Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Plans Turning into Reality, Titan II Missile Museum, Saguaro National Park

It was a little sooner than my normal rising on Tuesday, Feb. 13th, but when Clemson jumped off the bed at 6:40 I was ready to get up. After letting him out, he went back to bed with Daddy and I went for a walk. It is always interesting to venture out onto new untrod lanes in these parks. You never know what you’ll see. So, the first few pictures are things I found kinda’ worth a photo. Bear with me.
The orange tree on our site

Scotty is in storage until his parents come back
So is this long bus
Waiting for a transitional change perhaps
Overkill to pull this Rushmore
but if you have it.......well then!
You can rent sites that have their own dog pens
I don't even want to know the cost!
We don't quite get who and why you'd want a site under
these solar panels
Before making the last turn towards home I noticed an Alto travel trailer. These are familiar to me because they were featured at our October RV show back in Toronto, Ontario and they are one of our dealer’s best sellers. What I could see from the lane was a CanAm sticker on the back corner. Ha ha! I was excited because I could tell Bill. Perhaps this couple, with a license plate from Illinois, knows him. Maybe he did their orientation back home when they bought it.

the Alto is only made in Quebec, Canada
and the waiting list is over 14 months for a new one

Bill was still sleeping but at 8 I woke him up. We had a plan to go to the Titan II Missile Museum this morning with Ken and Nancy. We had our grapefruit first thing and Bill had cereal. Nancy had picked 5 or 6 for us before we arrived so we are home free for a few more mornings. I’ll make sure to pick some more before our time here is over.
How's this for a 'toad'? At first I thought Mother-in-Law?
Then I realize they are taking their business with them
At 9 we drove over to the site where the Alto was parked but unfortunately, their vehicle was gone. We left a note with our card in the door in case they are interested in chatting. Then we toured around the park looking at the other sites and units. There are so many motor homes in every park we stay in. A sign of the times? I don’t know, but there are always many fifth wheels and travel trailers of all sizes too.
Our site for 3 nights
Loved seeing these two water towers together
We picked Ken and Nancy up at 9:30 and found the Titan II Missile Museum in Green Valley with no trouble. 
In the parking lot, Nancy wanted to lean against the Saguaro
(not really)
So, we improvised
It was under $10 for the 3 seniors and Bill’s younger wife had to pay full adult price of $1 more. That’s okay, I don’t need to rush the ‘65’ number at all. It will come soon enough. We bought our tickets and wandered around the museum waiting for our one-hour tour at 10:30. There were 24 of us on this second tour of the day.

The 17-minute presentation was very interesting and then we went down the 55 stairs to see the missile control room. You can read what you want about this ‘silo’ here. http://www.titanmissilemuseum.org/ . What I can tell you is that this preserved site is all that remains of the 54 Titan II missile sites that were on alert across United States from 1963 to 1987. 

Going down the 55 steps

These phones were stationed throughout for the employees to check in
from point to point
If they didn't make the call in 3 minutes, it would be assumed
that they were under duress and help would be sent
The tour was well done and had to be timed perfectly. Every 30 minutes, a new tour began and the guides kept close eyes on how long they had to talk so they could guide us out of the control room before the next tour of possibly 25 arrived. Derrick, one of the guides finished off the tour and directed us back onto the freight elevator or the stairs so he could prepare for the next group.

If you were over 6' you needed to wear a hard hat
Certain areas had these signs
Two staff required for security and safety
You keep an eye on me and I keep an eye on you
Inside, many things were on springs
If there was a hit a fair distance away, things would bounce

Even as we all stood in the Control Room, the 8 green springs
meant we were hanging on suspension
We were allowed to wander the grounds outside so we took our time taking pictures looking down at the missile we saw from an inside window below. Very cool. Very creepy thinking of the ‘what ifs’ here and how in a mere 58 seconds, our lives could be over. We recommend taking the tour, the price is reasonable and the staff well informed.

Bill was ducking his head but he isn't 6'
Ken and Nancy listening to the guide

Our mock commander gets the mock direction from the mock President
to prepare the missile
From a window below, the missile is huge
and from above, outside, it is frightening actually
Ken and Nancy coming up on the elevator
Wandering the grounds
From there we drove back home for lunch and to take the dogs out. Ken suggested taking a drive to the Saguaro National Park and that sounded great. It would be free and with our love of these cacti, we were anxious to see more. This time, Ken drove. He stopped in Tucson for diesel and we were on our way! I was snapping pictures before even getting to the park. We are, after all, in the Land of the Giant Saguaro.
Chain Fruit Cholla
We stopped once on the way and got out to take pictures of the chain fruit cholla. I'd never recognized these before. Such beautiful views! Carrying on to the entrance to the park, we walked into the museum store. Our minds were blown with the number of Saguaro we were seeing. Different sizes, shapes, poses, stages were visible every which way you looked and literally as far as the eye could see. The mountain ridges behind the museum were blanketed in the tall giants.

