Friday was a very long day for us. We had tickets for Trump's Rally and had a few stops to make before we went to Mesa airport. We were going to stop at Grimaldi's for lunch and couldn't find a parking spot so ended up at a Arriba's. Lunch wasn't great but we wanted to get something fast and head over to the airport.
As I turned into the airport road I was surprised that we didn't see any signs or police. This was about 2:30. The doors were to open at 3:30 for the 6:30 rally.
It took us about 15 minutes in line to get to the parking lot. They started a new section that was very close to the road.
You can't describe the lines to anyone that wasn't there but it took us 30 minutes to walk to the back of the line. Neither Bill nor I like crowds, but this was so different. Everyone was very polite. No pushing or shoving. Everyone was excited to see the President.
I can't believe we stood in line over 3 hours, but it went quickly. Everyone was very patient. We inched along for awhile and then the line started moving a little faster. As it turned out the hangar was full, but the outside of the hangar had a big screen TV.
Kudos go out to everyone that was involved in putting this event together. It was well organized. I can't even begin to imagine what was involved on such short notice. Even though there were no trash receptacles until you got near the hangar there wasn't one piece of trash anywhere.
The TV stations reported different estimates of the crowd. One said 40,000 and then another said Mesa PD estimated 20,000. It was an experience of a lifetime and I'd do it again in a heartbeat.
Yesterday we had reservations for the a tour of the Pinal County Airpark. If you've ever traveled from Tucson to Casa Grande on I 10 you've passed it. We've always wanted to take a tour so when they had the open house and tours we signed up.
I was surprised when we pulled up to the Flightline Grill that the parking lot wasn't completely full. Our tour was scheduled for 11:30 and we had planned to stop for lunch afterwards. Were we ever surprised to find out that the free tour included lunch.
There were about 8 people in our group. We were driven out to the boneyard in a van. After all the walking yesterday we were pleased that we were driven around.
The Marana Army Airfield began in 1942 as a training site for pilots and the first class graduated in 1943. In 1948 the War Assets Administration quit claimed the airport to Pinal County. In the 50's it was once again used to train pilots. In 1974 Evergreen Helicopters leases the facility until 2012. The following year, Pinal County started managing the airport.
A large percent of the aircraft are recycled back into planes.
The engines are removed first and then it's a waiting game to see if it is worth waiting around for the metal prices to go up and when to scrap the rest of the plane.
I thought we have seen a lot of different airlines in our travels, but I now know there's a lot more out there. There were 83 planes at the airpark yesterday but they have had up to 257.
We didn't go close enough to the AH-64 Helicopters to get a photo.
After the tour we were invited inside to get more to eat and view the photos of the airpark. We found it interesting that the CIA used the airpark. I'm sure a lot of things were discussed in the bar.
We were given hats and insulated coffee mugs as souvenirs. It was a great tour, and we plan to return next year.