Day 12: Chocks Away (Tucson, AZ -> Phoenix, AZ)

So, we’re in Arizona and almost at the end of our mile crunching to get to Las Vegas. Having stayed overnight in Tucson, the plan was to head for Kingman for this evening. The plan didn’t work out.

    

(Cacti, with Dana for scale)

    

We discovered that Tucson was home to the famous ‘Boneyard’ of the USAF. 309th Aerospace Maintenance and Regeneration Group, to give it its proper title. Although we had a long days riding ahead, we decided to pay a quick visit. This was the issue. With thousands of aircraft, there is no such thing as a ‘quick visit’ to this place. 

   

(Some of the other bikes at the base car park)

   

The location is home to two bits. 1st, the Pima Air and Space Museum which houses 150 aircraft and space exhibits. 2nd, the USAF base itself which is off limits except for tours run by the museum (which aren’t run on weekends sadly).

So we took a look round the museum and my there was a lot of stuff. I apologise in advance for what is going to be a very picture heavy blog post!

  

(The single best aircraft moniker I’ve ever seen)

  

(A10II Thunderbolt, otherwise known as the ‘Warthog’. Brrrrrrrrt.)

   

(Some of the museum’s collection)

   

(Former ‘Blue Angels’ Display Team Aircraft)

    

(This plane served as Air Force One during the Kennedy era)

    

(One of the many behemoths)

   

(The unmistakeable; B52)

   

(A more modern Mig variant, seized by USA)

     

(An older Mig, again seized by the USA from the soviets)

   

(A B17 bomber, WWII era)

   

(The infamous, H1U1 Huey)

  

(A soviet Hind helicopter gunship)

   

(Sikorsky search/rescue helicopter. Massive!)

    

With the museum tour complete, we headed for the main USAF Boneyard. Sadly, public aren’t allowed in on weekends so the perimeter fence is as close as we could get. But still, what a view..

    

  

With plane spotting complete, we rode on and realised that because we’d spent hours looking at aircraft, there was no way we’d make it to Kingman tonight. As such, we set our sights on Phoenix instead which was about 2 hours closer.

The ride took us westward and we stopped to watch the sun set across the Arizona desert before continuing in the dark. What a view it was..

    

When we arrived in Phoenix we located the nearest bar and had a few (too many) and staggered to our rooms as tomorrow we ride early as we finally will reach… 

… Las Vegas
   

-Alex 

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