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(Thank you to Very Demotivational — a fabulous website!)

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Utah Vacation Saga Post Seven – EPIC 500+ Mile Road Trip – Capitol Reef And Lake Powell

OK, so it’s taken a while for me to get this post up.  Yes, I’ve been a bit of a slacker, but that’s not the only reason.  The rest of the story is that there are just so many pictures.  We left Price, UT at about 0900 on Thursday and got back at 0100 on Friday.  No joke!  To see a map of our crazy day’s driving, click here and you can marvel at the audacity boldness lunacy of our road trip :D  Yes, we should have turned right onto I-70 on our way back and gone through Green River, but we (OK, it was mostly my fault) made a wrong turn and added an hour of driving.

Come along on a photo recollection of our day out driving through most of southern Utah :mrgreen: !

Pumping natural gas out of the Utah ground

Pumping natural gas out of the Utah ground

As I’ve said in earlier posts, oil, natural gas, and coal are a BIG part of life in Utah.  You can see quite a few of these pumps (Cindy said this one was pumping natural gas) from the road, but there’s lots more you can’t see easily.

I’m going to put the rest of the pictures below the fold because there are something like 90 of ‘em :wink:  Make sure you click on the pics to see ‘em full size – the panoramas are HUGE as usual and I tried to make sure the text in the informational placards was legible as well :)

Continue reading Utah Vacation Saga Post Seven – EPIC 500+ Mile Road Trip – Capitol Reef And Lake Powell

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Re: Jeff’s Previous Post and just plain hot

Today at Falcon.

Over the Tehachapi

Just after I got to the parking lot.

Getting ready to launch

Got him strapped in and the ladder off.

Watching engine start

Hot back there. The engine is started by a small turbine that can put out a lot of heat in it’s own right!

Ryan and John

Ryan up there working hard and the Tech Rep, John having a laugh.

Ryan and Jeremy

Not so portable air and electrical power unit. They tip the scales about 3,000 pounds!

B-52 Stratofortress

Just for Buck. This baby has a full fuel load.

I also tow airplanes

We were pulling one back from the fuel barn to our line. No laughing at the haircut.
It was already very hot and it wasn’t even ten in the morning! At my age, comfort is a big deal. Ain’t that right, Buck?

Dan. Nozzle checks

After start checks. Part of the launch procedures.

Final Button Up

Disconnected. Closing up the comm panel.

Run up for brake check

Gonna roll out of the chocks.

Dave-O's new friend

It is a Praying Mantis!

Afternoon Thunder Bumper

Over the San Gabriel Mountains to the South.

One Hundred Eleven Degrees!

Did I mention…………..that………………..it was HOT!

Just a few for all to enjoy.

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Sitrep & Thoughts Of Cooler Times

Folks, I ain’t gonna lie to y’all.  This week at work’s been a bit rougher than usual and I’ve just been flat-out tired.  There’s still a few more posts to come with lots of pics from the Utah Vacation Saga.  I doubt another one will appear tonight what with the root canal I’m fixin’ to go do tonight, but we’ll cross that bridge when we get there.

That said, you’ve gotta enjoy the little things and memories in life when you can :)  I may or may not post the story about why I was on my own YouTube page (other than to upload a video), but while I was there, I came across a couple of videos from a very much cooler time and figured I should take the couple of moments it would require to post them here for y’all to drool over :wink:

The first video is from March and the first time I drove up on Mt. Charleston to go play in the snow.  I’d lost my voice and couldn’t work, so I decided to go for a drive after visiting the doctor and the pharmacy.  I loved it!

The second one here is from 23 May of this year.  I’d just gotten through putting in eight hours of overtime.  Again, it was snowing and I’d no better place to be, so off I went to go see what was around up on the mountain.

