Friday, September 27, 2013

AMARG "The Boneyard" Tour Davis-Monthan Airforce Base September 25, 2013

                                 Reconnaissance Plane with radar dome on top

General Information: The tour of "The Boneyard" is given by the Pima Air and Space Museum twice a day from Monday through Friday. The tour is $7 more than the regular admission price. Because it is on a military airbase camera cases and purses are not allowed.  Each person needs to have a valid ID to get onto Davis- Monthan.  I would highly suggest this tour because the Docents are very knowledgeable about the history of each plane and AMARG.

History: After World War II the Army's San Antonio Air Technical Service Command established the storage facility to store B-29 and C-47 aircraft decommissioned after the war. Davis-Monthan was chosen because of Arizona's arid climate and hard compact soil. Today "The Boneyard" is managed under the 309th Aerospace Maintenance and Regeneration Group. AMARG oversees the storage of 4,400 aircraft from the Air Force, Navy, Army, Coast Guard and NASA. The grounds are divided into two sections one stores planes which are used for parts and another stores planes that could become operational in the future. (Information from 

                      B-29s; they were equipped to carry nuclear weapons.

                         Military Helicopters with covering over windows to keep the elements and wildlife out

                               Fighters lined up

                        A transport in the parts section with its tail missing.

                     Fighters which will never fly again used for parts

               KC-130 Tankers on the left

                            Fighter jets with the mountains in the back.

Tumamoc Hill Tucson, Arizona September 24, 2013

                                    Catalina Mountains with Tucson in the foreground

Location and hours: To get to Tumamoc Hill take Speedway underneath Interstate 10 until you reach Silverbell Road. Turn onto Silverbell and drive until Anklam Road. Follow Anklam Road behind Saint Mary's Hospital. You will see the trail (small road) on your right. Tumamoc Hill is a research facility for the University of Arizona so the area is closed from 7:30 am to 5:30 pm M-Friday. Parking can become an issue so come early.

The hike: The hike is three miles roundtrip with 1000 feet of vertical. The trail is a small fire road so route finding is not difficult. The view from the top is incredible with downtown Tucson, the Catalina Mountains, Rincon Mountains and Tucson Mountains all viewable. This hike is very popular so do not expect solitude. In fact I was constantly with  other people the whole time. Despite the crowds I am going to come back many times to watch the sunrise and sunset. Special Consideration: Stay on the road. Remember this is a research area so access is not guaranteed in the future.

                 West from the trail

                  Looking south from top. Photo framed with Ocotillos.