Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Texas Trip - Day two

It's day two and I'm not in a VW. Apologies, but the Sprinter is faster, and much more luxurious - which satisifies the sensibilities of my fellow travellers.

We leave Phoenix and head straight to Tuscon. We left at a reasonable hour, and todays leg to El Paso is somewhat short, so we decide to stop at David-Monthan Air Force Base, home of the Aircraft Boneyard. It's located here and is best seen using satellite view.

Short Description: Metal weakens (as we know) and plane metal weakens faster under stresses. These planes go through lots of stress, so when they reach the end of their serviceable life, they bring them here, prep them for storage, and then either use them for parts, or make unmanned drones that the navy practices shooting with lasers and other items.

You begin by getting on to a bus that takes you on a military base. After a proper ID check, we are driven around the base with acres and acres of this:

and this

The white stuff covering them is a paint/protectant that can be peeled off. It both protects the cockpits from sun damage, and keeps the kangaroo rats from entering the plane.

There is a lot of cold war history here, along with tons of damn cool planes. I have a particular fondness for military humor.

All the pics of the yard and the museum are here in a set.

We continue down the road and start seeing the signs for the infamous "thing". "What is it?" Sopt and see the "Thing!" Its an infamous tourist trap, but when you are in the middle of nowhere, you have to ask yourself, why not? An likely, you need to fill up anyway.

We pull over, and pay the dollar.
Spoiler alerts ahead!

-There are three quonset huts filled with... stuff? I have no idea where he collected this junk, but part of what is inside is a bunch of paper mache' models of torture techniques. Some strange cars. A limo that claims that Hitler once rode it it.

And then of course, there is the Thing, which they tried really hard to put under glass that was difficult to take pictures, but my beat up Canon has modes. :)

The thing is nothing more than a dessicated corpse. According the the interwebs, she, was found a while ago had been on display for years as an indian woman. I suspect that there are worse places to have your body resting (just ask Elmer McCurdy).

We got our one dollars worth of curiosity satisfied, and went on our merry.

El Paso was.... El Paso. I have political thoughts about that town, but I'll save them for the campfire. It was a curious place.

Cheap hotel, poor sleep. We were happy to leave the next morning, even if it did mean driving through West Texas.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Texas via Non-VW road trip.

It's December 10. A Tuesday morning, and I am loading myself and the wine and the rest of the gear into the Sprinter. It's not a Bus, its loaded with power, luxury, equipment, and all the items that I normally don't need or use on a road trip. I'm not the only one going.

There's a family wedding outside of San Antonio, and we have been tasked with providing the wine. Shipping is expensive.

I'm traveling with two in-laws, they have done road trips before, but not this kind of distance or time constraint, and not with me. The invite was appreciated and was a welcome end to a rough year.

We drove this vehicle.

6 AM and we are headed out the door. Down I5. Pasadena, San Bernadino, Palm Springs.

I am suspiciously not taking that many pictures this time. There isn't much to take pictures of... It's dry, high dessert, and our plan today is to cover distance.

Road signs are teasing us of the places that we aren't visiting.

Blythe. I am confident that the alien superrace that secretly controls our minds lives in Blythe. They will never be discovered there, as no one ever visits.

We are treated to a spectacular sunset.

Phoenix. We arrive at an almost reasonable hour, around 8:00pm.

We have a well-deserved dinner here. For anyone in Phoenix who has the pleasure of eating there, I have serious food envy, and I live in a food capital. Seriously, I would I driven there just for dinner.

We wake up early the next morning and head to the Boneyard. Up Next

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Travel, chili, and yet more travel.

I've been absent. For most of you who follow me (thanks to both of you!) I've been working at a new company that has me on the road. Often.

So I have all sorts of stories and pictures to share. One is about the roadtrip I took in a massive Sprinter of luxurious luxury, and another about a trip to the Wolfsburg VW museum. And a Dutch VW repair shop.

I'll start with our annual January campout.

The Anti-superbowl campout was always poorly named. It's not as if we are anti- anything, including the Superbowl. It's a timely name, one that describes the weekend that it is held. But it isn't accurate.

We found a new name: The Chili bowl. It's often chilly there, and we make chili annually. Perfect name.

This Campout has traditionally been a mix of Motorcycles and VW's. Ask Joe about it. so Chris showed up on this:

And as usual, we find ways of keeping ourselves warm.

I suspiciously have not taken as many pictures on this trip. It is possible that I was being social after being a troglodyte for a while. So let me make this easy for you. Click here.

Enjoy the road.

Introducing, The Squirrel

I have another VW. I know it's a sickness. I'm cutting and pasting the post that I put on the samba: The Back story: My grandpare...