My Dad used to say "Who goes there?"
That describes this tall guy
We all bought our souvenirs and before we left, I was chatting with one of the park rangers. 
Bill and I pick up Stick lapel pins from places we visit
We are getting a nice collection
He was answering some questions about the fruit of the cactus and I asked about the Crested Saguaro. How rare are they and are there many in the area? Bill, Ken and Nancy caught a glimpse of one on the highway this morning but I missed it, other than a quick viewing on our way home. I was keen to get another look at one.

Speaks for itself
A brown Ocotillo with beautiful red flowers
I asked this Saguaro which way to the Desert Museum
Don't ask! He had no clue!
We left there and following the ranger’s directions, turned into the Desert Museum entrance. Sure enough, there she stood in all her glory, just as he said. We didn’t get out of the truck, didn’t need to. It was beautiful and Bill, Ken and I snapped photos of the crowned beauty. 
A Crested Saguaro

They don't really know why or how this happens
Some say critters, disease or mutilation
This has been a very fulfilling day. We’ve learned lots, saw tons, spent time with good friends and feel all the better for it.

Ken drove us home around 4:30 and we just rested. I had a beer margarita and Bill had a bit of a snooze in his recliner before lighting the Weber for burgers. The sun was dropping in the west giving me a beautiful performance from our site. The two palms added to my pictures and so did the cloud formations. 
My 'keto' burger and salad were very good
Supper was good and fast. I had salad left over from last night’s meal so we had that on the side.

Might try this for dessert tonight
It's an ice cream bar that the astronauts ate in space
Earlier today, or was it last night? I googled NCIS new episodes. Nothing until Feb. 27th because of Olympics. This time we’re grateful because we don’t have to set up the satellite dish for one night again. Tonight, we read our books and relaxed. Bedtime will probably come early unless I get a second wind. I didn’t get a nap. I hope you have enjoyed your day.

Goodnight from Tucson Lazy Days KOA
Thank you for following us on our adventure. Feel free to leave a comment.


  1. Nice that you got to see the Titan missile museum and the Saguaro National park, both are amazing places to explore. And of course we have seen both and enjoyed them, agreed a must see when in the area.

    1. We enjoyed both tourist sights and glad we went with our friends.

  2. Very interesting reading. The silo with the Titan missile is huge. I remember being in high school when the missle crisis occurred. Bomb shelters and missile silos were the in thing at the time.

    Driven by the Saguaro National Park several times. Sounds like a nice place to visit.

    1. Both sights were awesome. The Silo was something I didn't know I'd appreciate but I'm so glad I went.

  3. The missile museum looked fascinating...my heart would be racing the entire way around knowing how far underground we were. Yeah, creepy!

    1. Listening to the video and the guides gives you an eerie feeling. Peace by Deterrence is the method behind the missiles. If you fire yours, we still have time to fire ours and we'll both be gone.

  4. In spite of my non-interest, that titan missile tour was amazing. I'd even go again. A couple other cool places are the Arizona Sonoran Desert Museum and San Xavier Mission. The mission is absolutely beautiful.

    1. I agree, I didn't know if I would enjoy it but I sure did.
      So much to see, we have started a list for next winter!
      We might make the mission today, we'll see.

  5. What an exciting and full day with friends.

    Thanks for the tour of the missile silo. Looks very interesting. May have to put that on our list.

    Loved the cacti pictures. Never tire of those. So many different kinds to see.

    Enjoy your time with friends.

    1. It was a full day and then a quiet evening too which is always nice to 'come down'.
      The cacti blew our minds, the quantity of them. The silo is a recommendation for sure.

  6. I would love to see the inside of the Alto trailer! Does it open up? It's really different and must be very popular if there's such a waiting list! Hope you get to meet the people that own it! You really packed a lot into the day! Burger looked good too and the wonderful sunset!

    1. I have seen in the Alto's, there two models. It is a family owned business and they don't want to expand it by adding many employees which would mean a 'fast' build. They are going for Quality not quantity. Starting price is just over $30,000 Cdn.
      My burger was delicious!

  7. This means nothing to your trip but the Yuma High School yearbook is called "El Saguaro". I really hope you get to see the Mission. I never get tired of going there. Elva Shannon

    1. Oh that is really quite cool!Thanks for the tidbit! :)
      We went today to see the Mission as you will see in today's post.

  8. Replies
    1. Yes, so today we went to a place of prayer. :)