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Utah Vacation Saga Post Three – North To Salt Lake City!!!

Sorry for the delay, but I’ve been trying to get all the pics uploaded to save time on the back side for each of the posts to come in the future.  Hopefully I’ll be able to get the rest of the posts up in the next couple of days :)  I’ve also managed to get the pics uploaded to the gallery where I’m still working on getting them all added to the public files – click here for that area :wink:

As you’ve seen from the title, these pics come from my trip north from Price, UT up to Salt Lake City 8)  Please make sure to click on the pictures – especially the panoramas – to see the pictures full size.  I put up the full size pics because they’re the best I can offer even if they do take forever and a day to upload :)  On with the pics :D

The Castle Gate

The Castle Gate

This entire area is known as “Castle Country” and got that name from this place.  Before the road was cut through, it used to look rather like a castle gate :)

Panorama - Just north of Castle Gate and Helper, UT

Panorama - Just north of Castle Gate and Helper, UT

Shortly after going north through the Castle Gate, we found this turnout area and I had Cindy pull over so I could get pictures.

Coal processing facility and the Castle Gate

Coal processing facility and the Castle Gate

Two things you’ll find in abundance in Carbon County, UT are coal and railroads.  This is a processing facility for a nearby coal mine.

Memorial to lost miners near Helper, UT

Memorial to lost miners near Helper, UT

Memorial to lost miners near Helper, UT

Memorial to lost miners near Helper, UT

Mining is a vital but extremely dangerous job.  The people in this area of the country are proud of their hard working miners and you’ll find many memorials to those who’ve lost their lives in the coal mines.

Part of the history of the Helper, UT region

Part of the history of the Helper, UT region

There seem to be as many informational signs and plaques about mining and railroads as there are memorials to miners around Carbon County, UT.

Rock strata in the Castle Gate showing black layers of coal

Rock strata in the Castle Gate showing black layers of coal

Remember how I said there’s lots of coal mines?  Here’s an example of just how much coal there is in the hills.  All those black lines are coal layers in the rock.  This coal is too low of a grade to mine – there’s too much stuff in it that’s not combustible.

Historic site marker showing the site of one of Butch Cassidy's famous robberies

Historic site marker showing the site of one of Butch Cassidy's famous robberies

It’s not just mining and railroads in the history of Carbon County – there’s also tales of outlaws and lawmen.  Cindy’s grandpa told stories of Butch Cassidy stopping by the family farm to trade for supplies and horses when he was young.

Windmills at the north end of the canyon near Spanish Fork, UT

Windmills at the north end of the canyon near Spanish Fork, UT

The trip from Price, UT to Salt Lake City, UT takes you through a high mountain canyon which is usually windy.  These windmills make sense here.

Hill Aerospace Museum timeline of aviation at Hill AFB

Hill Aerospace Museum timeline of aviation at Hill AFB

We got to the Hill Aerospace Museum at Hill AFB about 45 minutes before it closed, but I still got plenty of pictures :D

Hill Aerospace Museum - C-124C Globemaster II - One BIG cargo plane!!!

Hill Aerospace Museum - C-124C Globemaster II - One BIG cargo plane!!!

Talk about a HUGE cargo plane :shock: !!!  This C-124 is the same type of plane that brought the first U-2 Dragon Lady from Palmdale, CA to Area 51 where it was tested.  The U-2 was the first airplane to be tested at Area 51 and was the initial reason for the base at Groom Lake.

Hill Aerospace Museum - F-89H Scorpion - This type of plane had a starring role in the Battle of Palmdale

Hill Aerospace Museum - F-89H Scorpion - This type of plane had a starring role in the Battle of Palmdale

One of the earlier jets in the USAF arsenal was the F-89 Scorpion.  I recognized it and immediately thought of The Battle of Palmdale.

Hill Aerospace Museum - MiG Alley - Images of MiGs and Sabres come to mind!

Hill Aerospace Museum - MiG Alley - Images of MiGs and Sabres come to mind!

Scholars of the Korean War will know exactly what MiG Alley was.  For the rest of my readers, I’ll just tell you that it was a stretch of North Korea near MiG bases in China where aerial combat between F-86 Sabre Jets and MiG-15s was frequent.

