December 3, 2023 Travel to Casa Grande

We packed up and headed on down the road.

Fog (or dust) in the valley:

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Just love these mountains:

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When the sun shines on them with the clouds overhead, beautiful!

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Crossing the mountains into the next valley:

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Going thru Tucson:

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Love the bridge pictures:

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Tucson spans miles and miles.  We spent some time there many years ago and hope to do it again.

This is Picacho Peak – where the furthest west Civil War battle took place:

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We are starting to see many saguaros:

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Even more cotton.. I don’t know what the different packaging means:

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We arrived at Rover’s Roost right before lunch.  After settling in our lot, I took a walk about.  Talked to folks I knew and had not seen in a while and met some new folks.

We are not sure how long we will be here.  There are some things we need to do plus we hope to see a number of folks.

Not sure how much touristy stuff we will be doing over the next few weeks but I will post updates periodically.

Until next time enjoy today!


Stats for today:

Miles Traveled:  135 Miles

Arizona: AZ-82; AZ-90; I-10; Montgomery Road



November 30, 2023–December 2, 2023 Our last days in Huachuca City, AZ

No touristy stuff to write about but we did have a great couple of days.

On Thursday, we met Mike and Mary for lunch in Sierra Vista.  What a great time and the food was good too.

I did get a picture:

Andy, Mike, Mary, Diane:

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Friday we woke to cold and rain – BRRR.  A good day to get the laundry done.  Besides the washers and dryers in the clubhouse, they have a “shed” dedicated just for laundry and that is what I used.  It was clean and reasonable.  The dryers were $1.50 for 72 minutes…not a typo..  72 minutes.  GREAT!!!

That evening we met Rusty and Rich at the Elks for a steak dinner.  Rusty and I went to grade school together in Minersville, PA.  We got together this past spring and it was great to see them again and get caught up.

I forgot to get a picture so we took a selfie in the parking lot – LOL!:

Rich, Andy, Rusty, Diane:

2023-12-01 Elks Sierra Vista


On Saturday, I went to the craft shows at Mall and Veterans Park.  Both were small but nice.  At the mall, Gloria and I bumped in to one another and had a nice chat.

I finished the day by doing more grocery shopping. 

So tomorrow we leave Huachuca City and head to Casa Grande.  I have enjoyed my time here and hope to spend more time in the future.  This area of the country is beautiful and it has four seasons.  Winters are not bad and neither are the summers.  And the views, oh my.  Yes, I could live here.

Enjoy today!


November 29, 2023 Fort Huachuca, Arizona Part 2 of 2

The main museum is across the street from the annex and right next to the historic parade grounds.

This was also a static museum with a lot of information.

It started with the history of the area.

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I have researched the location of the kill sites and that is for another day.

If you have been following us since Texas, note the similarities:

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It was not only SE Arizona that was abandoned, it was most of the southwestern United States.  Very interesting!

European-made steel helmet and breastplate used by the Spanish in the American Southwest in the 1500s.  Can you imagine how hot this must have been?  Great protection for arrows but hot to wear!

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The timeline continued with the Spanish invasion.  By 1821, the Spanish retreated to Mexico.

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The Mexican – American War Battlefields:

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(I did not blow this up because there was so much information.  I have included it for me in the future as an FYI.  It can be enlarged to see the details.)

The end result of the war is American gained land and then purchased more in 1854 to complete what is America today!

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Civil War battles in the Southwest (Details below):

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So these soldiers were fighting the Confederates as well as the Apaches.  WOW!

The furthest west that the Civil War was fought was Picacho Peak (near Casa Grande, AZ):

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The furthest north in the Southwest that the Civil War was fought was northeast of Santa Fe:

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I knew many of the battles in the east and into Texas but did not know that the Civil War went into Arizona.

Private, 1st Dragoons, 1860:

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By 1886, there were 28 heliograph stations relaying information about hostile movements by Apaches.

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Enlisted infantryman’s dress coat and helmet with the Apache surrender picture in the background:

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The next part of the museum was dedicated to the Buffalo Soldiers:

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“American Plains Indians who fought against these soldiers referred to the black cavalry troops as "buffalo soldiers" because of their dark, curly hair, which resembled a buffalo's coat and because of their fierce nature of fighting. The nickname soon became synonymous with all African-American regiments formed in 1866.”

“Throughout the era of the Indian Wars, approximately twenty percent of the U.S. Cavalry troopers were Black, and they fought over 177 engagements. The combat prowess, bravery, tenaciousness, and looks on the battlefield, inspired the Indians to call them Buffalo Soldiers. The name symbolized the Native American’s respect for the Buffalo Soldiers’ bravery and valor. Buffalo Soldiers, down through the years, have worn the name with pride.”

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Notice the hat – it became a lasting uniform legacy for National Park Rangers.  And it all started with the Buffalo Soldiers fighting in Cuba.

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   The Buffalo Soldier Logo:

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More information can be found here: 






As Buffalo Soldiers returned from the Philippines, though, the narrative had begun to shift in popular memory. Seeking to glorify his Rough Riders, Roosevelt downplayed the role of Black Soldiers in Cuba. “Black Jack” Pershing’s vision of Cuba marking a new unity between the races crumbled in the face of prejudice among politicians and senior military leaders in Washington. Some units made their presence felt in other ways, ignoring the racism. Several troops from the 9th Cavalry and a company from the 24th Infantry Regiment served as park rangers in Yosemite and Sequoia National Parks before the establishment of the National Park Service. In 1903 Capt. Charles Young, the third Black graduate of the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, became the first Black superintendent of a National Park when he became the Military Superintendent of Sequoia National Park. The Buffalo Soldiers’ symmetrical “Montana Peak” to the Stetson hat, a relic from Cuba, became a lasting uniform legacy for the Park Rangers.

On September 6, 2005, Mark Matthews, the oldest living Buffalo Soldier, died at the age of 111. In 2023, 101-year-old Robert Dixon was recognized as the last surviving Buffalo Soldier at West Point. Today there are monuments honoring the Buffalo Soldiers in Kansas at Fort Leavenworth and Junction City. They have also been immortalized in popular culture through songs like reggae giant Bob Marley's "Buffalo Soldier," television productions like 1997's "Buffalo Soldiers" starring Danny Glover, and in films like Spike Lee's "Miracle at St. Anna," which chronicles the Buffalo Soldiers who served in the invasion of Italy in World War II.

The remarkable courage demonstrated by these proud African American soldiers in the face of fierce combat, extreme discrimination in the Army, deadly violence from civilians and repressive Jim Crow laws continues to inspire us today.”

What an incredible legacy and what a learning experience for Andy and I.  AWESOME MUSEUM!  Highly recommended.

There is another museum at Fort Huachuca - Fort Huachuca Army Intelligence Museum.   We decided to save it for another day.

We had lunch on base at Jeannie’s Diner – a nice 50-60’s style diner with great food.

What a great day!


November 29, 2023 Fort Huachuca, Arizona Part 1 of 2

So how do you say Huachuca?  “wuh·choo·kuh”   Yes, I had a problem with it too.

What does the word Huachuca mean?  

“The word “Huachuca” comes from a later Indian tribe, the Sobaipuri, who used it in describing their village at the base of the mountains. It is usually translated as “Place of thunder,” a notable feature of summer month in the area.”

We were told that the Buffalo Soldier Museum at Fort Huachuca was not to be missed.  So that is where we went today.  Our first stop was at the Buffalo Soldier Gate – oops!  We needed a visitor’s pass and that was at the main gate.  So back to the main gate, got the visitor’s pass and away we went. 

This base is HUGH and yes, it is an active base.

Some background and history:

“In February 1877, Col. August V. Kautz, commander of the Department of Arizona, ordered Capt. Samuel Marmaduke Whitside to set up a cavalry camp protecting settlement and travel in southeastern Arizona’s San Pedro Valley.  The site he chose on March 3, 1877, is Fort Huachuca today. With its fresh running water, an abundance of trees, excellent observation in three directions and protective high ground essential for security, Camp Huachuca was a superb location for the mission, leading the Army to make it a permanent fort in 1882. In 1886, Gen. Nelson A. Miles used the Fort as his advance headquarters and forward supply base during the Army’s final Arizona campaigns.  Following this, the Army would close more than 50 garrisons in the Arizona Territory, leaving Fort Huachuca as its sole active post.

Fort Huachuca’s strategic location continued to make it an effective guard for the restive border areas and its troops the best protection for the mining, transportation and ranching enterprises growing nearby. Twenty years of patrolling, shootouts with outlaws and gunrunners, and general peace-keeping efforts followed, establishing the post as the federal government’s principal presence and protection for the settlements growing throughout the region.

