Thursday, February 5, 2015

Tuscon is Not What You Might Think

Tuscon, Arizona is part of the wild west.  Arizona is known for many things; The Grand Canyon, Native American Reservations, desert, cactus, coyote, dry, and heat.  It's the land of searching for the Flying Dutchman Mine and ghost towns of times gone by when the west was wild and the saloons were full.  Truth is, there's still a lot of those things wandering around, but in Tuscon you get a couple of things that maybe you didn't know about.  One of those is the Pima Air and Space Museum.

The great thing about having an indoor/outdoor air museum, is that there will be virtually no wear and tear on the planes and things that are outside.  The other great thing is that there will hardly ever be a bad day to go, because the sun shines so much in Arizona.  I don't recommend visiting in the summer, however, because it's bloody hot.  I can't explain how hot it gets in the summer.  But, on a not so hot day, the sheer pleasure of doing this activity outside in the always great sunshine almost overshadows the fact that there are over 300 planes to look at.  They've got it all.  There are military planes of all kinds from all eras.  There are private planes of all kinds from all eras.  These guys even have a Harrier.  There are great exhibits about the history of flying as well.  It's just a great time for everyone, because it's a really hands on type of place.  You know how when you go to a museum you only get to look at stuff?  Not here.  There are several planes that you can look inside of and see how they work.  There are lots of interactive exhibits too.

But, that's not the only surprise spot you'll find in the greater Tuscon area.  The Count Ferdinand von Galen Titan Missile Museum Education and Research Center is a view back to the cold war.  It's one of the old missile bunkers that were deactivated after the fall of The Wall.  There is a disabled missile still in it, and all the equipment is still there.  You'll be shocked how big everything is.

You get a guided tour that shows you how it all would have worked if, God forbid, anyone had ever pushed the button.  There are many wonderful exhibits in this museum, and remember, this was once a real live bunker that held a real live missile that was ready to fire at our Communist enemies.  I don't know about the youngsters out there, but I remember duck and cover.  I remember fallout shelters.  I remember bomb shelters in people's back yards.  This is a compelling look at a time that we hope we will never have to live in again.

There are a ton of things to do in and around Tuscon.  You can go to Biosphere II.  This is a whole world inside a dome.  It's fascinating.  There's Tombstone, home of the OK Corral.  There are more than a dozen parks; state and other, from lakes to deserts, to caves.  There's historical downtown, and so much more.  There are tons of things to do in Tuscon.  I just figured I would mention a couple that you might not have thought about.  That's what I do, and that's why this is an adventure for anyone.

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