Thursday, October 31, 2013

Titan II Missile Tour

Amado, AZ  High 68  Low 39

First of all, I need to apologize because I am so far behind in reading blogs and I know there is no way I will be able to catch up. I guess what that boils down to is: I either have time to read blogs or I have time to party. So guess which one is winning now.

Tuesday afternoon Jim and I went up to Green Valley to the Titan II Museum. We had reservations to take a tour with former Titan crew members, Bob and Steve.


This silo was staffed 24 hours a day, seven days a week from 1963 to 1987 with four crew members. These people were responsible for pushing the button to launch the Titan II nuclear missile IF any country attacked the United States with a nuclear missile.

So many cables:



You watch a movie before you begin the tour and it appears in the movie that these four crew members are busy the entire 24 hours, however, Bob told us that the job was really, really boring. He, himself, never believed that the USA would be attacked. They played a lot of cards.


Only tall people needed to wear hard hats down this corridor. That wouldn’t be me.


The crew members were told they had a 30 day supply of food and air in case of attack. So I guess their choices were to die of starvation or go outside and die a nuclear death because 30 days sure wouldn’t be long enough to clear the air.

Bob then took us into the command center and explained the sequence of events that would take place before the launch button was actually pushed.


Bob gave a great presentation but he talked very rapidly and in some cases, very technically so I didn’t understand some of it.


After we left the command center we got to see the actual Titan Missile.


A few facts:

P1070315This is the “safe” that contained the codes that would authorize the launch of the missile. The keys and codes were all given to different people and also required several phone confirmations.

The Titan II was the largest Intercontinental Ballistic Missile ICBM). Atop the missile sat the massive Mark 6 warhead. It measured 110 feet in length and 10 feet in diameter.

The Titan II was capable of launching from its underground silo in 58 seconds and could deliver a nine megaton thermonuclear warhead to its target more than 5,500 miles away in less than thirty minutes.


Titan II carried the largest single warhead of any American ICBM and consisted of a two stage, rock engine powered vehicle and a Re-entry vehicle (RV).

For more than two decades, 54 Titan II missile complexes across the United States stood "on alert" 24 hours a day, seven days a week, heightening the threat of nuclear war or preventing Armageddon, depending upon your point of view.

Radio Antenna – there were several of these for communication purposes.

P1070325Bob made a statement that when he was stationed here security was good but not great. Then something happened and things changed. After the tour I asked him about what happened. Seems a guy came to the Commander and told him that he could break into the command center. The Commander asked him to prove it.

So one night he and the commander climbed over this fence.



P1070300He was then able to pry open the elevator doors (they weren’t locked at that time) and they repelled down the elevator shaft. Walked right into the command center and surprised four crew members. Things changed after that. One of the procedures implemented (besides the lock on the elevator doors) was a four phone call system and a few more locked doors.

The above ground part of the tour is on your own. I didn’t know what this thing was so asked the guy who was keeping an eye on things. This is the decoy stage of the rocket. Anything to confuse the enemy.


Other parts of the missile.



These are tipsies (AN/TPS) which is a radar surveillance system or motion sensors and were placed around sensitive areas of the complex to alert the crew to the presence of intruders. During their 25 year history, intruders were never a serious problem.


We both really enjoyed this tour. It’s always interesting to learn more about the history of the times we grew up in.

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Rally On

Amado, AZ  High 72  Low 48

We left AJ at 8:00 a.m. Tuesday morning heading south to Amado. Monday the winds were horrendous in some places but not too bad down in the Valley. Tuesday looked really good weather wise. We prefer not to drive through traffic so we drove down to Florence and then down to Picacho Peak before we get on I-10 through Tucson. We did have a head wind through Tucson but it wasn’t too bad.

Got to De Anza RV Park in Amado about 11:00. Jan and Bill, John and Karen and Sherry and Dave were already set up so they brought their chairs down to watch Jim do a blind side back-in. Of course, he had no problem but it has been so long since we’ve done that type of back-in that I couldn’t remember where to stand to direct him. He finally got me straightened out and we did just fine.

Borrowed these pictures from Jan’s blog.