I didn’t dress up for this trip – just normal pants, shoes, and T-shirt.  The temp up there was about 26° and I did get a bit chilled.  People said I was nuts (that happens a lot for some reason :P ), but I told ‘em that I don’t mind freezing my butt off every now and again in winter and soaking up the searing heat from time to time in the winter.  I store those memories and think about how nice it was to be that cold when it’s hot and vice versa.  Oddly, that brought a few more strange looks and eye rolls…

So here’s what you do – Turn the air conditioning down way low, kick back, and watch these videos while you take a break from the summer heat 8)  Have fun and I’ll either catch y’all tonight or tomorrow :mrgreen:

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Utah Vacation Saga Post Six – Western Mining and Railroad Museum – Helper, UT

OK – One more post today :)

After we enjoyed the College of Eastern Utah Prehistoric Museum, we headed on over to the Western Mining and Railroad Museum in Helper, UT just a few miles north of Price, UT.  Lots of good stuff there :D  If you like these pics, go check out the museum’s website – click here 8)

Western Mining and Railroad Museum - Tribute and memorial to the miners who've been lost

Western Mining and Railroad Museum - Tribute and memorial to the miners who've been lost

Everywhere you go in Carbon County it seems like you’ll find a memorial to the miners who died putting food on the table.

Replica cannon in the lobby of the museum

Replica cannon in the lobby of the museum

Information about the cannon

Information about the cannon

I told Cindy I wanted to take this cannon home with me, but she said no – go figure :wink:  I think it’s pretty cool the way this one was made :)

Simulated coal mine in the basement of the museum - Check in and out board in the back

Simulated coal mine in the basement of the museum - Check in and out board in the back

Blasting and mining equipment in the simulated coal mine

Blasting and mining equipment in the simulated coal mine

Ore cart and rail bender in the simulated coal mine

Ore cart and rail bender in the simulated coal mine

Lamps and hard hats worn and used by miners in the coal mines

Lamps and hard hats worn and used by miners in the coal mines

Lamps and testing equipment used in the mines

Lamps and testing equipment used in the mines

More miners' lamps

More miners' lamps

More miners' lamps

More miners' lamps

Coal miners in the mine back in 1910

Coal miners in the mine back in 1910

Information about federal mine inspectors

Information about federal mine inspectors

Racal full face air filtering helmet

Racal full face air filtering helmet

Down in the basement of the museum you’ll find a replica of a coal mine with a lot of the equipment you’d find down in the mine.

Click on the image and read the names and info about this picture!!!

Click on the image and read the names and info about this picture!!!

I purchased this poster at the museum - great stuff!!!

I purchased this poster at the museum - great stuff!!!

Police in Helper, UT many years ago

Police in Helper, UT many years ago

Items used by the Helper, UT police

Items used by the Helper, UT police

Items used by the Helper, UT police

Items used by the Helper, UT police

Information about Butch Cassidy and the Wild Bunch

Information about Butch Cassidy and the Wild Bunch

The scene of one of Butch Cassidy's robberies

The scene of one of Butch Cassidy's robberies

Painting of Helper, UT many years ago

Painting of Helper, UT many years ago

Butch Cassidy - Wanted Dead or Alive - $4,000 REWARD!!!

Butch Cassidy - Wanted Dead or Alive - $4,000 REWARD!!!

Butch Cassidy and the Wild Bunch - Click on the image and read the description

Butch Cassidy and the Wild Bunch - Click on the image and read the description

Jail cells originally used in the Helper, UT City Jail

Jail cells originally used in the Helper, UT City Jail

As I’ve noted in past posts from this trip, Utah was one of the areas known for outlaws and lawmen in the Old West.  Take a look around, though, and you’ll find that while it’s not necessarily the Old West – we have cars, diesel trains, and cellphones – the Wild West hasn’t really gone away.  I don’t carry a loaded gun most places with me because I like the extra weight :wink:

Recreated old time kitchen

Re-created old time kitchen

Recreated old time kitchen

Re-created old time kitchen

Panorama - Re-created old time kitchen

Panorama - Re-created old time kitchen

Go into your kitchen and hug your appliances :P  Aren’t you glad you don’t have a coal/wood fired stove?

