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3:10 To Yuma ! Prison That Is…

 

Yuma Territorial Prison.  Though the Hollywood Blockbuster movie was never about the prison it was about getting a criminal on the train (3:10 to Yuma) which would take him to the Yuma Prison.

Opened in 1876 and closed in 1909, this prison held a total of 3069 prisoners, 29 of which were women.  Some of the notable inmates included Burt Alvord (Train Robber), Pearl Hart (Stagecoach Robber), “Buckskin” Frank Leslie (Gunfighter and killer of Billy Claiborne) and Ricardo Flores Magon (Mexican revolutionary)

During it’s 33 years in existence 112 inmates died at the prison but believe it or not, most of those were from tuberculosis.  8 were killed trying to escape, 6 killed themselves, 5 died in work accidents, 2 were killed by other inmates and 1 was executed by Yuma county. 

If a prisoner became unruly they were thrown in the ‘Dark Cell’, basically a 15X15 cell carved inside the rocks.  Inmates were stripped to their undergarments and thrown in.  Their one meal a day consisted of bread and water and the cell had no bedding or restroom facilities.  Colleen and I walked into the ‘Dark Cell’ and it was Erie, there was a horrid stench that I assume goes all the way back to the first guest.

several others including the original 3:10 to Yuma with Glenn Ford.  Other movies include ‘To Kill A Memory’ (2012), ‘Riot’ (1969) with Gene Hackman, ‘The Badlanders’ (1958) with Alan Ladd and the ‘Red River Valley’ (1936) with Gene Autry.

Colleen and I enjoyed our self guided tour of the prison, we both read and soaked up the history of the place.  Even Hollywood loved this place.  Apart from the 3:10 to Yuma with Russell Crowe, there were 

 

If you are in the Yuma area, stop in and learn a bit of local history.  Well worth the $8 admission.  I will also add a gallery of picture so look for that.  Have fun everyone…Kevin




 

USS Midway Attraction, San Diego, California

 

This was by far one of the best self guided tours we could have ever gone on. The USS Midway, one of the longest serving aircraft carriers for the US in the 20th century (1945 to 1992). Though the ship missed world war 2 by only days it has been in several conflicts since including, Vietnam, Korea and the first war in Afghanistan, Desert Storm.
Here are some facts : From the beginning of its service, the Midway played key roles in the Cold War. In 1946 it became the first American carrier to operate in the midwinter sub-Arctic, developing new flight deck procedures. The following year Midway became the only ship to launch a captured German V-2 rocket. The trial’s success became the dawn of naval missile warfare. Just two years after that, Midway sent a large patrol plane aloft to demonstrate that atomic bombs could be delivered by a carrier. Midway served with the Atlantic Fleet for ten years, making seven deployments to European waters, patrolling “the soft underbelly” of NATO. A round-the-world cruise took Midway to the west coast in 1955, where it was rebuilt with an angled deck to improve jet operations.
Over a chaotic two day period during the fall of Saigon in April 1975, Midway was a floating base for large Air Force helicopters which evacuated more than 3,000 desperate refugees during Operation Frequent Wind. Its final mission was the evacuation of civilian personnel from Clark Air Force Base in the Philippines after the 20th century’s largest eruption of nearby Mount Pinatubo. As a visitor it gives you an up close and personal look into how these boys lived and worked, the conditions they did it in and what they went through on a daily basis.  I was awe struck with what I saw, impressed and also saddened, when talking with the volunteers on the ship who actually served on the ship.  The would bow their heads as they told us of fellow shipmates who did not return from missions.  They are proud of their time on board and want to share it with as many as will hear it.  I shook hands and thanked them for their service every chance I got.

For any who would like to see and hear about this live, visit here.  It is no waste of time and when you leave you are actually humbled by what you have learned.  Note: Make sure you reserve at least three to four hours of your time and have comfy shoes, you don’t want to miss anything.  I have many more images and will drop in an album into the site to share them with you.   I loved it and recommend it to everyone…. Kevin




Spaceport America !!

Although there were no tours available from their visitor center and really no directions on how to get t

here we found it!  On our way through ‘Truth Or Consequences‘ we used our google map and an obscure road not mentioned in most printed maps.  We started down this road not knowing where it would lead.  It started by going up and down a mountain with very steep edges and NO guardrails!!  (You should have seen Colleen, scared S***tless !!)  Then it leveled out to just flat desert road for miles and miles.  About 30 minutes down the road we started noticing something, looked like two poles sticking straight up.  Soon, there it was, in the middle of absolute nowhere was a billion dollar facility, ‘Spaceport America

 

We stopped at the gates (I’m sure by this point we were under surveillance) got out and took a few pictures then left.  Even though the ride out was a very rough dirt road it was worth it !!

…Kevin

New Mexico Attraction : Bitter Lake National Wildlife Refuge

The water for Bitter Lake was formed by artesian springs that feed the lower land marshes of this area.

 

Located 9 miles north east of Roswell, New Mexico Bitter Lake National Wildlife Refuge sits where the Chihuahuan Desert and the Southern Plains meet.  Because of the odd sinkholes, playa lakes, seeps and gypsum springs that are fed by underground rivers, this area is the home for cohabiting wildlife that exist nowhere else.

 

Some of the wildlife here include Sandhill Cranes, Ross’s Geese, Bobcat,fish, and so much more including one of the largest populations of Butterflies and Dragonflies! The wildlife service says that they have recorded – more than 360 species of birds, 55 species of mammals, 50 species of reptiles and amphibians and 28 species of fish.  Crazy numbers!

As an attraction this place is awesome.  You can stay in your car and take a self guided auto tour around the park (which we did as we were told that the area is home to a huge population of rattle snakes and we all know Colleen is spooked by that!) or you can take one of many walking trails around the park.  Our ride through took over an hour and 7 miles of driving, mainly because I kept stopping to snap some pictures.

In all, a great stop which I would recommend to anyone and we learned some stuff at the same time…. Kevin