Got a call from Ginny wanting to make sure we were okay. There had been a 19 vehicle pile up near Picacho Peak in a dust storm which left three people dead. Those dust storms are incredible dangerous.

Tuesday afternoon, Jim and I went on the Title Missile Tour. That will be a separate post. Got back in time for Happy Hour and then they served us a lasagna dinner. Look at the size of those servings. Needless to say, we brought enough home for at least another meal.


They showed the moved The Long, Long Trailer after dinner but we were tired and came home. We have seen the movie and it is funny.

Friday, October 25, 2013

I’ve Got Nuthin’

Apache Junction, AZ  High 88 Low 55

To blog about that is. The week has been pretty quiet.

We did get to have dinner with Jan and Bill and it sure was good to see them again. We will be seeing them again at our Rally next week.

We also visited with Aunt Happy. She didn’t have her hearing aids in so it was a real struggle to talk to her. Even with the hearing aids in she can’t hear very good. She has given up playing Bingo because she can’t hear the numbers, but she still plays the ponies. They have some kind of horse races where I think they roll dice to make the horses move. She was real excited about winning the last race because that has the BIG pot. I asked her how much she had won and she told us it was $6.00. Just cracks me up.

Got the girl’s nails clipped. Had lunch with Dianna. Did laundry. Guess that’s about it.

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Week Rewind

Apache Junction, AZ  High 84  Low 62 (Perfect)

I am overwhelmed by the response to my last post. I know many of you have faced or are facing those same feelings. My prayers and thoughts are with all of you.

For really doing nothing we sure have been busy. Let’s see if I can get caught up with myself.

We checked on my sister’s park model and were overjoyed to find there were no signs of termites this year. We played cribbage with friends here in the park. We went to visit Aunt Happy again and took her to get a flu shot at Walgreens.

Taking a 100 year old person to Walgreens is quite an experience. First of all, we have a 4x4 truck that she has to get into. We had been using a little red stool to help her in but Jan and Bill had bought us a bigger, little bit higher white stool that I love. We took that one and when Happy came out to the truck she noticed right off the bat that we had a different stool and found this one much easier to use.

We took her to Walgreens and I always enjoy the reactions of people when they find out she is 100. I filled out the paperwork for her which she really appreciated and we got her shot taken care of. It had been a long while since she had gotten out and wanted to wander around the store. She moves very slowly now with her walker so we just let her lead the way. She did have some yogurt covered pretzels that just jumped into her basket. She was wore out when we got done at the store so we took her home to take a nap.

Jim hasn’t been able to go fishing because the lake he fishes is located in a National Forest, which of course was shut down for a long, long time. So what does a fisherperson do when they can’t fish, they take apart the boat motor.


Something is wrong with this part. I think it has something to do with the starter.


He also fixed one of our favorite meals – chicken wings on the grill with steamed veggies.


We also celebrated Marv’s birthday here in the park and probably 40 people showed up. I forgot the camera but we had a fantastic feed.

We saw Jim’s dermatologist on Thursday and had good news from her – no more big serious skin cancer issues. We still have his internist and his heart doctor to see and then hopefully we’re done for awhile.

Have a great week and for all of you on the road, I hope your weather cooperates and you have a safe journey.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Fear, Anxiety, Worry, Amazement, Relief, Joy

Apache Junction, AZ  High 85  Low 59

I don’t really remember having much fear or anxiety as a child. That was a time of innocence.  During the teen years I had the normal anxieties of passing tests in school or wondering if I would ever get asked to the Prom.

Then I started to work and I actually only had a few moments of anxiety on job interviews because I didn’t change jobs very often. Now job performance reviews were something else.

Also had more than my share of anxiety wondering if I’d ever find the right guy. Took me a long time to find him but I got me a keeper. Well worth the anxiety.

Then we had a son. Fear, anxiety, and worry became my constant companions. Along with an incredible and amazing love that I had never understood before. Guess I’m going to have those around until I leave this ole earth.

