Tag Archives: Los Angeles International Airport

My Western Trip Part~15

13 Aug

A Slice of Life

Bill Lites


 Heading back west from Meteor Crater, I passed signs for roads leading to some of the most unique sounding towns, such as Two Guns and Twin Arrows. Then a little ways farther down the road, I passed a man carrying a cross with wheels on the long end. What a sight that was. It reminded me of Arthur Blessitt, who carried a cross from the west coast to the east coast of the U.S. back in the late 1960s. When I got to Williams, AZ I took another little side trip, north on S.R. 64 to Valle, AZ to visit the Planes of Fame Air Museum. This museum has a couple of the planes that are special to me, one being General Douglas MacArthur’s Lockheed C-121A Constellation (N422NA) that he named “Bataan.” The other is a Pacific Air Lines Martin 4-0-4 (N636X) that I worked on at the Los Angeles International Airport in 1958-1960s while I was attending Northrop University.


Next door to the POF Air Museum is the Grand Canyon Valle Airport, which has a very nice collection of vintage aircraft and vehicles. Their movie and airline famous1929 5-AT-C Ford Tri-motor (N414H) is painted in the colors of Scenic Airways (predecessor to Grand Canyon Airlines), and among its many other awards, won the National Aviation Heritage Invitational (NAHI) Howard Hughes Trophy at the 2012 Reno Air Races.



Then I headed west on I-40 again, this time toward Las Vegas, my beginning and ending destination for this trip. I passed thru Ash Fork and Seligman before stopping at the Airport in Kingman, AZ to visit the Kingman Army Airfield Museum. But again, they were closed that day, so I continued on into Kingman to visit the Powerhouse Route 66 Museum and the Kingman Railroad Museum.



Since time was beginning to get a little tight, I didn’t spend a lot of time in those two museums, but got back on the road for Las Vegas. I made it into town in time to visit the National Atomic Testing Museum, which documents the history of U.S. nuclear testing at the Nevada Test Site (NTS), which was originally called The Nevada Proving Grounds. The NTS is located in the desert only 65 miles north of Las Vegas, and has been the location for 928 nuclear tests of all types and sizes, since the first detonation on January 27, 1951. This includes above-ground, underground and atmospheric tests.


I began the next morning by turning in the rental car (3356 miles), and then it was stand in line for baggage check-in, Security checks, and wait for my Southwest flight back to the “Green” of Orlando, FL and home. We had made arrangements for my sister Judy and her husband Fred to meet DiVoran and me at Sonny’s BBQ for dinner upon my arrival, so we had a great dinner of Baby Back Ribs, with all the trimmings. Then it was onto S.R. 528 and east to Titusville for a good night’s sleep in my own bed. Boy did that feel good! I really enjoyed this trip, and am looking forward to the next one, but DiVoran says I will need to cut back a little on that one. I hope you have enjoyed reading about “My Western Trip” as much as I have enjoyed writing about it.




—–The End—–


%d bloggers like this: