The Adventures of Me & My Shadow # 82 in FL,AL,MS,LA,&TX, 1,487 miles this trip in the last days of 2002, total miles for 2002 = 36,894, in TX,NM.&AZ, 726 miles this trip starts my adventures for 2003, odometer now 33,462.

From Tucson, AZ, Hi Everyone! 1/20/2003

Now, for my adventures on the road from Sarasota to Niceville. I had filled my fuel tanks as I was leaving Kissimmee and paid $1.339 per gal. When I headed north from Sarasota I got almost to I-10 before I stopped for fuel. The price was now up to $1.479 per gal. the tanks weren't venting properly and when the pump kicked off after only 7 gallon I thought, to hell with it, I should find cheaper fuel down the road. After being on I-10 for awhile my tanks were getting down again. I pulled off and the cheapest price I could find was $1.649 per gal., some of the competition was $1.719 per gal. Looking for cheaper fuel didn't work the last time so I topped off the tanks. I really cussed my luck after I went just a few miles west and saw a big Flying J billboard advertising gas for $1.359 per gal. and I get a penny a gallon off of that, I could have made it with the fuel that I had.

I parked at the RV Park on NAS Pensacola. I went to the Aircraft Museum the next morning to see the old F3H Demon aircraft (upper picture) that I had worked on last year while I was there. It was hard to believe; it looked just like it did when it came off the assembly line almost 50 years ago. The F3H Demon was the aircraft I worked on, on the last cruse that I made on a Carrier. It's older sister, the F2H Banshee (its wings are folded, you can see it's wingtip fuel tank sticking up on the other side of the Demon). It is sitting right next to it on the floor of the Museum, was my aircraft on the first Carrier cruse that I made in 1955/56.

Pensacola is the only military base I have been on in the last few years that did nor have a phone jack some where on base where an old man in a motorhome could plug a laptop computer in and check his e-mail. The same is true for the base RV Park, not even a public phone. The Temperature at Pensacola was way below normal the entire time I was there. I had enough of the cold in one week at Pensacola so I went back to Niceville on the way to Alabaster, AL, to pickup some mail that Jenny forwarded to me.

I had a nice visit with my niece Susan and her kids in Alabaster. I was able to dial out on her phone line and check my e-mail. The temps there were way below normal with a heavy frost both mornings so I headed to Converse, LA for a short visit with a Navy Iron Angel buddy and his wife. The temps in LA were below normal, so it was on to Terrel, TX to visit Rod & Roseanne. The temps in TX were below normal with frost in the morning so I headed to AZ looking for warm weather. In west TX besides the low temps I also picked up a very strong head wind that slowed me down and pushed my fuel consumption way up. By late afternoon it had worked around to a cross-wind from the north and was moving a lot of dust. I did appreciate the dust for dimming the sun when it dropped below the sun visor and would have been a problem. There were several times when it created a visibility problem and I worried about someone doing something stupid to create a big pileup. As the sun went down the wind did also and in awhile what wind remained was now behind me. When I crossed the Continental Divide in NM at 4,000 plus feet the outside temp was 25 degrees. As the bright sun rose up in the sky on the second day of 2003 I was also going down hill and I saw the outside temp rise rapidly. It looks like I found what I have been looking for here in Tucson, AZ.

Not only did I find the weather I was looking for. The Fam-Camp here on Davis-Monthan Air Force Base is the very best RV Park I have ever been on. It is well designed, well laid out and constructed, it is well managed and priced right at $13 per night. It does have a phone jack for e-mail use and there are several public phones. The only problems I found were because of the high demand this time of the year. There are no weekly or monthly rates. The stay is limited to two weeks, then if there are no empty sites you have to check into the overflow area and put your name on a waiting list. The price for gas here on the base is $1.319, it is all the way from $1.339 to $1.479 off base. I also had to drive several miles to find a SUBWAY shop for my lunches.

I stopped here on the Air base to visit the Pima Air Museum. There is a section of it devoted to the 8th Army Air Force. My brother was in the 8th as a navigator on a B-17 (center picture) on a Bombing run on a target in France when he was wounded and his plane was damaged, the crew bailed out and were captured. The Germans cut his left arm off above the elbow, he was a POW for eight months. I was in the Navy in the Southwest Pacific at the time. My mother received a message saying he was missing, then she received a massage saying he was killed. They had a memorial service for him and she was given a flag. After she had received a letter from him in the POW camp telling her what had happened to him she received a form to fill out to collect his life insurance. It took her awhile to get it all straitened out. She returned the flag and was glad that he was alive. I filled the museum in on what had happened to him as it was very unusual. They just knew that he had been a POW.

The lower picture is of the aircraft storage area on the other side of a fence; I took the picture from the roof of my coach. They have hundreds of aircraft stored here. Army, Navy and Air Force planes of all sizes and shapes besides the aircraft in the museum and the ones that they fly.

I have several relatives in AZ to visit. My niece and her husband are both doctors in Phoenix. I'll have them get me an appointment to get the defibrillator battery voltage checked while I am here. With all the pills I am taking my heart is doing much better than it was. I think the defibrillator is just going along for the ride now but I can't take a chance, if the battery goes dead I might join it. I also want to get a colonoscopy and the prostate checked for cancer, I'm still having too much fun to cash in my chips at this time.

Till next time, Dallas or Dad if it fits.

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