09.01.2011 - 14.01.2011 74 °F
We've been busy this week. Sunday, we went to the Titon II ICBM missle museum. This is one very cool museum, one you will not want to miss. We learned many things while on the tour and in the musem. The US had at one time 54 ICBM missles in underground silos here in the US all with 9 megaton warheads, and they were just waiting to be launched. During the Regan era, all these and the Russian ICBMs were scrapped. There were only 2, 1 in the US and 1 in the USSR, that were spared. But these 2 had to have their nuclear capabilities removed and the engines and power systems unpowered. They are meant as a place one can tour and learn of the awsome, ugly realty of the possible annihilation of mankind. The tour is factual and very interesting. I took as many pictures as I wanted of the silo. the missle, the command center, etc. This was a very excellent and meaningful experience.
Monday, was the laundry and get things done day, (and rest day).......
Tuesday, we went to the Arizona Sonoran Living Museum. This was another wonderful day trip. It is located just a few miles from our RV site and although we have visited it before, it was and is my fovorite excursion thus far on our snowbirding trip. We saw and photographed a fantastic raptor exhibition. 4 or 5 raptors were released and flew about landing nearby on different natural spots. The ranger told all about each specie. This part was worth the entire entree fee alone. But there was more. All the animals native to the Sonoran desert were here and exhibited in their natural surroundings. I'll try and post a few...... We went to a poisonous reptile demonstration where we saw and learned about the Gila Monster and the Western Diamondback Rattler. We were in the front row and I could take as many pictures as I wanted. This museum is built on a slight incline and you can look out for miles and miles of beautiful desert. We were very happy with the day and all we learned.
Wednesday, was our trip to the Kartchner caverns. These are the most recent caves (opened 1999) found, preserved and opened to the public. Although not as grand and large as Carlsbad caverns, this cave is the most unblemished of any cave anywhere. They have taken enormous measures to save this cave exactly as it was when it was found. Of course, they had to make it so people could safely enter and see it. But they were very, very careful. We could not take ANYTHING into the cave....cameras, purses, food, water,...... When you enter, you go through 2 refrigerator doors so no desert air, etc would enter. We had to go under a mist system to keep any lint from getting loose in the cave. There was a rail you could hold on to, but you could not touch anything else. The stalachtities and stalagmites were outstanding! There was one 60+ foot combination stalachtite/stalagmite formation, the largest in AZ, that was outstanding.
Thursday, yesterday, we stayed around our park mainly. I worked on the trailer a bit. One of the things I did was to install an indoor/outdoor thermometer. The outside sensor is now located beneath the trailer so as to record the temp w/o having the sun shine on it. Today's high was 78.4 degrees. I also went on a short bike ride through the neighboring countryside. Seems like we keep going places, while the rest on the snowbirds spend more time at the park doing the park's activities. There are so many things to do here each day. But we haven't done any of them yet except some of the night's programs. They had a great jazz group here last week, a bluegrass group this week, as well as a very interesting slide show and lecture by a visiting BC professor about octopusses (no, we have found none here). There are craft classes, photo club, hiking club, mtn bike club, bingo night, game night, and tonite a barborshop quartette.
And today, Friday, we went to the Kitt Peak National observatory. Kitt Peak is just down the road from our park and we were able to get there in about 45 minutes. At an elevation of 6800+ ft, it was cool there and still had snow on the ground in places. There are now 23 different astronomical observatories on this mountain peak. It was located here so that it would be away from city lights. It is also the only National observatory. That means anyone with a justifiable reason for using these scopes can schedule time to use them. We toured the 4 meter telescope. The docent was extremely knowledgeable and made the tour informative and fun. We also were able to see the largest solar telescope in the world. We were even able to observe the chromosphere around the sun through a smaller scope. All in all, a very good day with lots learned. In fact, it was a very worthwhile week. Tomorrow, Patagonia lake.