Recreation of the Comany Store

Recreation of the Comany Store

They owed their souls to the company store

They owed their souls to the company store

They owed their souls to the company store

They owed their souls to the company store

Click on the pics and take a good look at the documents here.  Now, I’m glad I have better pay and benefits at my job, but there is a downside – my employer won’t sell me explosives.  Go figure…  In all seriousness, I’m glad the miners have it so much better today.  They’re brave for willingly doing the job they do to keep the lights on in our homes and food on their families’ tables.

Panorama - View east from the top floor of the museum

Panorama - View east from the top floor of the museum

Panorama - View north from the top floor of the museum

Panorama - View north from the top floor of the museum

Helper, UT is kinda scenic dontcha think :wink: ?  I figured y’all would like to see the scenery and Glenn would like the trains :)

Old machine for giving a lady's hair a perm

Old machine for giving a lady's hair a perm

Kath, Snigs, and KC are probably glad they don’t have to use something like this anymore 8)

Coal train making its way up a grade

Coal train making its way up a grade

For some reason I thought of Glenn when I saw this picture.  That must’ve been quite a sight!

Tamburitza Band from Sunnyside, UT in 1922

Tamburitza Band from Sunnyside, UT in 1922

Flag of the Croatian Fraternal Union and the Slovenian National Benefit Society

Flag of the Croatian Fraternal Union and the Slovenian National Benefit Society

I thought this was an interesting slice of life from the early part of last century.

Re-created school room

Re-created school room

My desks were different, but Mom & Dad have told me they remember using this kind.

Steam engine diagram - I would've bought it but I didn't have $45

Steam engine diagram - I would've bought it but I didn't have $45

If you want your own copy of this diagram, just call the museum – they take credit cards over the phone :wink:

Old time telephone operator's equipment

Old time telephone operator's equipment

My, how times have changed!  My headset is wireless and probably weighs a lot less :wink:

Old safe in the re-created railroad office

Old safe in the re-created railroad office

Information about the desk in the re-created railroad office

Information about the desk in the re-created railroad office

Sorry I didn’t get a bigger picture of the desk, but I thought the info and the safe were cool :)

Panorama - A collection of old washing machines at the museum

Panorama - A collection of old washing machines at the museum

OK, remember the kitchen?  Now go to your laundry room or the laundromat you use down the street and hug your washing machine :P  Yeah, I’m sure glad I don’t have to use one of these.  I must admit that as long as the weather’s as dry as it usually is here a clothes line ain’t all that bad :)

Nearly 100 year old caboose outside the museum

Nearly 100 year old caboose outside the museum

The story of the traveling roundhouse

The story of the traveling roundhouse

I thought the story of the traveling roundhouse and the nearly century old caboose were pretty cool 8)

View north from the entrance of the museum

View north from the entrance of the museum

I got this pic as I left the museum.  I’m really starting to like small towns, even if they do roll up the sidewalks at 2000 hours and everything seems to be closed on Sundays :)  Just check out the old buildings, the mountains, and the white picket fence 8)

That’s it for this post.  Hope y’all liked this slice of life from Carbon County :D  Also, do go check out their website if you have a few minutes – click here :wink:

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Utah Vacation Saga Post Five – College of Eastern Utah Prehistoric Museum

If you ever want me out of your hair for a few hours, all you have to do is stuff me into a good museum with a camera :P  The College of Eastern Utah Prehistoric Museum has great stickers with “Death Elevated” on them and it’s one of the best museums I’ve been to in a long time.  Not all of the dinosaur fossils on display are replicas – there are many genuine ones.  Most of the museums I’ve been to like this one have replicas on display so the real bones can be kept safely in archives.  Come along for a photo tour :D

Allosaurus sculpture near the street in front of the CEU museum

Allosaurus sculpture near the street in front of the CEU museum

This is a sculpture of Al the allosaurus out in front of the CEU Prehistoric Museum.  Al was the first skeleton put together by the College of Eastern Utah and more than 90 nearly complete fossilized skeletons have been found out at the Cleveland-Lloyd dinosaur quarry a short distance from Price, UT.

