Almost caught back up now with the journal entries… I’m only a couple days behind now 🙂
On Tuesday morning, we left the Coach parked at the noisy campsite behind the VFW post and drove the Silverado to the Yuma Proving Ground Museum.
Fair Warning – This post is picture heavy! As a veteran of 26+ years, I enjoy military history and equipment, therefore, I took lots of pictures.
These are the signs you see at the turn-off from US 95 to the Proving Grounds and Imperial Dam.
These giant cannons are on the west side of US 95 opposite the signs above… you can’t miss the turn to Yuma Proving Grounds with these landmarks! The “Atomic Cannon” was designed to fire a nuclear shell per this link @ RoadsideAmerica.com
Here’s another couple vehicle displays outside the main gate at one of the two base entrances.
The following tanks, vehicles, and other military equipment are located on the side of the road just a short way down from the US 95 turn. We parked and checked them out. No ID card or anything is needed to view these, they are open to the public… they are just off the side of the road and there is ample parking.
This is the museum entrance on the base located just across from the Fam Camp. It used to be the installation’s headquarters and is now called the Heritage Center Museum. (Click on the link)
We were going to stay at this Fam Camp but changed our minds when we were having too much fun down by Los Algodones. Besides – it would have cost us $130 for the week or $40 for one night.
You do need an ID card to gain access to the base which is the administrative side of this massive post. However, I assume they allow visitors with proper identification to get a visitors pass. Here’s another good link for more information.
It took us a couple hours to tour through the museum. You could easily spend more time here if you stopped to read all the literature or sit through the several recorded presentations.
Did you know that General Patton trained his tank corps here to prepare them for battle with Rommel during WWII?
And who doesn’t like Jeeps?
A couple cool pictures of vehicles being tested back in the day.
There were quite a few cool dioramas, I like dioramas… maybe it’s a not quite grown-up “guy thing”.
The original Installation Commander’s office has been recreated here with all the furnishings.
A couple more cool dioramas:
There was even an entire room dedicated to the cowardly terrorist attacks of 9/11. The video presentation was riveting.
Great museum – highly recommend it!
After our tour of the museum, we stopped at the mini PX and gas station to save a few bucks on fuel for the Silverado. Then we exited the base and headed farther down the road to check out the BLM sites in and around the Imperial Dam (Click link for more images) for possible future camping locations. Wikipedia has more interesting facts about the dam here if you’re interested.
The following pictures are of the Imperial Dam area. We saw many different long term visitor areas (LTVAs) and other nice camping spots. We might have to come back here some time in the future.
This guy was para-sailing… or is it para-surfing?
Typical signage seen throughout the area.
When we got back to the Coach parked behind the VFW post, we immediately got ready to roll on up the road. We weren’t going to spend another night here with the planes and trains.
We pulled into Parker, AZ (about 40-50 miles up US 95) and found the local Elks Lodge. They had 12 spots with 30amp and water for a suggested donation of $15 per night. We were packed in pretty tight – we couldn’t even put out the awning more than a couple feet or it would hit the RV next to us. Oh well, it was nice to have electric again. It’s been a while. Stilla loaded up the washer/dryer combo to get caught up on some laundry since we had hookups.
The Elks were having a lodge meeting and didn’t have anything to offer for dinner, so even though it was short-notice, we called some friends from Colorado Springs that we knew were staying at the Pirates Den Resort just up the road. They hadn’t eaten yet so we made plans to meet at the Black Pearl Restaurant located inside their resort.
We met Bob and Mary McCord and had an awesome BBQ rib dinner while we caught up on things. It was sure nice to see them again, it’s been several months since we saw them last in COS. They belong to the Family Campers & RVers (FCRV), Rolling Springs Chapter that we also belong to along with my Dad and Stepmom. We only get to see them during campouts or meetings.
After dinner we went over to their site and relaxed in their nice Coach. They recently got “upgraded” to a spot overlooking the Colorado River instead of being a couple rows back. Nice Coach, Nice spot! We called it a night, said our farewells, and headed back to the Elks lodge in downtown Parker. We’ll see you down the road Bob & Mary!