My current job sends me to Tucson, Arizona several times a year. I've been out there enough to tour a good bit of the city and surrounding area. This page is comprised mostly of random anecdotes and pictures from my trips out west.
On this page you'll find: Where to eat in Tucson, How to launch a nuclear weapon,
Lots o' planes, and San Xavier Mission,
The idea of a museum dedicated to one of the most
devastating weapons known to man may seem a little macabre, but it's an important part of history and an unforgettable experience
to say the least. I didn't think to bring my camera along, but pictures would convey the atmosphere that well anyway. For pictures,
directions, hours, and more detailed info, see the museum's webpage
A Vought F4U Corsair, one of the more successful American planes of WWII. Note the folding wings, which minimize the necessary
storage space aboard carriers. Also note how the wings dip down where the landing gear are mounted. This increases deck
clearance and allows for a larger propeller.
A Lockheed SR-71 "Blackbird" spy plane, holder of numerous aeronautic speed & distance records. It's amazing how
something so big can still look so fast. Unfortunately, it's roped off and you really can't get very close. To the
left of the Blackbird in the foreground is a D-21 drone used for surveillance.
This is an army A-10 "Warthog" ground attack plane. It's not beautiful from any angle, but it's very intimidating
to those unfortunate enough to be standing on the business end.
The inside of the church is very ornate and very warm, owing to the fact that it's located in a desert and chock full o' candles.
I took this interior shot of San Xavier without flash by setting my camera on a ledge and using the self timer.
It might be helpful to have a mini tripod for these type of shots, but I've found there's usually a ledge or other flat surface with
the appropriate field of view.
A walkway between the main church and some ancillary buildings. Some of the stone is in need of restoration,
but the iron work has aged well and has a nice rusty...er, rustic finish.
Entrance to the mission. The asymmetry is intentional, according to those in the know. The gleaming white facade stands in stark contrast to the dulled
greens and browns of the surroundings. It must have been quite a site to those traveling through the desert in the early days.
I especially like the deep blue color of the sky in this photo. It's really just an artifact, though; the bright
white color of the building throws off the camera's light metering and the sky gets underexposed. In real life the Arizona sky is
much paler during the day.
View of an adjacent hill through an archway on the side of the mission. This archway is conveniently located
near the gift shop. There's an iron gate that can be locked shut to keep out the coyotes and assorted ner-do-wells.
Close-up of the afore-mentioned hill, with monument on top. There's a path that winds up and around the hill, and
the view of Tucson from up there is well worth the brief climb to the top. There's also a memorial and some
benches at about the halfway point.