I’m going to go light on the commentary for this post as it would just take too long to go through every single picture and I did my best to get legible photos of the information placards.  I figure the museum did a pretty good job putting those together :wink:

Dimetrodon display

Dimetrodon display

Al the allosaurus

Al the allosaurus

The one that started it all – Al the allosaurus 8)

The kids' area is hands on

The kids' area is hands on

Large exhibit in the center of the dinosaur side of the museum

Large exhibit in the center of the dinosaur side of the museum

Close-up of petrified wood

Close-up of petrified wood

Petrified wood display

Petrified wood display

Display of the information about the Cleveland-Lloyd dinosaur quarry

Display of the information about the Cleveland-Lloyd dinosaur quarry

Camptosaurus

Camptosaurus

Panorama - The large central display in the dinosaur side of the CEU Prehistoric Museum

Panorama - The large central display in the dinosaur side of the CEU Prehistoric Museum

More information about the Cleveland-Lloyd Dinosaur Quarry

More information about the Cleveland-Lloyd Dinosaur Quarry

More of the hands-on kids' area

More of the hands-on kids' area

Cross section of a dinosaur bone fossil

Cross section of a dinosaur bone fossil

Alligator on display in the mesozoic gardens

Alligator on display in the mesozoic gardens

Soft shelled turtle on display in the mesozoic gardens

Soft shelled turtle on display in the mesozoic gardens

Information about the mesozoic gardens

Information about the mesozoic gardens

Information about the mesozoic gardens

Information about the mesozoic gardens

Duck billed dinosaur display

Duck billed dinosaur display

Information about the dinosaurs on display in the large center exhibit

Information about the dinosaurs on display in the large center exhibit

Fossils of impressions of dinosaurs' armored hides

Fossils of impressions of dinosaurs' armored hides

More petrified wood on display

More petrified wood on display

Utah Friends of Palentology display

Utah Friends of Palentology display

What an allosaurus likely looked like when it was alive

What an allosaurus likely looked like when it was alive

Information about the allosaurus head recreation on display

Information about the allosaurus head recreation on display

Fossils from an iguanodon and information about them

Fossils from an iguanodon and information about them

A new dinosaur - Falcarius utahensis

A new dinosaur - Falcarius utahensis

Theropod claw display

Theropod claw display

Information about oil shale

Information about oil shale

Information about oil shale

Information about oil shale

Duck billed dinosaur

Duck billed dinosaur

Dinosaur tracks are fairly common in the coal mines

Dinosaur tracks are fairly common in the coal mines

Chasmosaurus

Chasmosaurus

Utahraptor

Utahraptor

Animantarx ramaljonesi

Animantarx ramaljonesi

Information about Animantarx ramaljonesi

Information about Animantarx ramaljonesi

Information about Animantarx ramaljonesi

Information about Animantarx ramaljonesi

Information about Animantarx ramaljonesi

Information about Animantarx ramaljonesi

Utahraptor!

Utahraptor!

One of the most exciting creatures for me in the CEU Prehistoric Museum is Utahraptor.  As you can read in further pictures, Stephen Spielberg doubled the size of the Velociraptors when he made Jurassic Park to make them more intimidating.  About that time, scientists found Utahraptor which was 2.5 times the size of Velociraptor – even bigger than Spielberg’s over-sized dinosaurs!  If there was a way to bring these predators back, I’d use ‘em for guard animals around sensitive installations – Dobermans would have nothing on a pack of Utahraptors :mrgreen:

Utahraptor!

Utahraptor!

Teeth and claws of Utahraptor

Teeth and claws of Utahraptor

Skull and claws of Utahraptor

Skull and claws of Utahraptor

Information about Utahraptor

Information about Utahraptor

Information about Utahraptor

Information about Utahraptor

Information about Utahraptor

Information about Utahraptor

Close-up of an oversize velociraptor claw from the movie Jurassic Park

Close-up of an oversize velociraptor claw from the movie Jurassic Park

Reconstructed Utahraptor claw

Reconstructed Utahraptor claw

Display of Utahraptor and Jurassic Park oversize velociraptor claws

Display of Utahraptor and Jurassic Park oversize velociraptor claws

Display about the Ute/Nuche People

Display about the Ute/Nuche People

About half of the museum is dinosaurs with the other half being dedicated to Native Americans.

