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 > Trip Report: The Wild, Wild West

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The Mad Norsky

Yankton, South Dakota

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Posted: 10/18/15 10:40pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Good report and photos.

We wandered through that area years back. Is that the jail that Billy the Kid escaped from at one time?????????I do recall seeing that, but missed some of the other neat stuff you've posted here.


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NRALIFR

Truck Camping Out West

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Posted: 10/19/15 05:08am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

The Mad Norsky wrote:

Good report and photos.

We wandered through that area years back. Is that the jail that Billy the Kid escaped from at one time?????????I do recall seeing that, but missed some of the other neat stuff you've posted here.


Yes. After being tried, convicted, and sentenced to hang for the ambush killing of Sheriff William J. Brady and his deputy George W. Hindman, he escaped from the jail on the top floor of the old Murphy-Dolan store after killing his two guards. He was tracked to Fort Sumner three months later by Sheriff Pat Garrett, who confronted him in a dark room and shot him.

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K Mac

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Posted: 10/19/15 08:50am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Cool stuff, thanks for sharing.

sleepy

Oak Ridge,Tennessee

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Posted: 10/19/15 11:41am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

We are learning new things about Fort Sumner... we spent the afternoon there in April of this year... the chaple wasn't open (they were doing maintainence) I think the host was a volunteer and some of the other things weren't open.

Thank you again for sharing.

Chet and Janet


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Scott16

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Posted: 10/20/15 12:29am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Good update thank you for the information!
Scott


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dakonthemountain

Crestline, California

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Posted: 10/20/15 03:45pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Isn't it fun to explore all that our beautiful country has to offer along with the history? Thanks for sharing this fun time with us!

Dak


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NRALIFR

Truck Camping Out West

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Posted: 10/31/15 03:33pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

dakonthemountain wrote:

Isn't it fun to explore all that our beautiful country has to offer along with the history? Thanks for sharing this fun time with us!

Dak


You bet! That's exactly what the boss and I enjoy the most about our trips in the camper. Seeing things we've never seen, learning about our past, appreciating the work and accomplishments of our ancestors. We're fortunate to have the time and the means to do it.

We left Ft. Stanton, and drove down through Ruidoso and Alamogordo, and onto the White Sands Missile Range. I had read that the museum and outdoor missile display were worth a stop. We weren't disappointed.

Being a secure military installation, you do have to stop at the main gate, and get clearance to enter. They check your ID's and run a quick background check. Fortunately, my extensive criminal history wasn't discovered and they let us in. [emoticon]

The missile park is very interesting, and has quite a few items on static display. It looked like a "missile garden" from a distance!

[image]

Not all of these are missiles actually. Some are drones, some are experimental fixed wing and rotary wing aircraft, and some are support aircraft or equipment. The Beechcraft King Air seen in the background was used to transport Dr. Wernher Von Braun.

[image]

[image]

I recognize this from my USAF days. It's a Ryan Firebee target drone, model BQM-34A. They were used to train fighter pilots at Tyndall AFB, FL about 35 years ago when I was stationed there. I worked on the CH-3 helicopters that would catch the drones in mid-air as they were parachuting down after a mission. The BQM-34A drone was sub-sonic.

[image]

Unfortunately, they didn't have an example of the super-sonic Firebee drone (model BQM-34F) that was also in use at Tyndall. Those were cool looking drones! [emoticon] Here's a picture of one taking off at Tyndall. The drones were launched from a stand, using rocket assisted take off (RATO).

[image]
"BQM-34F launch Tyndall AFB 1982" by TSgt. Frank Garzelnick

This is a video of a helicopter drone catch if you're wondering how that's done.

CH-3 BQM-34F Drone Catch

This strange little beast didn't have any info plaque, so I can only guess at it's purpose. Probably an experimental prototype, it has a gas-turbine power plant with a centrifugal compressor, and counter-rotating main rotor blades so no tail rotor is needed. That would be a fun toy to play with! [emoticon]

[image]

Patriot Missile Battery.

[image]

"If it flies, it dies". That has a nice ring to it.

[image]

We made it around to this spot, and.............
What the heck??? Somebody stole the Fatman bomb casing!!!! [emoticon]
All that's left is tire tracks!

[image]

Of course, we finally read the last line: "It is featured at each open house of Trinity Site on the first Saturdays in April and October." I'm sure if you'd been standing next to us then, you would have heard the sound of an old hand-crank calculator coming straight out of our skulls, then the sound of a bell as we realized "The first Saturday in October is this weekend!" Trinity Site is also inside WSMR, but WSMR is huge! At 3200 sq mi, it's the largest military installation in the United States. This was Wednesday, so we just had to get up close to Trinity Site about 100 miles to the north by Friday night. Let's do it! I never thought it would work out for us to visit Trinity, so I hadn't even considered it.

After finishing the outdoor display, we went inside the nearest building, which was built to protect and display one of the only 20 V-2 rockets left in the world. This one was completely refurbished in 2004 after sitting oustide at WSMR for about 50 years.

A picture of the first V-2 launch at WSMR in 1946.

[image]

The rocket is displayed on its side, for better viewing. You can see some of the control equipment in the nose.

[image]

Tanks and plumbing in the center section.

[image]

Looking up the business-end of the rocket. You can see the rudders used to control the direction of the rocket.

[image]

Next, we went in the WSMR Museum building where there are many more interesting displays.

This is a theodolite (smaller unit in the rear) and a cinetheodolite (larger unit in the foreground). They are both instruments used to acquire trajectory data in the testing of missiles and rockets. The cinetheodolite is a theodolite with an integrated high speed camera.

[image]

Some vintage high-speed cameras.

[image]

I knew what this was when I saw it. Back in the day (before my time) early computer equipment was controlled by the arrangement of wires on a plug board. This hasn't been used in my line of work for many years, but almost 35 years ago when I was applying for a job with my current employer, they must have thought there was still some value in testing an applicants ability to understand, and successfully wire a simple plug board. The one I remember working with only had about 5-6 wires, and the test was to arrange the wires to make a simple logic gate. An "XOR" gate, or something like that. Of course, I had to be taught what an XOR gate was, and shown some diagrams of them. I must have passed. Anyway, this one is insane, and I fully agree with the highlighted statement on the description card.

[image]

[image]

Well, after all that our thinker-bones were pretty tired by now, and we needed a place to rest.

That night we drove to Leasburg Dam State Park, north of Las Cruses to spend the night. The park was close to Ft. Selden, another old west fort that we wanted to see.

[image]

Speaking of rest, I need a beer.

More later.

[emoticon][emoticon]

* This post was last edited 11/01/17 07:33pm by NRALIFR *   View edit history

TangoFox

Miami, Fl

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Posted: 10/31/15 05:38pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

This is an awesome post! Sub'd!


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Scott16

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Posted: 10/31/15 10:06pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Great pictures of White Sands Missile Range, museum.
Thanks for the detail reports.
Scott

The Mad Norsky

Yankton, South Dakota

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Posted: 11/01/15 01:20am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Exceedingly neat photos!

Interesting and well done! Thumbs up from this reviewer! [emoticon]

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