When we left Mesa, well almost left Mesa; we had only traveled one block when we heard a loud noise that sounded like a snap or crack. I thought Tom’s little gourd that hangs from his window shade had hit the window and cracked it. No, the window was OK. In further investigation I noticed the slide lock had snapped past the locking plate and was now past the opening of the slide and not doing its job of securing the slide from moving out while traveling. I quickly got Cinda from RV Renovators on the phone and she said to bring it back in. We circled the block and were sitting back in the driveway of RV Renovators. Bill was waiting for us, tools in hand and had the heavy metal plate off, new holes drilled and reinstalled in less than 30 minutes. We unhooked the Jeep to back up, backed up the RV, hooked up the Jeep for the second time (we are pretty good at this Purple Job) and we were on the road again. Even though traffic was heavy leaving Phoenix we were in the correct lanes each time thanks to Bill’s good directions confirmed by our Magellan GPS. We didn’t hit real heavy traffic until exiting I-10 to I-19 to Nogales at 5:30. There are a lot of people living in this south-west area of Tucson now and they all are in a hurry to get home (Tom says they want to mow the lawn and take out the garbage).
We had made arrangements to stay at the Diamond J in the SW section of Tucson before we had our detour into Mesa. We pulled in too late to register in the office, but there was an envelope and a list of available spaces posted by the office door. I made out a check for 2 nights at the Passport America rate of $17 a night and we parked in a pull through right out front and called it a night.
The next day we decided to do NOTHING. I mean NOTHING except find the restaurant, Luke's Nick had talked about in his blog, Gypsy Journal RV Travels, and go to Costco. The food at Luke’s was just as good as promised and I had the best Veggie sandwich ever: roasted peppers, olives, Italian peppers and all the regular stuff including 2 kinds of cheeses. We will eat there again when in Tucson. We have missed pushing our cart down the isles of Costco and seeing all the new things we don’t have. Now we don’t have space to store it so we saved lots of money this trip. Our tummies were full so we didn’t get a lot of food either. We did manage to find some snacks like the fabulous popcorn that was being demonstrated. Please do not mention diet and we won’t think about it either.
Now with our batteries charged we were off to do the tourist thing. The main reason we parked down here was to visit the Titan Missile Museum in Sahuarita which was about 45 minutes away. We headed south on I-19, stopped at the Post Office to mail Tom’s damaged Droid back to Assurion and got to the Museum just in time for the 12:30 tour.
Our tour guide, Norm, had been stationed at a SAC base in the 60’s in South Dakota and was able to give us some anecdotal stories about those times when we almost blew it in the Cuban Missile Crisis.
This is the command center where if there ever was the time where the Missile would have to be deployed, two people would have to have the secrete code, the secrete combination to the safe and have to turn the key within seconds of each other to send it to its secrete destination. That destination is still clasified. There were 18 of these missile sites in each of 3 states. This is the only one left in its original state minus any ability to be fired.
We were now aware that it is Spring Break in Arizona. Kids, kids and more noisy kids. We love our grandkids and think they are so cute even when they are rambunctious. Unfortunately we do not have that tolerance with other’s kiddos. So when a 4 year old continues to kick the side of the metal counter in the silo we wanted to remove him from the tour.
Other than that it was a very interesting informative experience. Even growing up in the 40’s & 50’s, remembering hiding under our desks at Mayfair Elementary school in preparation for the ‘bomb’ I didn’t not know the full impact that nuclear total annihilation was and its impact on the global military strategy, instead of Russia and the US attacking each other with nuclear bombs we just battle each other’s philosophical politics on other fronts in Africa, Asia, and the Middle East without using our nuclear arsenals. So sad.
We thought about going to the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum on Sunday, but realized there was a real nice Friends Church that we had attended when in Tucson a couple of years ago. So we put that trip on hold and drove to the northwest part of Tucson to Northwest Community Friends Church. While about to take our seat, who should walk up and say hi, but LeRoy Willis who we had met at Nick’s Gypsy Gathering Rally a couple of weeks ago.
This is another small world experience: LeRoy was from Wichita, KS, where our former Pastor, Larry Kinser, and his wife Melita, are now pastoring, and is now staying right next door to us in the next RV park. How small is our world… how many RV parks and RV’s are in the Tucson area, and what are the chances of being that close the the Willis’s? And what are the chances that Larry, who comments on our blog, would be the connection to someone who we would meet at a rally in Arizona? It boggles my mind. We went to lunch with LeRoy and Anne to a wonderful Mexican restaurant where I had the best Maui Maui Chimichanga EVER. We talked a long time over lunch and then even in the parking lot. It is so great meeting people you would never get to know unless you are RV’ing. Love this life style.
We knew it was to be windy in Arizona on Monday, but decided to go the the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum anyway. Boy was it blowing, my visor actually blew off once and Tom retrieved it. The good part was the weather was comfortably cool and we walked all day long. We should have had our pedometer on as I think it was miles.
This is a very different museum, part zoo, part garden, part historical museum and part restaurant. We sampled all aspects of this facility. The view of the valley below was a little dusty, but still beautiful. I am not a real fan of zoos, but this one was very well done: educational, conserving the species, rehabbing injured desert animals and understanding the needs of the animals in designing the enclosures.
This educator was demonstrating what animals eat; she showed us snakes, lizards, a porcupine, a skunk, a pelican and a Ringtail Cat, the state mammal of Arizona.
I was behind a glass window and this guy was really this close. Great experience.
The desert was truly in bloom this day.
We had planned on only staying one day in the area and seeing the Titan Missile Museum and moving on to Benson to see our friends, the DelRosario’s. But the wind advisories and the interesting sites have delayed us. In checking with Sharon DelRosario, it was a good thing as Don has been under the weather, so today we’ll check in and see how Don is feeling, stay in Benson, or move on to Bisbee and see the DelRosario’s on our way back to California. That is what plans in Jell-o are all about.
Until next time we are T&BnaRV On the Road Again Caching Places That We’ve Never Been