Sierra canyon Hiking Group Hike on the Pacific Crest Trail to Benson Hut

The Del Webb over 55 community that we live in, Sierra Canyon, has a hiking group that does an  easier hike on Mondays and a longer hike on Thursdays. Today Duke and I did our first Thursday hike. It was wonderful. We met at 7:30 at the lodge and were on the trail by 8:30. We started just south of highway 80 at Donner Pass and followed the Pacific Crest Trail to a Sierra Club hut called Benson hut. It was beautiful day and the trail followed the crest of the mountains. We had phenomenal views although it was a bit hazy because of the California fires. The first part of the trail went through Sugar Bowl ski area and over the top of the long tunnel that trains go through to get over the pass.

The first pass we went over was Roller pass where the Donner party used logs and oxen to pull their wagons over the pass.

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The trail followed the crest and gave us breath taking views in all directions.

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While we were walking along here Duke fell and hit his head. Although it was a scary fall and his head looked bad he didn’t even get a headache. I guess he has a hard head!

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Our destination was the Sierra Club Benson hut which was 5.8 miles from the trail head. We had lunch and then headed back.

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Although my feet are sore and I am tired it was great hike. I think we should get hiking poles for Duke before our next hike. The ones I have were a gift from Bonnie and they worked great!

Here is a link to my flickr page with all my pictures of the hike.

Sierra Canyon bus tour to Fallon NAS

Yesterday the Del Webb community we live in, Sierra Canyon, offered a bus tour to Fallon  Naval Air Station and we went. It was so cool. Fallon is about 50 miles east of Reno. It is the Naval Strike and Air Warfare Command. It is where the Top Gun school is. Our guide described it as the graduate school for pilots. Pilots come in and are trained to go back and be the trainers for their units. In addition whole airwings come in to Fallon to be trained. An airwing inclues about 40 F18 Super Hornets each of which cost 40 Million.

The first thing we did when we arrived was to go up into the observation floor in the control tower.

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We could see the F5 Tigers that were painted to be the agressor aircraft for training and at the other end of the flight line we could see the F18s that were part of the air wing there for training.

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After the observation deck we went into one of the hangers where one of the pilots stationed a Fallon told us about  what they do. Our guide was call sign BUDA for Big Ugly Dumb Animal. His real name was Brandon Harjer.

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He said that Fallon is unique in that it is so big that they can train on air to air and air to ground combat at the same time. He told us all about his training and how he got to be a pilot. He has served in Afganistan. It was so cool to walk around the F5 tigers that they fly and  ask him questions about them.

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From the hanger we went into the ready room where we saw the pilot’s flight gear and parachutes.

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From there we went out on to the flight line where all the planes were. I know I have said it before but it was so cool!

Then we had a picnic lunch and walked around the airplane museum. It was really interesting to see the MiGs and the early jets.

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The whole tour was a real treat. I love jets and especially fighter jets.

Here is the Flickr link to all my pictures from the tour.