In 1913, the 10th Cavalry "Buffalo Soldiers" became Fort Huachuca’s garrison regiment, remaining until 1933. The 10th Cavalry would win honors during Gen. John J. Pershing’s 1916 Mexican Expedition and secure a vast stretch of the border region from German infiltration during World War I.  In 1933, another Buffalo Soldier unit, the 25th Infantry Regiment, took over and performed similar duties until 1942 when it was absorbed into the 93rd Infantry Division. When the 93rd departed for the Pacific in 1943, the 92nd Infantry Division arrived at the Fort for training and subsequent assignment to the European Theater. More than 30,000 Black Soldiers, men and women, passed through Fort Huachuca on their way to service in every theater of the War between 1941 and 1945.

At war's end, the Fort was declared surplus and closed briefly.  It was reactivated in 1950 as a training area for Army Engineers. In 1954, Fort Huachuca emerged as a key national defense asset when the Electronic Proving Ground began testing electronic and communications equipment, along with pilotless planes carrying photographic equipment for reconnaissance missions. This new role continues to grow and now includes the Joint Interoperability Test Command and resulted in the establishment of the Buffalo Soldier Electronic Test Range consisting of 2,500 square miles of electromagnetically quiet, high-altitude bowl to conduct full-frequency, full-power jamming as part of the DoD’s cyber warfare testing. From "pilotless planes" to today's Unmanned Aircraft Systems, the Fort is home to the world's largest UAS training center with over 125,000 square feet of training space, four hangars and three runways.

In 1967, Fort Huachuca became the headquarters of the U.S. Army Strategic Communications Command.  The Strategic Communications Command became the U.S. Army Communications Command in 1973, subsequently changing to the U.S. Army Information Systems Command in 1984 and then to the U.S. Army Signal Command in 1997. On Oct. 1, 2002, the U.S. Army Signal Command was renamed the U.S. Army's Network Enterprise Technology Command.

Meanwhile, in 1971, the Military Intelligence Corps relocated to the post, establishing the U.S. Army Intelligence Center and School thereby consolidating all military intelligence training at Fort Huachuca. In October 1990, the U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command became the new host command of the installation.

Today, Installation Management Command operates the post with a Garrison team responsible for delivering superior base support to enable readiness and the highest quality of life for Soldiers, Families and Civilians. Fort Huachuca remains the largest military installation and economic engine in Arizona serving a prominent role in national defense missions. “


We parked the car and walked to the front of the first museum.  This statue greeted us: 

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There are two museums in this area.  The main one and the annex.  Surrounding the museums are the original camp.  The buildings are still used for living quarters, offices and education.

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The parade grounds:

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Colonel Row:

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Each house has a marker with the rank and the person living there.  We were told that during the holidays, each home is decorated inside and out and there is a Christmas open house event.

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Cavalry Halls – constructed in 1883 now used as administrative buildings:

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The Museum Annex – built mainly with troop labor, this theater opened for business in 1933:

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Brayton Hall – built in 1905 to serve primarily as a gymnasium, library, and theater.  In the basement was a restaurant for the officers:

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The Bandstand on the Parade Grounds – This is a replica of the original bandstand that was built in 1920:

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6th Cavalry Hall – These buildings were all constructed as double barracks in 1883 to house 87 men:

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Hazen House – constructed in 1891 and used as “double officers” quarters.  Today, it is used to house distinguished guests to the post:

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There is an audio tour of all of these buildings.  We decided to just stay with the museums and come back another time.

We started with the museum annex that contained the history of Unmanned Aerial Systems (Drones):

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Aircraft camera first used in the Korean War then used in drones:

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The MQM-105:

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The museum contained much information on the history and uses of unmanned aircraft up to the present time.  They had a great movie about this also.

“Today, Fort Huachuca is the largest unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) training facility in the world. Its $10 million facility contains 25,000 square feet of space and 10 simulators, while managing 964 square miles of restricted air space above the community. Top entrepreneurs and experienced defense agencies come from around the world to test and evaluate their unmanned aircraft systems at Fort Huachuca. For this reason Sierra Vista is home to some of the nation’s leading civilian contractors that develop UAS technology, like Northrop Grumman and Raytheon.”

Very interesting.

Next is the main museum – see Part 2!