Touring Arizona With Boys…the Prisons and Missiles of Tucson
After our stop in Sedona, we finally made it to Tucson! In Tucson, we stayed at a friend’s apartment, and it was about sixty degrees every single day! Absolutely beautiful. The weather on the West Coast is always gorgeous! Once we made it to Tucson we went on many day trips and adventures!
Since I was staying with a couple of boys, I ended up going on some very quirky outings. For instance, if weird road-side attractions are your thing-we stopped at the Prison Outlet near the Florence Prison in between Tucson and Phoenix. Not my first choice in tourist destinations….however Jim and I did want to see some odd ball stuff.. so..that counts for something!
The prison outlet is a place where all of the crafts made by the local prisoners are sold. The prisoners create anything from paintings to key chains, ornaments to sculptures. Most of the items come with a tag that details all of the prisoner’s information, cell number and all. If they sell any of the crafts, they get to keep 75% of the profit.
Some of the items do you look really freakin scary, or like they were made by a bunch of five year olds, but I have to give credit where it’s due…some of the stuff was really impressive! Some of the paintings were shockingly detailed, and some of the sculptural stuff is really nice! Quite the road-side attraction if you ask me.
Another trip I probably would not have gone on unless dragged by guys was the Titan Missile Museum, but I have to say, I really enjoyed myself! If you have any interest in history or the Cold War whatsoever, the Titan Missile Silo of Tucson is a really interesting destination!
This is the only missile that the public has access to tour in all of America, and it really is a piece of history. There is a small museum and store in the entryway, but what you really want to do is buy tickets to take the tour.
During the Cold War, the United States had several underground missiles hidden in various places throughout the country. The desert, of course, was the best place to be hiding them back in the day, because it truly was a desert with nothing for miles. This missile site still has the entire missile structure underground, and it is MASSIVE. The only thing that was missing was the nuclear bombs that were once in the center of it-which was active until the late 1980s. The LATE 80S! Doesn’t that just blow your mind??
The tour lasts about an hour, and again, if you have interest in history, it is worth every penny. First you tour the yard, where different parts to help support the missile are. The yard is also where the missile doors are, that would have opened and rocketed the missile if anyone had ever pushed the button to do so. Even the size of the doors are unbelievable.
Next you get to go underground and into the control room and see the missile up close. The protocol to go underground back in the Cold War was extremely interesting, entry once required several passwords, phone calls, and timed access.
Once you made it underground, the workers at the site always had to be with another individual at all times, and had to work in shifts of 24 hours. The security information you learn on the tour is fascinating! Some of the workers at the museum today were the original workers when the missile was active!
The Titan Missile Silo is such living history. Going down and seeing a real Cold War Missile is certainly a once in a lifetime experience! For more information about visiting the Titan Missile Museum, visit http://www.titanmissilemuseum.org/