Features Research Archives

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Mechanical Grenade Launcher on a MB

• CATEGORIES: Features, Old Images

I spotted these pictures at Dieselpunks, though the pictures appear to originate from a Russian site. The grenade launchers were designed by the NKEP (Narodnyy Komissariat Elektricheskoy Promyshlennosti – state commissariat for electrical engineering) to be flameless and quiet.

Go to the dieselpunks website to learn more.

mechanical-grenade-launcher-dieselpunks1 mechanical-grenade-launcher-dieselpunks2 mechanical-grenade-launcher-dieselpunks3

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Jeep Tie Tacks and Cuff Links **SOLD**

• CATEGORIES: Features • TAGS: .

UPDATE: **SOLD** Was on eBay

Here’s an unusual set of items.

“Here is a super cool lot of vintage lot of 1960s Jeep Tie Tacks and Cuff Links featuring the 2 Jeep Tie Tacks, a Jeep Gladiator Pickup Tie Tack, and Cuff Links featuring the 60s Jeep Wagoneer and Gladiator. The Jeep Gladiator Pickup Truck is marked Mercury Industries, with the rest are not marked. The lot is sold as pictured, looks and displays great with very good colors, and would be a very nice addition to your collection!

Please take a look at my vintage collectible listings, and I will gladly combine shipping to save you money.”


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LeMons Thunderhill Organizer’s Choice DJ-5

• CATEGORIES: DJ-5 & DJ-6, Features, Racing

DJ-5 owners . . . take heart! Who says a mail jeep isn’t fast? This modified — ok highly modified — DJ-5 won the 2012 Organizer’s Choice Trophy at the 2012 24 Hours of LeMons Thunderhill in California.

road-racing-dj5-24-hours-lemons-thunderhill road-racing-dj5

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Jeep Sweep in Popular Science

• CATEGORIES: Features, Magazine • TAGS: .

The December 1949 issue of Popular Science highlighted this unique attachment for the jeep. You can view this article on Google books.

You can also buy the issue on eBay


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1980 Photo of the Hallandale Broward County Jeep Tram **SOLD**

• CATEGORIES: Features, Old Images • TAGS: .

UPDATE: **SOLD** Was on eBay

The original Broward County Jeep Tram was launched by Hugh B. Cramer in 1946. Hugh brought five jeeps with him from Buffalo that could be linked together and drive out onto sandy beaches.

Hugh’s plan didn’t succeed, but a jeep tram did root itself in Hallandale. According to this article, the jeep trams were begun in 1982 as an adjunct to the bus system, but this photo suggests it happened earlier. The city paid for the majority of the costs. As of 1990 the trams were still running based on the picture at the bottom.

1. “You are bidding on an original press photo from 1980 featuring Tram in Hallandale. . Photo is 10” x 8” in size.”


2. You are bidding on an original press photo from 1990 featuring Voyager Tram… Broward . Photo is 10” x 8” in size.

View all the information on ebay


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1955 Roper Pump Brochure

• CATEGORIES: Advertising & Brochures, Features

UPDATE: **SOLD** Was on eBay.

Here’s a good brochure for a Roper Pump.

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1948 Assembly Line Drawing on Flickr

• CATEGORIES: Artists/Drawings, Features • TAGS: .

Marc discovered these drawings on Flickr. I’m not sure where they were published originally.





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Ads from Automotive Digest **SOLD**

• CATEGORIES: Advertising & Brochures, Features, Magazine

UPDATE: **SOLD** Was on eBay

This June 1943 Automotive Digest has several jeeps ads.

“This is a nice original example of AUTOMOTIVE DIGEST magazine from mid 1943. In most ways it is like any other example of AUTOMOTIVE DIGEST, but this issue contains several nice ads from various manufacturers featuring a variety of World War II jeeps like the Ford GP, Ford GPW and / or Willys MB slat-grills, the standardized Ford / Willys jeep and the GPA or amphibious jeep.”

1943-jumping-jeepers-seep-ads. 1943-victor-gaskets-ad 1943-hall-manufacturing-ad

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1969 Vagabond Adventures #2 **SOLD**

• CATEGORIES: Advertising & Brochures, Features, Magazine • TAGS: , .

UPDATE: **SOLD** Was on eBay.

This is Volume 1, #2 of Vagabond: Adventures in 4-Wheel Drive.

“NOS Jeep Vol #1 Issue#2 “Vagabond” Adventures In 4WD, Factory Magazine sent to customers,  5 1/2 X 8 1/2, 30 pages of articles that would appeal to a broad band of potential “JEEP” customers and sprinkled with liberal doses of Jeep product ads and tie ins.”


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Alii Drive Kailua-Kona, Hawaii Postcard

• CATEGORIES: Features, Postcards

UPDATE: **SOLD** Was on eBay.

“G-VG Condition – Size: 3 1/2 by 5 1/2 inches.
Postcard may have some edge or corner wear.
Please view large scans for details and condition”


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Postcard of Jeep Train in Marblehead, OH **SOLD**

• CATEGORIES: Features, Postcards • TAGS: .