Now we face the fears and worries of old age along with medical problems. Jim had his PET scan on Friday and the anxiety and lack of sleep builds to a crescendo until you finally see the oncologist. As you sit in the waiting room, you see all those around you who are fighting this terrible disease – some with strength and laughter, others struggling with their fears.

You are lead into the room to wait for the doctor and try to distract yourself with a book or by playing a game on your phone. Then the doctor walks in, pulls up your test results on his computer, and, in our case, grab hold of each other in joy.

Jim is still cancer free. The relief that washes over you is incredible. Tonight we will be able to sleep again.

Friday, October 11, 2013

Just Living

Apache Junction, AZ  High 75   Low 49

Okay, once again I wasn’t real clear in my last post. We are in our spot here in AJ, but we’re only here for about two weeks. Then we’re going down to Amado for a Rally. We’ll come back to our spot and Jim is going hunting in NM with his son in November. We’ll stay put til after the holidays and then we’ll be in Quartzsite and Yuma.

After that we’ll come back to our spot and then I’ll figure out where we’re going next and when. We don’t usually sit more than a couple of months before I cannot stand the hitch itch any longer. That’s one of the reasons I like having a spot where we can come and go whenever we want to. If medical issues come up we always have a place to go.

We went to see Aunt Happy. She felt bad because she hadn’t put her eyebrows and foundation on when I took her picture, but when I showed it to her she said it was not bad. She still has some pains from falling but feels pretty good. She’s really glad we’re back and told Jim that she would have a list of things for him to fix the next time we go to visit.

Barbara – I can’t believe I forgot to put her picture in. Thanks for letting me know.


Because we are doing just normal things involved with living, I won’t be blogging as much. I really enjoy those blogs of folks who have such a talent for writing but I’m definitely not one of them.

We had several things quit working on our journey back to AZ this year. Our oven, one propane tank, the generator, the toilet, the door to the microwave.

Jim got into the oven and figured out that a pipe had broken where this piece was supposed to fit.



He went to Ace Hardware and for $6 was able to get everything he needed to fix the oven. I am so grateful I am married to such a talented guy.

After finishing up with the oven he replaced the seal in the toilet so it holds water now. Hard water really does a number on those seals.

Jim had his PET scan today and we see the oncologist next week. I’ve been cleaning house. Boy did it need it. I’m also going through all the cupboards and drawers and getting rid of stuff. I  cannot believe how much stuff I can accumulate in such a small space.

We had a lot of wind and dust a couple of days ago and we just stayed inside with everything shut tight.

Last night we met up with Dianna and Bobbie for dinner. Good to see them again. No pictures because Dianna just won’t cooperate.

And that’s life at our house. Love this picture of Skitz.


Scooter always wants to be covered up and she doesn’t twist her nose when she gets a treat.


Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Back in AJ

Apache Junction, AZ  High 94  Low 65

We left Las Vegas Monday morning and drove 230 miles which is a long day for us. However, that only left us with 100 miles back to our spot.

We spent last night in Wickenburg at Constellation Park. It’s a city or county park with 31 boondocking sites for $5 a night. It’s a wonderful campground and overlooks Wickenburg so you have gorgeous views.


We were the only ones there and the police patrol the area. Very safe, quiet and beautiful. The sites are huge.



And look at this sunset to welcome us back to AZ. Every picture we took was incredible and I made Jim narrow it down to these two.



We arrived back at our spot about 11:30 and spent the rest of the afternoon visiting and doing nothing. It was wonderful. Going to see Aunt Happy in the morning.

Sunday, October 6, 2013


Las Vegas, NV  High 84   Low 52

That’s what we’ve been doing the last couple of days. Recuperating from all the exploring we’ve been doing this week.

We leave tomorrow and our plans are to stop in Wickenburg and then into AJ on Tuesday. It’ll be good to see everybody at the park again.

Got a call today from The Springs which is where Aunt Happy lives. She had fallen during the night and they took her to the ER. I don’t have any POA so they couldn’t tell me much at the hospital but when I asked the nurse if we should hurry back, she chuckled and said no, we didn’t need to to that.

I called her niece, Bonnie, who lives in Missoula, MT, to let her know. She has POA so she called the hospital and then called me back. Happy is doing fine. Sore and they are going to keep her for observation over night because she insisted upon that. She must have really good bones because she didn’t break anything and there are no fractures.