Hill Aerospace Museum - F-102 Delta Dagger

Hill Aerospace Museum - F-102 Delta Dagger

The F-102 Delta Dagger was an Air Force interceptor during the Cold War with the mission of downing Soviet bombers over the U.S.

Hill Aerospace Museum - F-101 Voodoo - One fast jet for its time :)

Hill Aerospace Museum - F-101 Voodoo - One fast jet for its time :)

Another interceptor from the Cold War was the F-101 Voodoo.  I’ve met quite a few men who flew these jets and they all speak well of it.  Speed and a high rate of climb were a couple of its strengths.

Hill Aerospace Museum - MiG-1y - NATO codename Fresco

Hill Aerospace Museum - MiG-1y - NATO codename Fresco

Used by countries around the world, the MiG-17 Fresco was similar to the MiG-15, but was equipped with an afterburner.  Bill Reesman is a Vietnam Veteran who once trained to fight against MiGs but now flies a MiG-17 painted in the colors of Red Bull.

Hill Aerospace Museum - MiG-21 - NATO codename Fishbed

Hill Aerospace Museum - MiG-21 - NATO codename Fishbed

Still serving as a front line fighter in some countries’ air forces, the MiG-21 was the most advanced fighter in the North Vietnamese Air Force during the Vietnam War.  A worthy adversary for the U.S. fighters of that era, the MiG-21 also saw action against Israeli forces during the Six Day War.  Shortly after the Six Day War, an Iraqi pilot defected to Israel with his MiG-21 which was made available to the U.S. for testing and evaluation later on.  You can read about the U.S. Air Force’s exploitation of that foreign technology asset over at TD Barnes’ Area 51 Special Projects website :)  There are now several MiG-21s in private hands here in the U.S. where they’re flown as private aircraft.

Hill Aerospace Museum - Inertial Measurement Unit from a Peacekeeper ICBM

Hill Aerospace Museum - Inertial Measurement Unit from a Peacekeeper ICBM

You don’t often find a part of a Peacekeeper ICBM’s guidance system on display at most aviation museums.

Hill Aerospace Museum - The only SR-71C ever built

Hill Aerospace Museum - The only SR-71C ever built

Hill Aerospace Museum - Inlet and wing of the SR-71C

Hill Aerospace Museum - Inlet and wing of the SR-71C

Hill Aerospace Museum - Vertical and ventral fins on the SR-71C

Hill Aerospace Museum - Vertical and ventral fins on the SR-71C

Hill Aerospace Museum - Tail end of the SR-71C

Hill Aerospace Museum - Tail end of the SR-71C

Hill Aerospace Museum - Information about the SR-71C

Hill Aerospace Museum - Information about the SR-71C

Hill Aerospace Museum - Main landing gear tire from a Blackbird

Hill Aerospace Museum - Main landing gear tire from a Blackbird

Any Blackbird is a rare bird, but this one’s the rarest of them all and it’s one of the main reasons I wanted to make this trip.  The only SR-71C was built from unlikely parts.  The back half of the aircraft came from a YF-12A interceptor version of the Blackbird and the front end was originally an engineering mock-up.  Can you spot the differences between this SR-71C and most of the SR-71 Blackbirds out there?

Hill Aerospace Museum - F-111 Aardvark

Hill Aerospace Museum - F-111 Aardvark

Hill Aerospace Museum - Nose art on the F-111 Aardvark

Hill Aerospace Museum - Nose art on the F-111 Aardvark

Still in service with the Royal Australian Air Force, the F-111 was made to go very fast at very low altitude to avoid detection by enemy air defenses so it could hit its targets and hit them hard.  F-111s made history with a very long range raid flown from Great Britain where they bombed Libya in 1986’s Operation El Dorado Canyon.

Hill Aerospace Museum - F-4 Phantom

Hill Aerospace Museum - F-4 Phantom

One of the most famous Air Force and Navy fighters during the Vietnam War was the Phabulous F-4 Phantom.  This one’s painted in the Southeast Asia camouflage paint scheme normally used during that era.

