Nose Art, Jeeps, and Rivets

Usually, when I refer to nose art, it is the work by Poppy and Daisy.  Daisy used to do some lovely nose art on our windows.  Poppy has taken over now.  However, today, I’m referring to the nose art on airplanes.  In Tucson, we visited the Pima Air & Space Museum.  Dogs are allowed in the museum, but we left the girls in the Chinook.  Poppy had to work on her art.

The Pima museum is the 3rd largest airplane museum in the US.  I took pictures of what I found interesting or beautiful, though these are not be the stars of their collection.

Here’s a Jeep for Daisy.

I guess this Jeep is for Poppy

More rivets than an Airstream

This wedding dress was made from a parachute


I love the elegant wings on this plane:

Built in Fort Erie, near my hometown of Port Colborne:

While we were in Tucson, we dry-camped at Casino Del Sol.  The parking lot was very clean.  They had large garbage bins for the campers and there was no limit on length of stay.  An actual campground is in the works.  It was pretty bright at night, so we had to block the windows, but otherwise, it was quieter than Mexico!

BLM Camping and Ajo Mountain Drive

After crossing back into the USA, we camped on BLM land near Why, AZ.  It was rejuvenating.  We had a crackling campfire, saw the sun set, watched the moon rise, and listened to the coyotes yip.


Look at this sweet little 20 footer.


An ocotillo was in bloom.  They don’t really have a season, so when you see one blooming, it’s magnificent.


The next day, we took the scenic Ajo Mountain Drive in Organ Pipe Cactus Monument.  I never get tired of seeing cacti.  We couldn’t take this drive with our Chinook when we were at the park in February, so Ted drove us.  The road is quite rough, and the Chinook was at the upper limit for vehicle length.

Natural arch:


After packing up camp the next day, we traveled through Why and saw the coyotes waiting for food near the gas station again.  The mangy one was on the other side of the highway.  I don’t think these healthy ones wanted him begging with them.  He was bad for business.


We took Highway 86, through Tohono O’odham Nation.  This drive was just as scenic as Ajo Mountain Drive.  I highly recommend it.


Next stop: Tucson

Adios Mexico!

We spent our last week in Mexico collecting sea glass and enjoying the beach.

Ted and Dona took us hunting for seashells in a neighbouring village.

We were treated to a very low tide and full moon. We walked really far out into the Sea.  These pictures are taken from the Sea, looking back toward the little hotel beside the campground.  Too bad it was night. It would have been wonderful to see all the creatures in the tide pools.  I spied this little crab.

We left Mexico on March 4, 2018 with Ted and Dona.   Donna Dee didn’t travel with us. She had to leave a week earlier because she was meeting friends in Why, AZ. Unfortunately, she was robbed by police near Sonoyta. They prey on lone vehicles and set up a common trap.

They had a girl stand on the highway with a stop sign. There was no construction work and no reason to stop, but there were 2 marked police cars nearby. This trap gave the police a chance to scout out the driver and check that there were no witnesses. Donna gestured to ask if she could go on. The girl nodded and motioned for her to go. One of the police officers started following her and then came up beside her as if he wanted to pass, so she stopped. He gestured for her to go on. The speed limit was 40 kph, so she was careful and went 38 kph. The vehicle followed her a bit more and then pulled her over and showed her the radar gun and said she was going 67 kph. Right. They made her pay up in cash. It’s robbery, no matter how you want to dress it up.

After her experience, we talked to others who travel frequently, and some had experienced it too. When we told Mexicans, they acted so surprised.

We did our research online and left Puerto Peñasco armed as best we could.

  1. We put the word “Sindicatura” and phone number on Paul’s driver’s license. The Sindicatura is the public works union that investigates and dismisses corrupt officials. Often just mentioning the word or seeing it in print is like sprinkling salt on a slug.
  2. If we really had a traffic violation, we would insist on going to the police station, and say that we wanted to talk to a Juez Califvador. This is a judge who determines if there was a violation and what the fine should be.
  3. We travelled with another vehicle.
  4. We stopped for the “ambulance” kids and gave them money.  They put a sticker on your windshield.  The corrupt police will look for that sticker and may leave you alone if you donated.
  5. I watched for speed limit signs like a hawk and photographed each one. Unfortunately, our dash cam died while we were in Mexico. What bad timing!

It was a stressful trip back to the border. Here are the ambulance kids.  Give them money!


“Safety Corridor”.  HA!  And “End Hassle Free Vehicle Zone”.  Look, our first peddler!

At the end of the Hassle Zone, we bought fresh tortillas and then went through our border inspection.  It went well.  We had to throw away some food, but we were expecting that.  The guards were pleasant young guys.

We spent the next few nights camping on BLM land near Why.  Ted and Dona drove us on the Ajo Mountain Drive in Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument.