Monday, April 29, 2013

Time to go...

 Tucson, AZ

Our patio view every night!
Our time here in Tucson is coming to an end. Tomorrow is travel day. Destination...The Grand Canyon. Thanks Merikay from Merikay's Dream for all the great post about the Canyon. We have never been!

It's for sure our pups will really miss Lazydays. They love the doggie park here. They take us there every morning and insist we play ball!

This past week, Jack has been up extra early to enjoy the park before it gets really hot!  We think he's cute and we know he is way smart! He and Wrecks both love to drink lots of water.

Sally has no trouble at all finding a shady place to guard the gate. She has become the official welcoming committee of one! 
After a job well done, the water bowl calls her name so she "mozies" on over for a sip before reclaiming her spot in the shade.

Dover is always busy! From the beginning of our stay, she began burying her toys! Everyday when we called "Time to go!", she found just the right spot...and would dig...

...and dig...and dig...

...and dig. She dropped in her toy. Then she covered...and covered...

...and covered...

...until she was satisfied. Only then, could we go home! The next day, sure nuff...she digs up her toy until time to leave!
This past week, Joe and I crossed something off our bucket list ...a desert sunset. Destination...Gates Pass Road.

 The road through Gates Pass was started in 1883 by Thomas Gates. He wanted a shortcut through the Tucson Mountains. Thomas Gates was a local pioneer, and a saloon keeper. He purchased this land in order to build the road.

Currently, about 3100 cars travel the scenic road daily.

Parking on Gates Pass is limited to several "pull-outs". We chose the spot at the David Yetman hiking trail. Once parked we hiked a short way...didn't want to have too far to get back to the car  after dark.
Isn't the hedgehog bloom pretty in the sun's light? I didn't alter the photo at all. What do you think?

The picture on the right was taken about 30 minutes before sunset.

From that time till sunset, it was just pure beauty! How do you ever pick just a few of these pictures to share? I'm having a really hard time with that!

The oranges and yellows fill the sky as the sun slowly sets!

We have had a great time in the desert.

Thanks for stopping by!
Y'all come back!

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Titan ll Missile Museum - Sahuarita,AZ

The cold war...all I remember is the Cuban Crisis and my mom, along with friends, had food and water in the basement. Today Joe and I toured the preserved Titan ll missile site known as complex 571-7. This is the only remaining site of 54 sites on alert across the United States from 1963 to 1987. 

 Able to launch from its underground silo in just 58 seconds, the Titan ll was capable of delivering a 9-megaton nuclear warhead to targets more than 6300 miles away in about 30 minutes.

    Our one-hour guided tour started at the Access Portal. In the day, from the time you entered the complex, you had 3 minutes to enter the portal...even when rattlesnakes were  cooling on the shaded steps.                               

Using the Access Portal, you will descend 35 feet underground into the hardened missile complex. You walk through the Blastlock Area first.
The complex was built of steel reinforced concrete with walls as much as 8 feet thick in some areas and a number of 3-ton blast doors sealed at various areas from the surface and each other.
  We were led to the control launch room where we experienced a simulated missile launch. Our guide, Jack, did a great job explaining how two people worked together to complete a launch.

Zulu Time...clock still works today!

Next, we walked the Long Cableway to level 2 of the missile silo for a view of the missile in the launch duct.

The silo has 8 levels. It is 146 feet in depth and 55 feet in diameter. Equipment, structures, and mechanisms included retractable work platforms and an elevator for equipment and personnel  which operated between levels 2 and 8.

Outside, there is an exhibit of the rocket engines.

First stage...

...second stage...



...and the nose-cone that carried the rocket through space to it's target.

Also, on display are vehicles and refueling equipment.

To keep the silo intact, the museum had to convince the Soviet Union that is was not still a weapon. When the missile was first returned to the site, it left on the outside for 30 days with holes cut in the fuel tank and nose-cone so that Soviet satellites could confirm it had been gutted. Once in place, the steel-concrete door was permanently sealed in the half-open position with huge blocks preventing it from opening further.


The facility was on alert for 24 years...24 hours a day, 7 days a week!

What was one of America's most top secret places is now a National Historic Landmark with a mission of bringing Cold War history to life.
It was a very interesting day. Hope you have a good week! Thanks for stopping by!

Y'all come back!

Friday, April 26, 2013

Catalina State Park - Birding Trail

Tucson, AZ

 Lunch at Catalina SP was quite nice...a cool breeze was blowing in the shady picnic area. The trees are so pretty. I'm not sure what this tree is, but the blooms  sure had a pleasant fragrance.

From there we headed to the Birding Trail. It is also a 1 mile loop trail that climbs through a partly overgrown area.

The loop region wraps around the junction of two dry washes.

The grasses were a golden color, plentiful and thick...quite different from the rocky, sand on the Nature Trail.

Ladder-backed Woodpecker

Maybe a Loggerhead Shrike?
 We were disappointed in the lack of birds we saw. Maybe mid-day is not the best time to go birding. We did enjoy their songs!


We also walked the Romero Ruin Trail...a 3/4 mile loop.

The trail is an archaeological site of a Hohokum village. This site was inhabited 500 - 1400 AD.

Rail road ties help make the steep climb easier.
What a beautiful view of the Pusch Ridge Wilderness Area.

There are placards placed all along the hike with explanations of the ruins.

One of the main features of the ruins is the remains of a stone wall that surrounded the village. In its day, the wall stood 6 feet tall. 

 Also along the hike are the ruins of a ranch that belonged to Francisco Romero. He built his ranch on the ruins of the Hohokum in the late 1800s. 

There is evidence of five small structures.

The largest saguaro with the most arms we have seen!

We have so enjoyed our desert time!
Home Sweet Home!
Entertainment at lunch!
 Thanks for visiting the Taylors today! Can you believe it is already Friday? The weeks sure go by fast!

If you are traveling this week-end...happy and safe trails! If you are all settled in somewhere, enjoy!

Y'all come back!