Hill Aerospace Museum - F-105 Thunderchief

Hill Aerospace Museum - F-105 Thunderchief

Another star of the Vietnam War was the F-105 Thunderchief.  Also known as the Thud, the F-105 was supposed to carry a nuclear bomb, but also made a great conventional bomber.  Thuds did get some air to air kills over Vietnam and some were made with its 20mm cannon 8)

Hill Aerospace Museum - F-106 Delta Dart

Hill Aerospace Museum - F-106 Delta Dart

The F-106 Delta Dart was another delta wing interceptor from the Cold War.  The plan was to get close enough to a Soviet bomber formation to launch its air to air rockets with their nuclear warheads before turning tail and running away from the blast.

Hill Aerospace Museum - AQM-34L Firebee target drone

Hill Aerospace Museum - AQM-34L Firebee target drone

Cindy seemed to like this one for some reason :P  The Firebee is a drone which was designed to give fighters a good target to train against.

Hill Aerospace Museum - F-100 Super Saber AKA Hun

Hill Aerospace Museum - F-100 Super Saber AKA Hun

Another Vietnam veteran in the museum was this F-100 Super Sabre.

Hill Aerospace Museum - GAU-8 Avenger cannon from an A-10 Warthog

Hill Aerospace Museum - GAU-8 Avenger cannon from an A-10 Warthog

You don’t usually see this weapon outside of the aircraft that was designed around it, so enjoy it when you can :)  The A-10 Thunderbolt II is also known as the Warthog, but it’s known for this gun.  Firing several thousand armor piercing 30mm depleted uranium slugs every minute, this gun could stop the aircraft with its recoil if fired for too long and the rounds can penetrate the front armor of any tank.

Hill Aerospace Museum - F-4 Phantom undergoing work

Hill Aerospace Museum - F-4 Phantom undergoing work

Hill Aerospace Museum - F-4 Phantom undergoing work

Hill Aerospace Museum - F-4 Phantom undergoing work

The Hill Aerospace Museum does quite a bit of restoration work.  This F-4 Phantom is getting some TLC for later display.

Hill Aerospace Museum - TH-13C Sioux helicopter - As seen on M*A*S*H

Hill Aerospace Museum - TH-13C Sioux helicopter - As seen on M*A*S*H

I can’t help but think of Alan Alda and the rest of the cast of MASH when I see this helicopter :wink:

Hill Aerospace Museum - F-86L Sabre Dog

Hill Aerospace Museum - F-86L Sabre Dog

A later version of the F-86 Sabre Jet was this F-86L Sabre Dog.  It got the Dog name from the big black radome on its nose.

Hill Aerospace Museum - Restored P-38 Lightning recovered from a crash site in Alaska

Hill Aerospace Museum - Restored P-38 Lightning recovered from a crash site in Alaska

Hill Aerospace Museum - More info on the P-38 Lightning

Hill Aerospace Museum - More info on the P-38 Lightning

Hill Aerospace Museum - More info on the P-38 Lightning

Hill Aerospace Museum - More info on the P-38 Lightning

Hill Aerospace Museum - Original engine from the P-38 Lightning

Hill Aerospace Museum - Original engine from the P-38 Lightning

This P-38 Lightning was recovered from its Alaskan crash site and restored for display.

Hill Aerospace Museum - P-40 Warhawk

Hill Aerospace Museum - P-40 Warhawk

Hill Aerospace Museum - P-40 Warhawk

Hill Aerospace Museum - P-40 Warhawk

I’ve always loved the P-40 Warhawk and especially when it wears the shark’s mouth made famous by the Flying Tigers over China.

Hill Aerospace Museum - L-4J Grasshopper

Hill Aerospace Museum - L-4J Grasshopper

Developed from and very closely related to the Piper Cub, this L-4J Grasshopper was used for artillery spotting and actually served in Italy during WWII.  It was later used by the Civil Air Patrol, but was retired after a flying accident.

Panorama - Hill Aerospace Museum - B-24D Liberator

Panorama - Hill Aerospace Museum - B-24D Liberator

Produced in larger numbers than any other heavy bomber in WWII, the B-24 Liberator was very fast due to its wing design.  There are now only two B-24s flying in the world and very few in museums.  Seeing this one was a real treat!

