On Thursday the 16th, we left the “dirt farm” in Casa Grande and traveled the 80 miles to Davis-Monthan Air Force Base in Tucson. We were sad to leave but made plans to get together again for a tour of Tombstone and maybe Bisbee sometime next week. My Mom, stepdad, brother, and Cheryl will drive down to meet us once we get closer to the area. But first we want check out the Tucson area…
I used the AllStays App for Military FamCamps on the iPhone which took me to the Davis-Monthan FamCamp website. From there, I clicked on the directions link which gave me the route through googlemaps. Click HERE if you would like to get the AllStays App for military FamCamps.
We arrived at Davis-Monthan AFB by 12:30 PM. Here’s the gate (below) that the GPS routed us to. We could see the campground to the right just inside the gate. However, as you can see from the photo below, we weren’t going to fit through with the barriers up. We turned the warning flashers on and walked up to the gate guard. He wouldn’t put the barriers down and said we had to turn around and go through the main gate. He offered to block traffic for us while we turned around. About that time, a nice lady that was going out the gate, stopped and came over to introduce herself. She was one of the campground hosts, and confirmed that we shouldn’t try to go through the gate, she had seen others try and fail. So, we disconnected our tow vehicle and did a three-point turn-around with the help of the gate guard. Oh well, another lesson learned – which is; Don’t just trust the GPS, always read the fine print on the website if directions are given, and in this case they were… I just didn’t read them 🙁
After going back around to the main gate without incident, we drove through the base to the campground registration office. We scored a nice site with full hookups for $20 per night. Click HERE for more information on the Agave Gulch FamCamp if interested.
After getting set up and settled in, we jumped in the Silverado and went on over to the BX to browse around. For my non-military readers; BX is short for (Base Exchange). If we were on an Army post it would be called a PX or (Post Exchange).
We made it out of the BX with minimal monetary damage, but then we went to the Commissary to stock up on groceries…
We took our commissary goodies back to the Coach and put things away. Then we decided to drive around and check out the base a little bit before it got dark.
According to my friend Wikipedia: The base was named in honor of World War I pilots Lieutenants Samuel H. Davis (1896–1921) and Oscar Monthan (1885–1924), both Tucson natives. Davis, who attended the University of Arizona prior to enlisting in the Army in 1917, died in a Florida aircraft accident in 1921. Monthan enlisted in the Army as a private in 1917, was commissioned as a ground officer in 1918, and later became a pilot; he was killed in the crash of a Martin bomber in Hawaii in 1924. Click HERE for more information on this cool air force base.
The most interesting thing (for me) about this air force base are the 4000+ aircraft from the Air Force, Navy-Marine Corps, Army, Coast Guard, and other federal agencies including NASA that are stored here for regeneration or recycling. The climate and hard caliche soil provide for ideal storage conditions. The nearby Pima Air & Space Museum offers docent-guided tours through the “Aircraft Boneyard” aka the Aerospace Maintenance and Regeneration Group (AMARG). We plan on going there tomorrow.
Here’s a few pics we snapped while just driving around:
Don’t forget to click HERE to see some really cool aerial views of the boneyard, courtesy of Google.
When we got back to the campground, we drove through the different loops to check out the other sites. And much to our surprise, we saw another Alpine Coach. And we even know who it belongs to. Tom and Marilyn Anteau of Anchorage Alaska!
We last saw Tom and Marilyn at the Alpine Coach “Desert Rat Rally” in Quartzsite. They put their Coach in storage here on the air force base after the January rally and left for Anchorage… they had just flown back into town and pulled their Coach out of storage the previous day. It’s a small RV world after all, isn’t it? It was Tom, who first told us about this somewhat hidden gem of a campground. Thanks Tom!
We made plans with Tom and Marilyn to tour Old Tucson on Saturday. But meanwhile, tomorrow (Friday the 17th) we tour the Pima Air & Space Museum. I’ll do separate posts on those shortly… and yes, I know! I’m behind again on the blog posts 🙂
Stay tuned for lots of exciting pictures…