Information about the Fremont Indians

Information about the Fremont Indians

Big horn sheep aren't just in Nevada :)

Big horn sheep aren't just in Nevada :)

The 900 year old Mickelson Pot

The 900 year old Mickelson Pot

The 900 year old Mickelson Pot

The 900 year old Mickelson Pot

Debris found inside the Mickelson Pot

Debris found inside the Mickelson Pot

Information about the Mickelson Pot

Information about the Mickelson Pot

The Vision of Washakei

The Vision of Washakei

Information about the Vision of Washakei

Information about the Vision of Washakei

Information about the Vision of Washakei

Information about the Vision of Washakei

Information about the Vision of Washakei

Information about the Vision of Washakei

Information about the Native American technique of twining

Information about the Native American technique of twining

Rabbits were rather important to the Native Americans

Rabbits were rather important to the Native Americans

I might have to try making a rabbit skin robe like these one day :)

This is an actual animal skin tepee

This is an actual animal skin tepee

Any negative comments about this tepee from the PETA types will either be mocked or deleted :wink:  I just thought it was great to see it!

Ram's horn and seashell headdress

Ram's horn and seashell headdress

Panorama - Colombian Mammoth skeleton found near Price, UT

Panorama - Colombian Mammoth skeleton found near Price, UT

Panorama - Colombian Mammoth skeleton found near Price, UT

Panorama - Colombian Mammoth skeleton found near Price, UT

Information about the Colombian Mammoth skeleton found near Price, UT

Information about the Colombian Mammoth skeleton found near Price, UT

One of the really cool things in this museum is this skeleton.  We stopped by the area where it was found on a trip to the mountains for a picnic (sorry, no pics of the site, but there will be pics of the area).  The placard at the site said it had been buried in nearly frozen mud for about 10,000 years which acted like a refrigerator and that the people who found it could still smell rotting meat :shock:  I just think it’s awesome to see something like this.  It’s bigger than any elephant I can remember seeing at the San Diego Zoo or Wild Animal Park and just look at those tusks!!!

Dire Wolf

Dire Wolf

Information about the Dire Wolf

Information about the Dire Wolf

Skull from a Great Bison

Skull from a Great Bison

Information about the Great Bison

Information about the Great Bison

Sabretooth Cat

Sabretooth Cat

Information about the Sabretooth Cat

Information about the Sabretooth Cat

If these animals were still around, I’d want to see ‘em in a zoo.  Not in the wild!  Sorry, but a bison with an 80″ horn span sounds like a steamroller and the Dire Wolf and Sabretooth Cat sound like meat shredders.  I do wish we had a way of seeing them alive.

That’s about it for this post and possibly for the day.  Putting these photo posts together takes quite a bit of time as you’ve got to build the post even after you wait for the images to upload to the server.  I’m gonna go kick back for a while, but I hope you enjoyed the CEU Prehistoric Museum almost as much as I did.  Make sure to visit if you can :mrgreen:

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Utah Vacation Saga Post Four – Down at the Swimmin’ Hole

Panorama - One of the swimmin' holes in Price, UT

Panorama - One of the swimmin' holes in Price, UT

Yes, there’s a real city owned swimming pool in Price, UT.  But many of the kids in town would rather swim in a place like this :)  It’s an irrigation canal and it’s normally a bit deeper than it was the day I took this picture.  We only had water up to our waist and the current wasn’t too strong, but it was still nice to feel the mud between my toes :D  You can’t see it in this picture because of the way the panorama software stitched the pictures together, but there’s a rope swing hanging from the big tree on the right.  It reminded me of the Kenny Chesney song “Summertime” because it was around 93° and the water down at the swimmin’ hole was nice and cold :) I had a great time 8)

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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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Utah Vacation Saga Post Two – First Day In Town And The San Rafael Swell

Day two of the trip didn’t start too early, but we still had quite a bit of adventure :)

Freight train passing through Price, UT

Freight train passing through Price, UT

Two things you’ll find in abundance in Carbon County, UT are coal mines and railroads.  This was a very quick pic taken with my cellphone because I thought Glenn would like it :wink:

Cindy's grandma's back yard garden

Cindy's grandma's back yard garden

Cindy’s grandma may be 90 years old, but she has one heck of a garden!  There’s squash, corn, cabbage, several types of fruit trees, a couple of different berry bushes, and lots more I can’t remember now.  Some of it’s eaten fresh but most of it is put away in the basement in cans and jars.