Hill Aerospace Museum - P-51 Mustang

Hill Aerospace Museum - P-51 Mustang

Often called the greatest fighter in WWII, the P-51 Mustang is one of the most numerous warbirds flown today.  A flying P-51 can be purchased for about $1,000,000 but they’re not for the faint of heart – the torque from that Rolls Royce Merlin engine can make it a very tricky airplane to control during takeoff and landing.

Hill Aerospace Museum - P-47 Thunderbolt - AKA The Jug

Hill Aerospace Museum - P-47 Thunderbolt - AKA The Jug

The P-47 Thunderbolt excelled at ground attack during WWII in the European theater.

Hill Aerospace Museum - B-17 Flying Fortress

Hill Aerospace Museum - B-17 Flying Fortress

I hope everyone recognizes a B-17 when they see one.  Daylight raids by B-17s like this one helped break Nazi Germany.

Hill Aerospace Museum - Curtis JN-4D Jenny

Hill Aerospace Museum - Curtis JN-4D Jenny

The Curtis Jenny was one of the most prolific trainers for the U.S. Army Air Force during WWI.  Surplus Jennies were cheap after the war and helped spark the golden age of barnstorming.

Hill Aerospace Museum - F-86 Sabre

Hill Aerospace Museum - F-86 Sabre

Hill Aerospace Museum - F-86 Sabre

Hill Aerospace Museum - F-86 Sabre

An absolutely gorgeous jet and a true classic, the F-86 Sabre Jet carried six .50 caliber machine guns and had a radar to feed the range to its gun sight which made first round hits much more common.  This jet had a greater than 10:1 kill ratio over the MiG-15 over Korea.

Hill Aerospace Museum - F-80 Shooting Star

Hill Aerospace Museum - F-80 Shooting Star

One of the USAF’s first operational fighter jets was the F-80 Shooting Star.  These jets saw combat over Korea before the F-86 Sabre Jet arrived.

Panorama - Hill Aerospace Museum - Replica of the Wright Flyer

Panorama - Hill Aerospace Museum - Replica of the Wright Flyer

The Wright Flyer was the first airplane to demonstrate controlled, sustained, powered flight.  This is a good replica and very true to my recollection of the original Wright Flyer which is on display at the Smithsonian in Washington, DC.

Hill Aerospace Museum - Burgess-Wright Flyer F Model

Hill Aerospace Museum - Burgess-Wright Flyer F Model

This is a replica of a later Wright airplane.

Hill Aerospace Museum - Statue - Mail From Home

Hill Aerospace Museum - Statue - Mail From Home

Hill Aerospace Museum - Plaque on the statue - Mail From Home

Hill Aerospace Museum - Plaque on the statue - Mail From Home

This was a rather touching poem and statue near the museum.

Hill Aerospace Museum - YA-7 Corsair II AKA S.L.U.F.

Hill Aerospace Museum - YA-7 Corsair II AKA S.L.U.F.

S.L.U.F. stands for Short Little Ugly F**er and wasn’t always said with affection.  Still, the A-7 was a good ground attack aircraft for the U.S. Air Force, Navy, and a few foreign air forces as well.

Hill Aerospace Museum - F-4 Phantom gate guard

Hill Aerospace Museum - F-4 Phantom gate guard

Standing guard at the front gate is this beautiful F-4 Phantom.  The high visibility white and orange paint scheme is often used on aircraft in training squadrons.

Panorama - Hill Aerospace Museum - C-130 Hercules and B-29 Superfortress

Panorama - Hill Aerospace Museum - C-130 Hercules and B-29 Superfortress

Hill Aerospace Museum - B-29 Superfortress

Hill Aerospace Museum - B-29 Superfortress

The C-130 Hercules is an outstanding cargo aircraft which can operate off concrete or unprepared surfaces, but I really wanted pics of the B-29.  The Superfortress is the same type of plane that firebombed Japan and dropped the atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki.  B-29s are rather rare in museums, but even more rare flying.  The Confederate Commemorative Air Force is the owner of the one and only B-29 still flying today.

Panorama - Hill Aerospace Museum - B-47 Stratojet

Panorama - Hill Aerospace Museum - B-47 Stratojet

I’d love to see a B-47 fly, but there are none that I know of in private hands.  Movie buffs will recognize this type of aircraft from the movie Strategic Air Command with Jimmy Stewart.

