Ginny's Adventures 2010 travel blog

a view of Mt. Wrightson from nature trail

Elephant Head rock

part of Madera Canyon

What is that in the distance? Water?

manmade or natural?

hills are dirt from copper mining

Titan Missile Museum is rather small

tipsies use doppler to detect unexpected movement

stage 1 and 2 rockets

looking down at the missile

very important transmission wires - note how the one comes up from...

entryway to the missile site - why the building is so small...

airtight doors into complex are thick

captain chair and command center

assistant's station is to the left of captain

big springs allow movement from missile launch without moving the command post!

door on the left is over 2500 tons, but still operable by...

walkway to missile - cylinders hold springs so all the cables and...

looking up from 2nd level

protective gear from radiation


Madera Canyon comes down from mountains to the east of I-19 which are in the Coronado National Forest. There are lots of hiking trails there but only one was rated "easy", not counting the wheelchair trails at the bottom of the mountains. I walked a couple of miles on the easy trail and was satisfied with my hike. I didn't see any wildlife, but I did see a neat house that one can rent in the woods. It is nestled off the main road and is a modern log house with a creek in the back yard.

I didn't think I would ever see the handiwork of rocket scientists, but because of the joy of traveling into areas I have never dreamed of before, I went to visit the Titan Missile Museum. They give tours of the compound and explained how the rockets lifted off. Now, I can't remember most of what they told me, but I do know that we spent a lot of money to protect the nation during the Cold War. Then when it was over, we spent a lot of money to disassemble the 153 of the 154 underground missile sites. This one was allowed to remain as a historical monument once lots of changes were made to make sure the missile couldn't go anywhere or do any harm while allowing the public to see what it looks like. After seeing the equipment and a view of the missile from a glass enclosure, we were allowed to go down into the 2nd level to see the command post and walk to the missile! After listening to the sequence of phone calls, codes to decipher and actions to take, I was amazed at the precautions developed to make sure the missile wouldn't get detonated by mistake or hijacking.

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