Showing posts with label Arizona. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Arizona. Show all posts

Saturday, May 3, 2014

Titan Missile Museum

Date of Visit: May 3, 2014

Despite living in Tucson for almost 20 years the Titan Missile Museum was one of the few places neither Mik or I had been to before.  Considering Mik's fascination with military history it is rather surprising we never even thought about visiting before.

We arrived a few minutes after the noon tour began and decided to join it and miss a few minutes of the movie rather than wait for the next tour at 1 p.m.  The movie is interesting about the history of the silo and launch center, but I don't feel we missed out on anything since you get some plus more info while touring the silo and the tour guides seem to be quite capable of fielding questions.

After the movie ended, the tour heads outside to go down to the launch center.  Before heading down we stopped to hear them sound the siren, which was not a regular thing.  It is very loud, but surprisingly Mik didn't freak out too much, although that was mainly because they gave a clear warning that it was happening.

There are 55 steps down to the entrance of the control center and for those that cannot do stairs they use what originally was more for freight use.  When going up and down the tour guide made sure we knew when the bell was going to sound for the closing and opening above the elevator shaft. The sound was really nothing after the siren, but still Mik can be sensitive to sound and really appreciated having warning.

The rest of the tour is all on the same level and involves going through the blast doors, doing a simulated launch in the control center, and going over to see the Titan II Missile in the silo.  We found the tour to be interesting.  The only part Mik did not really like was the bumpy metal ground in the hallway down to the missile silo, but his comment was just that he was glad he did not have that flooring in his house.

Back up top the tour ends, but you can then wander around up top before heading back out through the museum building.  Mik did not want to spend too much time wandering around in that he did not want us to stop in read every sign, which I agreed was unnecessary with the tour giving all that info already.  Walking over to the top of the silo and going up the platform they have built over it to allow you to look down at the missile was worthwhile.

Destination Info:
Titan Missile Museum
1580 W Duval Mine Rd
Sahuarita, Arizona

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Navajo National Monument

Navajo National MonumentDate of Visit: June 25, 2011

We had not planned to visit the Navajo National Monument, but when we saw a sign for it on our way to Four Corners and Mesa Verde we decided to stop.  It ended up being a worthwhile detour, although we only saw the visitor's center.  Of course, it was also nice to add stamps to our National Park Passports, especially since they had the 25th Anniversary of the National Park Passport stamp.

Navajo National Monument
The visitor's center at the Navajo National Monument has an automatic door, which Mik liked because he did not even have to push a button to open it.  Inside the visitor center is a small exhibit about the Native Americans in the region.  It includes a replica of the house structures that even Mik could roll into, although there was barely enough room for him to fit.

Navajo National Monument
Outside the visitor's center is the Sandal Trail, which is paved and takes you to an overlook to see the cliff dwellings.  The trail is accessible, but Mik was freaked how close it was to the edge of the mountain even though there appeared to at least be a railing on the edge.  Also, we still had a lot of driving to do that day, so we did not go on it.

Near the trail there is a little area set up with an example hogan dwelling.  The paved path ends right on the edge of this area, but it really is not much to see by getting closer.  Thus you do not really miss out if you cannot go in the dirt path.

Overall Navajo National Monument impressed us.  We did not do the accessible trail, but it was great that there was an option.

Photos by Kjersti
Text by Kjersti with Mik's wheelchair accessibility input

Destination Info:
Navajo National Monument
Shonto, AZ

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Sunset Point Rest Area - I17 252mm

Date of Visit: June 25, 2011

The Sunset Point Rest Area is a great scenic view rest area. It is shared by both directions of traffic. There are a good amount of handicap parking spots including 3 regular and 2 long motorhome style spots next to the main restrooms and another set of spots further down by the South facilities. The South facilities only have two single toilet restrooms and they are specifically for handicap, however they were closed and seem to be long term closed.

The main restroom building has handicap stalls in the Men's and Women's restrooms as well as one Family/Companion restroom. I noticed in the Women's restroom they had the large handicap stall as well as the style slightly larger than regular stall with grab bars on bath sides.

The Sunset Point Rest Area has several picnic areas. However, most is in stepped down areas with only one table being level with sidewalk, but this one table has an opening for a wheelchair roll up to it, although the tables seemed rather high.

There is a sun dial memorial down a ramp as part of the view area.

Overall Sunset Point Rest Area is a great rest stop, especially since there really is not much to stop at along most of the I17. It is a good picnic area and a place to stretch you legs or roll about as a break from the car. It is especially nice that it has a Family/Companion restroom.

Destination Info:
Sunset Point Rest Area
I17 252mm

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Sentinel Rest Area Westbound – Interstate 8 Mile Marker 85

Sentinel Rest Area
Totally, did not plan on doing any posts on stuff before we got to San Diego, but that was before we realized the very odd set up of the Sentinel Rest Area on the I-8. They have a picnic spot specifically designated specifically for wheelchairs, but for some reason there is absolutely nothing under the ramada. Seems like this would thus be a negative review, but it is not.
Mik at Picnic Table

While the rest of the picnic table areas are not designated as accessible, they actually all seem to have concrete picnic tables that a wheelchair can rather easily and comfortably roll up to and use. It just struck us as very odd that the accessible spot had no table, yet the whole place was rather accommodating since a wheelchair could sit at any of the picnic tables.

Empty Wheelchair Picnic Area
So, that just left us wondering why even need a place designated accessible? It is not like the path to it seemed any better or anything. Sure it probably was the closest to the handicap spots, but without a table it sure is not useful for people that use handicap spots for stamina type reasons. Of course, it is very likely at one time it did have a table.
RV Parking Spot

It also has an RV handicap parking spot.

Photos and Text by Kjersti with Mik’s Wheelchair Accessibility Input

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo Exhibit at Arizona State Museum

Entrance to Arizona State MuseumYesterday, Mik and I went to the Arizona State Museum on the University of Arizona's campus to see the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo Exhibit, so that he could get some extra credit in history class.  We thought we would also explore the museum, since we had not ever been there.  It ended up being a special event and quite crowded, so we just quickly saw the treaty exhibit (interestingly a not crowded area) and decided we could go back anytime the rest of the year when there are much fewer visitors.

Entrance to Arizona State MuseumI thought the entrance was a different one for wheelchairs, but I forgot they had finished a remodel right before I graduated in 2007 and wheelchairs can now enter through the front entrance.  Note that the left and center doorways have a bar in the middle, but the entrance on the right is wider and has a button to open automatically, although all the doors were kept open at all times during the special event that was going on this weekend.

Wheelchair SignDue to the crowd and it being so close to home that we can easily return at a later time when it is much less crowded, we saw very little of the museum, especially since the special exhibit was in a small room not far off to the left of the entrance area.  We did still encounter that there were steps for one exit to the exhibit, but right next to them it conveniently had a wheelchair sign with an arrow to point you back to the ramp area that you entered the exhibit from.  It is rather obvious that you have to go back that way to get out, but the sign is helpful in that the stairs lead to the restrooms and the ramp area leads in two directions from the exhibit entrance and one gets you to the restroom area without using the stairs.

Photos by Mik
Text by Kjersti with Mik's wheelchair accessibility input