Hill Aerospace Museum - Bomarc surface to air missiles

Hill Aerospace Museum - Bomarc surface to air missiles

Bomarc missiles guarded the United States and Canada against bomber attack from the Soviet Union during the Cold War.  They were initially boosted by a rocket motor which accelerated the missile to a high enough speed for the Marquardt ramjets to function.  These missiles had a slant range of several hundred miles at speeds of about Mach 2.5 which helped them to get close enough to a bomber formation for its nuclear warhead to take out many of the enemy planes.

Hill Aerospace Museum - Minuteman missile transporter and emplacer

Hill Aerospace Museum - Minuteman missile transporter and emplacer

I initially thought this was a mobile launcher, but it’s actually a vehicle that was made to transport Minuteman missiles to their silos before lowering them into the ground.  Still, it’s pretty cool 8)

Panorama - Brigham Young's houses in Salt Lake City, UT

Panorama - Brigham Young's houses in Salt Lake City, UT

Panorama - Information about the Beehive House - the one on the right

Panorama - Information about the Beehive House - the one on the right

Panorama - Information about the Lion House - the one on the left

Panorama - Information about the Lion House - the one on the left

These houses looked like they were in very good shape, but we were running out of daylight and wanted to get to the Temple so we declined to take the tour.  Maybe next time :)

Panorama - Mormon memorial to the pioneers who settled in the area of Salt Lake City

Panorama - Mormon memorial to the pioneers who settled in the area of Salt Lake City

Panorama - Mormon memorial to the pioneers who settled in the area of Salt Lake City

Panorama - Mormon memorial to the pioneers who settled in the area of Salt Lake City

This memorial to the initial pioneer settlers in Salt Lake City was originally placed in 1897, but looks brand new.

Panorama - The Temple of the Church of Latter Day Saints in Salt Lake City, UT

Panorama - The Temple of the Church of Latter Day Saints in Salt Lake City, UT

The Temple of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints was built only with hand tools, oxen, and simple machines like ropes and pulleys as were all the furnishings inside.  It took 40 years to complete and is a wonderfully beautiful structure.  Only members of the Church of Latter Day Saints are allowed inside the Temple, but the rest of the grounds are open to the public.  The visitors’ center has a large cut-away model of the Temple showing the details inside.

That’s it for tonight, but I’ll be back with more tomorrow :)  I hope y’all enjoyed this part of my trip at least partly as much as I did :wink:

Have a great night :mrgreen:

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14 comments to Utah Vacation Saga Post Three – North To Salt Lake City!!!

  • You got some great pics… and a LOT of ‘em… for only being in the HAM for 45 minutes! I blocked out an entire day for my visit and spent perhaps six hours there.

    About that F-111. It’s done up in 20th Tac Fighter Wing livery and that very aircraft was the “office” of one of the HAM docents. The man (a retired colonel) introduced himself to me as I was looking over the aircraft closely with just those words, i.e., “That used to be my office.” We spent about a half-hour reminiscing about Upper Heyford (home of the 20th TFW and my support base while I was stationed in London), life in England during the ’80s, the Air Force, and on and on. And on. I had quite a few conversations with the docents the day I was there and the HAM is one of the BEST museums the Air Force runs. It ain’t as big as Wright-Pat’s but it’s EVERY bit as interesting and VERY well kept up.

    And about that F-101… I had a close encounter with a Voodoo in the way-back. :D

    Thanks for the pics!

    • Thanks, Buck! We were there for about 45 minutes including the 5 min spent in the restrooms and gift shop :wink: I plan on returning some time when I’ll have much more time to check everything out in much greater detail – it’s an awesome museum 8)

      And I do recall reading about that “bubble check” you experienced a while back :P Reminds me of one of the stories from the Road Runners – One of the Voodoo drivers out at Groom used to do a nearly daily low-level, supersonic, earth-shaking pass over the local house of ill repute :lol: I can only imagine what the customers thought about that :mrgreen:

  • Kath

    Never actually seen coal in the ground before like that.