Panorama - Old corral near the road to the San Rafael Swell

Panorama - Old corral near the road to the San Rafael Swell

I’m a real sucker for old places and places that just look old.  I don’t know for sure which this is, but it’s still cool 8)  Somehow it brings to mind scenes of cattle and cowboys on the open range and outlaws like Butch Cassidy who used to hide out on the San Rafael Swell years ago.

Purple dirt on the way to the San Rafael Swell

Purple dirt on the way to the San Rafael Swell

Cindy told me she was going to show me purple dirt and she sure did!  I don’t know if it’s true or not, but Cindy seemed to think the color comes from uranium in the soil.  Utah was one of the hot spots back in the early days of nuclear power and weapons because of all the uranium that’s in them thar hills.  Uranium camps were the reason that liquor by the drink was first legally sold in the state of Utah.

Driving through the high desert in Utah to the San Rafael Swell

Driving through the high desert in Utah to the San Rafael Swell

We only made it to the Wedge Overlook due to the weather (you’ll see more about the weather in a minute :wink: ) but I’ve got a few more places to check out on my next trip to central Utah :)

Panorama - Cattle grazing with a storm moving in on the San Rafael Swell

Panorama - Cattle grazing with a storm moving in on the San Rafael Swell

I keep saying it, but it’s true – Things haven’t really changed all that much out in the wild west.  The ranchers might use pickups and quad runners instead of horses and wagons, but cattle are still raised on the same land.

Plaque at the Wedge Overlook on the San Rafael Swell

Plaque at the Wedge Overlook on the San Rafael Swell

Panorama - The Wedge Overlook on the San Rafael Swell AKA The Grand Canyon of the North

Panorama - The Wedge Overlook on the San Rafael Swell AKA The Grand Canyon of the North

Panorama - The Wedge Overlook on the San Rafael Swell AKA The Grand Canyon of the North

Panorama - The Wedge Overlook on the San Rafael Swell AKA The Grand Canyon of the North

We managed to reach the Wedge Overlook before the storm hit full force.  It’s known as the Grand Canyon of the North for good reason.  I wouldn’t mind getting down on the floor of the canyon sometime – that river looks nice :)

The storm was advancing on our location even while we were on the way in.  It started to spit on us – just widely spaced drops – and the lightning and thunder got pretty darn close before we got back into the car.  If you’ve been around this blog for a while, you probably know how much I like thunder and lightning.  There’s something different about thunder in a place like the Wedge.  The sound echoes off the land around you, but also bounces around the canyon for a bit before it reaches you.  It gives a feeling of being even farther from civilization than you are – the place seems just a bit more wild and I really enjoy that when I can find it.

The impending thunderstorm finally hit

The impending thunderstorm finally hit

About that thunderstorm…  It finally did reach us and it hit full force.  The rain was heavy and hard enough to splash back up and fuzz out the road a bit.  It made driving that much harder even with the wipers going as fast as they could.  Winds were probably somewhere between 50 and 65 miles per hour.  I love stuff like this but I wasn’t disappointed by the lack of damaging hail :wink:

Panorama - Waterfall in the desert fed by runoff from the thunderstorm

Panorama - Waterfall in the desert fed by runoff from the thunderstorm

Closer view of the desert waterfall

Closer view of the desert waterfall

We decided to try to get down to the Buckhorn Draw after the storm passed, but that didn’t quite go as we’d planned.  A very nice carload of people flagged us down and told us that my HHR wouldn’t make it where we were planning on going.  We’d actually already decided to turn around about the same time we saw this waterfall, but it was still nice of ‘em :P  I wanted to get these pics, but I didn’t stay out of the car any longer than I needed to because there was still thunder coming from just about every direction.

