Monday, February 20, 2012

We moved on to Tucson area and are staying at a county campground about 9 miles out of town in the middle of a cactus forest. there are thousands of Saguaro's around here along with many other styles of cactus. we are about 2 miles from Saguaro National park West.
We visited the national park visitor center and went for a short hike at one of the hiking trails nearby. the Desert is very interesting in this area as the plant life is very diversified and is very thick on this part of the desert compared to western Arizona.
They get about 11 or 12 inches of moisture here each year so it is enough to keep it green this time of year.
 we also visited the Pima County air museum, there are 80 acres of aircraft stored there and if you wanted to take the bus tour they take you over to what they call the boneyard, with thousands of aircraft being stored on hundreds of acres. we opted to save that for next time we are down here and just visited the main museum.
I dont have room for all the photos I took of all the aircraft but I posted some of the most interesting.
SR71 Blackbird aircraft.

B-52 bomber

C130 transport plane, I rode in a few of these in Vietnam.


This is one of only 2 B-52's that carried the X-15 rockets up to high altitudes so that they could be dropped and go up into space. The marks on the side of the plane are painted versions of the X-15 and there were 135 on this plane, I am assuming that means it carried the X-15 135 times.

President Kennedy and Johnson's first jet. there was also a prop plane  there called Freedom One that was used by President Kennedy.


this flag was the first flag carried on to Utah Beach at Normandy during WW2

Huey Helicopter

Russian fighter plane, they also had some Mig's from the 50's on up.

A V rocket from Nazi Germany. this one was captured before it was fired at England.
Our campsite in the desert. we have electric at the site and water nearby so we are spoiled after dry camping for the last month.

the spines of the Saguaro

Here is a Great Horned Owl at the Desert Museum. they have it trained to swoop from tree to tree and  land on the handlers gloved hand. it was a great performance.

This was a Red tail hawk. I was trying to capture the image as it swooped by but had a hard time following it with the camera because it was so fast. I was using a telephoto lens. but the bird was only about 30 to 40 ft away. They would swoop just over the heads of the people and sometimes their feathers would touch their head or caps.

this is a Diamond back  Rattlesnake, it was very active as were several other of the snakes in their cages.

A tarantula!

There were lots of very active humming birds in the hummingbird display.

Here is a F-4 Phantom Jet used in the 60's in Vietnam.

a Japanese Zero.

I got some of the pics mixed up from the airplanes to the birds. I cant figure out this blogging sometimes!!

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Painted Rock Campround

 We drove about 100 miles east of Yuma, AZ on the way to tucson and went to Painted Rock Campground about 20 miles east and 11 mi north of Gila Bend. It is a BLM Campground with about 60 very large sites. You must bring your own water as there is none to be had anywhere near here. the campground is about half full and is a very nice area. the weather turned cooler yesterday with a brisk breeze blowing. Today, Feb 14th, it was cool in the AM but warmed up later. then the clouds came over and the breeze kicked in again and cooled it off. It is still in the 60's tho.
This area has numerous painted rocks from several hundred years ago when the O'oldham indians lived in this area. they put messages on the rocks with specific meanings. they also used the rocks to grind their corn or other crops. there is still evidence of the worn rocks where they worked the grain and wore the rock down.
There were hundreds of rocks on this one small hill covered with their messages.
More great sunsets!! I never get tired of these sunsets in Arizona!

this is the area around the campground, nice an open.

These are some of the Petroglyphs 

Our campsite from the top of the hill, you can see that it is real spread out here.

This is the wear on the rock where the indians ground their crops such as corn. They also grew cotton in this area back then and it is still being grown here now. We drove some of the back roads out to the farm area and they had Cotton and alfalfa growing in the valley. the cotton bales are as big as a small semi truck trailer.

we had another 12 inch rain storm today in 5 minutes time. One drop very 12 inches!!! typical rain storm here in the desert this time of year!

and a couple more sunsets tonight!!

the glow on the painted rock mountains from the sunset!!

we will move on to Tucson area tomorrow and spend about 2 weeks there. we plan on visiting the Desert Museum and several other areas there. I want to visit the Air Museum, they have several hundred or maybe thousand aircraft sitting on the desert, a lot of them go way back to the 60's I think.