    Love the pictures from the base — I mean, all of them are good — but I was looking at that SR-71 — HOLY MUD MOSES!!! Over 2,000 mph!! No freakin’ way! I mean, I just cannot even begin to imagine what that could be like. The plane is gorgeous anyway, but to be able to go that speed? WOW! Wonder who was the first test pilot on that? Bet they had a story to tell that day.

    And the airman/soldier with his letter, that’s nice.

    Great pictures, Jeff!!

    • Kath – Yep, that’s how it is up there with the coal seams :)

      The first test pilot in the first version of the Blackbird (the A-12 Oxcart) was Lou Shalk and he had an exciting and very unplanned first flight when he got airborne during a high speed taxi test without the stability augmentation system active :shock: The Blackbirds cruised at 2100 miles per hour (Mach 3.2) and could go even faster. The skin would reach up to 1200 degrees on the leading edges and the cockpit would reach 400 degrees. The pilots didn’t feel that heat due to the space suits they wore. Don’t forget that they weighed about 100,000 pounds and cruised faster than a rifle bullet!

      Glad you liked all the pics 8)

    • And if it wasn’t for the trains on the Utah RR and UPRR, that coal would be hauled by truck and electricity would be really expensive. If you ever get around Gillette, Wyoming, you would be amazed! Empties on on main track going to the Powder River and full ones going toward Alliance NE, Cheyenne and Denver.

      • There’s plenty of coal trucks running to the local power plants in the area and they don’t mind running fast even when loaded. That can make for an exciting car ride at times :wink: But yes, the trains still run all the time to take the coal to more distant locations :)

  • F-89 and F-106 were at one time operated by the Montana ANG at Great Falls. Seen them as a kid. Loud! They would do flyovers of the state on certain holidays.
    Dad was a radio operator in C-124’s, when they were pretty much brand new airplanes. Won a case of beer from an AF exchange pilot in VA-145 many years ago about the Globemaster’s engine out characteristics. If it was full and you lost one, it started to descend.

    • I got to see F-106s fly once that I can remember. The California ANG still had a few in the early 1980s and they did a fly-by. I’d love to find a way to get some of these old warbirds back in the air again, but I don’t have a huge pile of money :wink: About that C-124 – I didn’t know that, but it doesn’t surprise me at all.

  • kc

    Nice pictures, thanks for the reminder that the whole world doesn’t look like this place.

    They built P-38’s in hubby’s part of the country – Evansville, Indiana. His Uncle Ralph flew A-26’s in WWII, was shot down behind enemy lines. He never told anyone the story till Duffy came home from boot camp, then dug a picture out of his wallet & told the story to an astonished family. I finally SAW an A-26 when we were in SoCal, at an air show where the Confederate Air Force had a few vintage aircraft.

    Again, thanks for the nice pics and the time it takes to post all this.

  • [...] Parrothead Jeff & Friends » Utah Vacation Saga Post Three – North … The F-106 Delta Dart was another delta wing interceptor from the Cold War. The plan was to get close enough to a Soviet bomber formation to launch its air to air rockets with their nuclear warheads before turning tail and running away from the blast . Hill Aerospace Museum – Restored P-38 Lightning recovered from a crash site in Alaska. Hill Aerospace Museum – on the P-38 Lightning Hill Aerospace Museum – on the P-38 Lightning Hill Aerospace Museum . [...]

  • J D Flitton

    I just wanted to give you a few extra facts about some of your great photos.

    First off, they all really look really good! Very good photos.

    The white F-4 that is all patched up is a ABDR (Aircraft Battle Damage Repair) trainer. As an F-4 mechanic fresh out of Tech School I was assigned to a Combat Logistics Support Squradron (CLSS) We learned quick and dirty repair methods to get the plane flying as soon as possible.

    As a reservist, I helped bring the C-124 to Hill from Maryland. The plane had to be cut in half like a hot dog bun! The tail was first cut off and the wings were cut off. It took one C-5 to haul the top half, one for the bottom half, and one for the wings. The engines and tail structure all came on flatbed trucks.

    It took many, many hours for the museum volunteers to put the pieces back together again! Look close on the nose area, under the U S Air Force writing, you see a shiny strip of skin, that is where the plane was cut.

    Thanks for your great photos,
    Jay

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