Sunday, January 12, 2014

Final Days in Mesa Part II

The busy end to our stay in Mesa continued with a bit of exploring and getting together with friends.  As usually happens, the time of our stay comes to an end and we have not done all we had planned.  We wanted to have dinner with Mike and T and Linda and Mike but because of every one's busy schedules we did not get that chance.  We did get together with Dave and Sarah and also Ron and Linda who were passing through the area on their way to Quartzsite.

Since we were in Mesa two years ago we have wanted to get an up close view of this B-17 that often flies over Sun Life.  We got together with Dave and Sarah (I was so excited about the planes I did not take a pic of them) and went to the Commemorative Air Force Aviation Museum at nearby Falcon Field.  The B-17 is the largest of several planes in the museum.

When I started teaching in WashPA in 1976 there was a teacher at the high school who had been a tail gunner on a Flying Fortress during WWII.  Seeing the conditions he flew under gives one a whole new appreciation of the Greatest Generation.  The survival rate for tail gunners was the lowest of all the crew members.  Top left is the navigator's seat, at the center is the outside of the waist and bottom turret guns and on the right I am manning the waist gun.  Bottom left is the tail gun and on the right is the bomb bay.  You can go up in this baby for $425 to sit in the waist or $850 to ride in the navigator's seat.  

Some of the helicopters and other planes on display.

Top is a P-51 that was owned by Robert Odegaard, a pilot and restorer of old warbirds who was killed this past September flying a Corsair.  Bottom is a BT - 13A Vuitee Vailant.

This B-25 Mitchell bomber, another plane that is available for rides, was in the shop for its annual maintenance.  The museum has several planes that you can go up in with prices starting at $95.

A display of engines and flight jackets with a machine that makes dog tags pictured in the middle.  We have been to several museums during our years on the road and this one ranks right up there.  My only disappointment was the cost of flying in that B-17, I thought it would be fun, but not at that price.

Another day we got together with Ron and Linda for dinner and to see their new to them motorhome.  They have been looking for just the right one to replace their 5th wheel for a while and found this beauty in Tuscan. 

We had one last lunch with Allan and Sharon.  We were happy to hear they plan to come to Yuma while we are there next month.

Across the street from where we had lunch that day was Steel Dreamz, an auto dealer that sells classic cars.  We always like to check out the old cars so we went in and were surprised to see this painting on the wall.  It is of Don Yenko Chevrolet that was in Canonsburg just a few miles from WashPA.  The salesman did not really know the story behind the painting other than Don was a big car guy.

Steel Dreamz had cars from this 1951 Ford, to a 510 horsepower Rouch Mustang, to a couple of Vettes and this old Packard and Rolls Royce.  It was fun looking, but an old classic does not fit into our lifestyle.

We were due for new tires on Opus so we had an appointment to get them on the way out of town.  Because of an alignment issue we had several years ago we had to have the two front tires moved to the back to replace those oldest tires and the new tires put on the front.  The good news was we were only paying for two tires, the bad news was they were still very expensive.  That said we used the FMCA Michelin program and saved about $100 per tire.

As I write we are in Quartzsite for a few days before heading to Lake Havasu.  I'm a bit behind with the blog because I have not been able to get the pictures to download.  This morning I used Google Chrome and it seems to be working.

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