Today we’re watching football and putting stuff away so we can head out in the morning.

Saturday, October 5, 2013

We Became TV Network Executives

Las Vegas, NV  High 72  Low 58

We had a cold front come through yesterday and last night with lots of 45 mph wind gusts. It’s still breezy today and definitely much cooler.

We didn’t really become Network Executives but we sure did have a fun time.


We headed out to the MGM Grand because I had read about this experience somewhere and thought it would be fun and it was free.

I took the following information from their website.

Ever thought you could do the job of a network executive, deciding which shows are put on the air and which ones end up in the waste bin? Network jobs are hard to come by, but you can weigh in on the decision-making process by letting your opinions be known at the CBS Television City Research Center at MGM Grand.

Participation is quite effortless. Viewers can pick up tickets in front of the research center. They then register at the counter in front of the center and line up about 10 minutes before their scheduled time.

Five minutes before the screening begins, viewers are led into one of four studios to watch the latest offerings from CBS, MTV, Nickelodeon and other Viacom networks. Viewers then are instructed on how to use the test pads and monitors to register their opinions, and settle into the viewing process.

The show's length will determine the time of the testing process. A survey following the program lasts about 15 minutes, so viewers should expect an hour for an hour-long show.  And since everything is done through touch screen, you won't have to worry about your hand cramping up from writing. 

When we got there, we were the only two people in the screening. We got to rate the show Arrow which is on the CW network. Neither of us had ever seen the show before. Found out it was based on a comic book character and we both ended up liking the show. May have to check it out at home.

I totally forgot to take any pictures, but this was really a great way to spend an hour and half. However, it did take us about an hour to find the place – the MGM is HUGE. Then when we went to find our truck in the parking garage, neither of us could remember for sure where it was parked. We eventually found it and headed home to take care of the girls.

Speaking of the girls – Skittlez has this way of twisting her nose when you offer her a treat. We have been trying to capture that twist in a picture and it’s really not easy. But I think this one shows it quite well. Jim is sharing his shredded wheat with them. They love it.


Friday, October 4, 2013

The Most Photographed Sculpture in Las Vegas and Shelby Museum

Las Vegas, NV  High 83  Low 59

I think Jim is having way too much fun. This sculpture is at the Riviera Casino on the strip.


Saw these vehicles when we were out looking for the brain building.


They were also at the Mob Museum when we were there. That’s when we found out they are a tour scooter.


The Shelby Car Museum


I went with Jim to this museum mainly because it’s free. I’m sure glad I did because the stories behind the cars were fascinating.

The Series 1 is the only car ever produced by Carroll Shelby from a clean sheet of paper, and built from the ground up. All other Shelbys are re-engineered models produced by other manufacturers and modified by Shelby.


I admit some of the things the tour guide told us was way too technical for me, but Jim knew what he was talking about.



P1070232The 1962 Cobra – the first one built by Carroll Shelby. It has all it’s original parts but it has been painted several times. Shelby only had this one car but several different magazines wanted to interview him about the car. So he would do one interview, take the car back to the shop and have it repainted, and do the next interview. It gave investors and others the impression that he had several of these cars ready to go.

P1070235The story behind the G.T.350-Shelby and Ford reps were having difficult time coming to agreement on some of the specs of the car. Shelby and another guy took a break outside and Shelby asked him how far it was between the two buildings. The guy told him it was 350 feet. That was how the G.T. 350 was named – it had nothing to do with the engine.

Anybody want a Shelby golf cart?


If you want a Shelby, it can take up to two years from the time you place your order to receive the car.

The tour also took everybody out to where they manufacture the cars but no pictures were allowed. The tour lasted about an hour and we both enjoyed our time.

We met our good friends Peter and Steve for dinner and had a wonderful visit with them. However, we also learned that Peter has cancer and will begin chemo shortly. He has a wonderful attitude and is ready to get it over with. I’ve known Steve since 1969 when we met at a business college. He is a special education teacher and the kids just love him. It was so good to see them again.