Our thunderstorm after it had passed

Our thunderstorm after it had passed

As quickly as it had arrived, our storm was gone off to the north.  You can see just how heavy the rain was if you look at how much it obscures the mountains in the distance.

Flash flooding after the thunderstorm which gave us second thoughts about our route

Flash flooding after the thunderstorm which gave us second thoughts about our route

A bit of a different view of that same flash flooding

A bit of a different view of that same flash flooding

When heavy rain comes to the desert, you can count on some flash flooding.  We’d planned on taking a different route back to town, but thought better of it.  You can never tell just how deep the water is in a place like this and you can easily wind up stuck or worse.  The last thing I needed on my vacation was a car that was a total loss or winding up drowned in the desert.

These cattle seemed to like hanging out on the road for some reason

These cattle seemed to like hanging out on the road for some reason

These cows just didn’t seem to mind cars and didn’t want to move.  They finally did, but making a bit more noise than a horn did cross my mind :wink:  One of ‘em had a very interesting pattern of white on black on his hide that we thought would make an interesting couch…

Panorama - Thunderstorm still heading north and away from us

Panorama - Thunderstorm still heading north and away from us

The storm kept on truckin’ north and left quite a bit of humidity in its wake.

Scenery near Price, UT on the way back into town

Scenery near Price, UT on the way back into town

It really is pretty country in Carbon County!  I could live with a house and some land up there.  Cindy told me someone recently bought a three story house on a couple of acres for about $50,000.  I’ve sold cars that cost significantly more than that and it sounds awfully inviting to this former resident of the land of insane real estate prices 8)

The food's cheap and I hear it's good at this restaurant, but it was already closed

The food's cheap and I hear it's good at this restaurant, but it was already closed

Small town burger joints are pretty cool in my book.  The prices are great and the food’s supposed to be awesome as well, but we couldn’t get dinner there.  It seems they close a bit early on Sunday.  Actually, the whole town rolls up the sidewalks at about 2000 hours every night.

I think we might have driven through just a bit of mud out on the San Rafael Swell :wink:

I think we might have driven through just a bit of mud out on the San Rafael Swell :wink:

By the end of the day you could certainly tell my car had been in the middle of a thunderstorm while driving on dirt roads.  No, I still haven’t washed it yet – money’s gotten a bit tight with all the dental work in my future.  I did manage to get the license plate and taillights cleaned off :wink:

We had a good time that day and it only got better as the week went on 8)  That’s it for this post, but there’ll be even more pics soon.  Have fun everyone :mrgreen:

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What A Busy Day – Dentists and Work!

As you’ve probably noticed, one of my teeth was killing me last night.  It felt like it was going to explode.  I’ve had similar things happen before, but this was quite a bit worse than I’ve dealt with in quite a while.  I really didn’t think I’d be able to work today, so I called the on call supervisor last night and used almost the entire morning today searching for a dentist that didn’t suck.

It remains to be seen how the new dentist’s work measures up to my standards (which are high – my teeth have never been great) when it comes to common sense, logic, knowledge, demeanor, and cost.  I finally found one, got the ball rolling with the insurance company, and got down there at about 1115 hours.  After the paperwork was done, I didn’t have long to wait before being escorted to an exam room, had my teeth x-rayed, and shortly after that I was talking to the actual dentist.

The word is that one of my bicuspids is abscessed and therefore needs a root canal.  The two teeth behind it need crowns.  Oh, and one of the teeth on the bottom row needs a root canal as well.  The doc didn’t know how it’s not causing me severe pain, but I’ll take what I can get.

My insurance is pretty good when it comes to stuff like this.  The root canal(s) have a $0 copay and the crowns are only $250 which is much less expensive than I’m used to.  I happened to come into $500 last week through work and while I had thought about using this money to fund something fun like a silencer for my .22 or an AR-15, other things have taken priority.

I picked up my prescription for penicillin (only a $10 copay!) and it looks like I’ll be dealing with a high speed pneumatic drill and other implements of torture next Wednesday.

That’s all there is to say about that for now.  Wish me luck :D !!!

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