Polar Bear Express 2012 travel blog

Bronze Eagle At The Entrance To The Museum






Douglas Skyraider



Douglas RB-26C Invader


J-1 Jenny

1931 Packard







Eastern Airlines Stinson




German ME-109


Grumman F3F-2


L5 Stinson

Major Gregory "Pappy" Boyington, VMF-214 "Black Sheep", USMC



Bristol F.2 Fighter





Russian MIG

Lockheed T-33

Blue Angel

Lockheed Constellation

Constellation Tail


History Of The Bataan

General MacArthur's Bio

Luxury Seats For Officers

General's Desk




Robert Reed & Bill


Enlisted Men Seating


Bill Sitting In The Navigator's Desk

Robert Reed


Latrine In Rear

Western Shootout Arena

Cataract Kids Outlaws





Grand Canyon Railway Engine


We visited the Grand Canyon back in May of this year, so that’s why we decided to visit Fred and Barney’s place. We did, however, drive to the IMAX Theater to see their spectacular adventure film “Grand Canyon, The Hidden Secrets.” For us, there is really no other way to see the bottom of the Canyon then to see this beautifully made film.

When we visit the Grand Canyon (which we’ve visited three times), we take the trail around the rim, which is awesome, but since we will never take a donkey ride, or a plane ride, or a helicopter ride, or hike down the trail to the bottom or ride the rapids, this movie is the perfect way to see what the entire canyon looks like.

Briefly, this beautiful visual film is about the Ancient Inhabitants, Spanish Explorers, Civil War Veteran John Wesley Powell and his nine companions, as well as all the beauty of the lower canyon, cliffs, bluffs, rapids etc.

Ancient Inhabitants

It is believed that these ancient people roamed from the desert and stayed about 4,000 years ago. 2,000 years passed before the descendants of these early nomads began to build baked brick houses called Anasazi in the sheltered hollows of the canyon. Over 270 of these Anasazi sites, spanning 20 centuries, have been found in the Canyon. No one can say for sure whether it was drought, famine or hostile enemies that caused their eventual disappearance.

Spanish Explorers

In September of 1540, Don Garcia Lopez De Cardenas and a small band of Spanish explorers traveled north in search of the legendary lost cities of gold. Guided by a Hopi Indian scout, they encountered the South Rim of the Grand Canyon. Cardenas and his men searched unsuccessfully for three days for a way to the river. None was found until 48 years after Columbus reached the North American continent.

John Wesley Powell

In 1869, Major John Wesley Powell, a one-armed Civil War veteran, and his nine companions became the first men to journey 1,000 miles on the Green and Colorado River from Wyoming through the Grand Canyon. Powell and his party braved dangerous rapids, searing heat, sinking morale and the loss of three men to complete their remarkable feat. Powell’s notes about the trip, and a second 1871-1872 expedition provided invaluable information about one of the last unexplored areas of the United States.

This movie was done so beautifully that we bought the DVD. A must see before you visit the Grand Canyon.

“Planes of Fame” Air Museum, Valle, Arizona

We also visited this awesome museum with rare aircraft from around the world. Some aircraft are legends, so rare they’re only seen in books. But, thanks to the decades of patient collecting and restoration of some of the rarest planes in history, we had the opportunity to see these aviation legends first-hand and actually got a private tour of the Lockheed Constellation ("Connie") C-121A serial number 48-0613 (Bataan), by a member of the flight crew, a Marine Corp pilot, Robert Reed, who served in Korea. This Constellation is in flying condition. According to Mr. Reed, this aircraft was used as a personal transport by General Douglas MacArthur during the Korean War, and later by other Army general officers until 1966, when it was retired and transferred to the U.S. space agency NASA. After its acquisition by Planes of Fame, it was restored to its original configuration with a "VIP interior."

The Planes of Fame is more than just an aviation museum. It’s a living history where rare aircraft are carefully preserved and as many as possible are kept flying! Amazing collection.

On Tuesday we watched the "Western Shootout" at the Grand Canyon Railway station and just took it easy for the rest of the day. Our trip is almost over. Tomorrow we head for Needles, Ca.

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