In the loop, we met a German fellow on a rented Harley. He picked the bike up in Miami and will drop it off in Los Angeles. Then he will meet his wife, who is flying into LA because she doesn't like to ride, and they will drive a rented motorhome back to the east coast.
We arrived at the Pima Museum at 11:00 AM and signed up for the tour of the Davis-Monthan aircraft bone yard leaving at 1:30 and the tram tour of the outdoor museum aircraft at 3:00. Then we wandered the main building before taking a guided walking tour of naval aircraft (commemorating the 100th anniversary of Naval Aviation) at noon. This sounds like a lot and it was. We probably should have skipped the bone yard and explored the two buildings of WW II aircraft that we ended up missing due to a lack of time.
The tour of the Davis-Monthan was in an air conditioned coach. The volunteers who work here are almost all older veterans and the one guiding our tour was knowledgeable and spoke quickly. He had to because there are presently 4,100 aircraft mothballed on the field. These are all planes which might be recalled to service. Once there is no hope of being recalled, the aircraft are scrapped. Except for the F-4 Phantoms, which are currently being converted into unmanned target drones for the top guns to practice on.
I looked at the myriad aircraft here with sadness. Some types like the F-111 have been retired but many others are versions of current aircraft (A-10, F-15, F-16, C-130) which have been replaced by newer versions. Then I thought of the 66 CF-18's that represent Canada's total air combat strength and have been flying for decades while thousands of much newer planes have been just tossed aside here by the USA. In my opinion, the US military can be saddled with the designation "conspicuous consumers".
We were hot, tired and hungry when we left the museum just before 5:00 PM. On the ride back to Benson at 90F, the temperature gauge on the bike started to climb even at 75 MPH. Although the heat and steady upgrade contributed to the increase, I found black spots on the left side covers when we got back as if some fluid had been leaking. This bears further investigation.
Back at the park, I spent some time talking to our new neighbors who were down from Wickenburg in their 24' Class C. The gentleman was a retired sheriff's deputy who served for 32 years. Then I loaded the bike and sorted some blog photos. I'm now four days behind and will probably soon be hearing about it. Too tired to finish a single post, I soon joined Sandy in bed.
Today's Route (106 motorcycle miles):
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