run errands and taking care of chores around his place.  The sunsets for Tuesday and Wednesday were very bland as clear skies and no clouds made for boring sunsets.

Thursday night however, the clouds were place.  Kind of fitting as I found out today that Hubert Kriegel, of the Timeless Ride, has passed away on January 24.  He was one of my sidecaring heroes.  R.I.P.

 The above picture is dedicated to the memory of Hubert Kriegel
Sidecar Rider/Adventurer par excellance!

Monday, January 22, 2018

RV Trip: Tonopah, AZ

I displaced from the SW Tucson area this morning (no issues with mud from last afternoon's rain) and got to the BLM area south of Tonopah, AZ shortly after Noon.

The "roads" into the BLM area were very rocky and rough, so I had to drive Uma the URRV very slowly to avoid damaging things.  Lots of bushes near the side of the trail, so some light scratches on the sides of the RV, not bad, and only visible at certain angles...kind of like light scratches on a car's clear coat?  Anyways, not bad.

While reconning for a spot, I did something stupid and moved the RV with the side door opened, which prevented the steps from retracting.  Yep, they hit a rock and were bent slightly out of whack.  Some pulling with a couple of ratchet straps and it's OK for now.  More bending to be done once I'm home with better access to larger tools.

Only two other campers in the area, one a fifth wheel and the other a small mini-pod towed by a small car.

After setting up, I got on Scarlett to try and reach a trail that seemed to climb to the other side of Saddle Mountain which I was camped near of.  The road I took got rough really fast and I managed to hit a tree stump which caused the right muffler (my only muffler since I've a two-into-one header pipe system).

I tilted Scarlett over to the left, so she rested on her engine guard and after some pounding, loosening of brackets, managed to reconnect the muffer to the header pipe.  I'll have to get a clamp tomorrow to reinforce it along with some muffler tape to seal things up.

I'll take a pic of Scarlett on her side when I put the clamp on her muffler pipes.

After repairs, we carried on closer to the pass road but once I got to the point below I decided I'd pushed my luck enough for one day:

Sunset proved to be not as good as predicted by sunsetwx, still, not bad.

Saturday, January 20, 2018

RV Trip: Tucson, Day 3: Pima Air & Space Museum

Another warm day here in Tucson, heavily overcast and windy, and still nice and warm to this Colorado Rider.

Got to the Pima Air and Space Museum on the SE of Tucson by 9:35 or so and would spend about two hours enjoying the viewing of planes both in pristine and boneyard conditions.  Way too many photos taken of course, I culled many but fair warning, lots of photos ahead.

Selection criteria was either:  A.  I liked its looks.  B.  I had some experience in them.  C.  I appreciated the role they played.

 Museum Entrance

 Starr Bumble Bee
Built to achieve the record of "Smallest Plane"

 Sikorsky CH-37B Sky Crane

 Flying Tank: Mil MI-24 (Hind)

 Lockheed EC-121T Warning Star
Just look at that radome underneath!

 An iconic Boeing B-29 Strato Fortress

 Three Decks!
Douglas C-124 Globemaster

 Super Guppy
Aero Spacelines B-377G

 I love this Lockheed VC-121 Constellation's lines
and tail structure

 Lockheed C-130
I've fallen out of several of these while on jump status in the Army

 Lockheed C-141 Starlifter
Another aircraft that I've fallen out of, on purpose.

 Civilian Constellation, lovely lines.

 Grumman OV-1C Mohawk
Flown by Army Pilots

 Douglas C-47 Skytrain outfitted for Paratroop duty
Am sure my kids think I'm old enough to have fallen
out of one of these too.

 North American B-25 Mitchell Bomber

 I've always like seaplanes
Consolidated PBY5-A Catalina

 Vought F4U Corsair

 North Amerian P-51D Mustang

 Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress

 A ground pounder's best friend in combat
Fairchild Republic A-10 Thunderbolt

 Lockheed SR-71 Blackbird

 Douglas A-4C SkyHawk

Hope you liked my choices for pics, a good place to visit but plan on at least two hours to enjoy it.  I sure did.

We actually got about an hour's worth of light rain ending shortly after 5:00 PM.  Hopefully, no muddy conditions tomorrow when I try to exit the BLM campsite.

I climbed a nearby hill to catch the sunset, here's a view from the top of the campsite areas.

 Uma, the URRV is the center RV in the pic above

Much more crowded conditions on the western side

The clouds from the rain storm proved a nice backdrop for a decent Arizona sunset: