Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Walnut Canyon National Monument

The next day after my Verde Canyon Railroad ride, I traveled to Flagstaff for a few days. I camped at a great little campground called Black Bart RV Park. They even have a Steak House there that has a dinner show ( I did not attend).

Located about 7 miles from my camp was the little-known Walnut Canyon National Monument.

I spent several hours there thinking back to what it must have been like to live in this primitive location. They did have a great view of the deep canyon just a few steps from their front door. Their source of water was from a small river at the bottom. From the Visitors Center, there are 177 steps down to the ruins that are about half way down the canyon walls.

Looking across the canyon, you can see one of the places where the Indians lived around 1100 AD to 1250 AD. They do not know how many lived here but I would guess no more than 100 at any one time.

A closer view

Closer still.

Those same 177 steps now have to be climbed up. That would not be so bad but remember this is place is over 7,000 feet in elevation. (double click on pic. below to see stairs)

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Verde Canyon Railroad

IF YOU EVER want to experience the thrill of riding on a train with the option of using an open-air car to observe baled eagles flying overhead, while riding so close to red, sandstone cliffs that you can reach out a touch them, then you will certainly enjoy the Verde Canyon Railroad that is located in Clarkdale, AZ.

Once the train leaves the station for its 4-hour, 40 mile round-trip journey, most of the riders leave the comfortable climate controlled coaches and walk out onto the open-air car where we had a great view of things.

I know that is making quite a statement, but it really was. In my opinion, better than the Durango to Silverton train ride. We traveled along the base of the cliffs just above the tops of cottonwood trees that carpet the floor of the canyon along the river.

We saw eagles flying overhead and what looked like their nests on the jagged sandstone cliffs. Each open-air car had an attendant to point out such things as eagles nests and other points of interest.

We went through one 600-foot tunnel

This is what it looked like when we exited the tunnel.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Pima Air & Space Museum

While in Tucson, I just had to visit the Pima Air & Space Museum. They have a very extensive collection of mostly combat planes that I have ever seen. They have one of the very few remaining F-14s that are left. They had just about everything from the Wright Flyer:

To the SR-71 Blackbird

I took the tram ride that took over an hour to listen to them talk about all the planes they had outdoors. Somehow, I was fascinated by the B-36. I can remember seeing one fly over the house where I grew up after WW II. It has a very distinctive sound. I walked around it and took pictures from every angle.

Probably the smallest flyable plane is the Bumble Bee.

They have a whole hanger dedicated to a B-17 bomber wing. You could find out just about anything you ever wanted to know about the B-17 there.

They have a B-24 Liberator.

And a B-29.

They all looked like you could fire them up and fly away in them.