UPDATE: this was on eBay

The Prehistoric Forest & Mystery Hill park in Marblehead in Ohio once featured these jeep trains.  I guess jeeps and dinosaurs go together?  The park closed at the end of 2010 based on what I’ve read.  There is no date associated with the below card.


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1955 AC Spark Plug Ad on eBay

• CATEGORIES: Advertising & Brochures, Features

Just a small jeep was included in this ad.

“Date: 1955
Company: General Motors Corp.
Product: AC Spark Plugs
Size: Aprox. 8″ by 10-7/8″
Condition: VGC. No tears or stains. Picture may appear shaded on one side but is actually uniform in color.”

View all the information on ebay


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Rocking Jeep Toy Phoenix, AZ $40

• CATEGORIES: Features, toys

This looks kind of M-151ish to me, but still a cool toy.









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April 3: Burgers and the Terra Tires Challenge

• CATEGORIES: Features • TAGS: .

<– Day 15 – April 1: From Cathedral Valley to I-70 | Overview  –>


Checking out Jack’s M-38A1 and Randy’s CJ-5 at the Boise Fry Company in Boise, ID.

Day 16 April 2nd: We spent Tuesday night, April 2nd, in Salt Lake City.

Day 17 (final) April 3rd:  On Wednesday April 3rd, we arrived home in Pasco after 5,198 miles of adventure. However, earlier in the day we had one last meeting and a large bet to settle. A little history . . .

In February of this year I spotted a set of mounted Terra Tires in Boise for only $50. Since he lives in Boise, I asked Josh if he could pick them up for me, but he told me his wife was having a baby that day. I asked if they could reschedule the whole baby thing since the tires were a great deal, but for some reason they didn’t think that was a good idea.

So, I asked Jack if he could pick them up, which he did for me (thanks Jack!). It just so happens that my darling wife was listening to me as I made final arrangements for the tires. I told Jack that we’d pick them up in early April on our way back from our Southwest trip.

After finishing my phone call, I hung up, only to see Ann giving me an odd look. She asked why we were going to Boise on our way back when we were supposed to return through California from the FC event. Well, that didn’t register with me. My brain suddenly kicked into high gear, sorting through thousands of jeeps posts and other useless information in an attempt to remember any conversation regarding a trip through California. Finally, there was a brief hint of some conversation months ago about us celebrating a honeymoon by driving north up highway 1.

Now, having been in several relationships with women one thing I have learned to do is fess up right away if you think you’ve screwed up. So, I told Ann that I had forgotten about the honeymoon trip. While you can imagine that went over well, I countered by explaining the value of getting the tires for only $50 and how important it was to meet with Jack and his friends.  While not swayed by my arguments, she did agree that it wasn’t practical to go through California on this trip. I breathed a sigh of relief!

But then, she threw down the gauntlet. She told me she didn’t think the tires would not fit in the back of the jeep since we’d be full of camping gear and clothes.

And thus, for the weeks before and during our trip, every time I mentioned Boise or the tires she teased me about having to rent a uHaul trailer to bring them home. I replied, confidently, that one way or another I’d get them into the jeep, even if I had to tear out the seats and ship them home. I really hoped I didn’t have to do that.


Our jeep before we tried packing the tires. It was pretty full. I was confident though.


Could I fit these tires into the back of our full jeep?

At 1pm on Wednesday we showed up to have lunch with Jack, Randy and Josh at the Boise Fry Company (they have great burgers and fries)!  Jack beat us to the restaurant. In the back seat of his M-38A1 were the tires. One look at them and Ann was sure she would win the bet. Ever confident and cocky, I began to unpile everything from the jeep.

I’m pleased to report that after re-arranging, packing, pushing, flattening, twisting, praying, and jumping up and down, I successfully managed to get the terra tires into the back of the jeep. They are now in Pasco awaiting transport to be tested on Biscuit in Renton. Yeah!


Victory! By dropping down the seats I was able to push stuff farther towards the ceiling. My wife lost graciously :-)

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1960s Del Monte Sign DJ-3A Surrey **Status Unknown**

• CATEGORIES: Advertising & Brochures, Features • TAGS: .

UPDATE: **Status Unknown** Was on eBay

Steve spotted this great advertising piece! Looks to be 29″ wide and just about  that much tall.

“Del Monte 1960s store display sign PINEAPPLE pink JEEP golf cart sun hat lady.Large thick paper sign (see yardstick in photo) with some light staining on the reverse that does not seem to show much from the front; will be shipped ROLLED; overall fine condition with little if any fading …..”


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April 1: From Cathedral Valley to I-70

• CATEGORIES: Features • TAGS: .

<– Day 14 – March 31: From Wolverine Loop to Cathedral Valley | Overview | Day 16 & 17 – Burgers and the Terra Tires Challenge –>


The rising sun at Cathedral Valley Campground.

After a night of light rain, we woke up to sun and clouds.  I wished we had a few days to relax, jeep and hike, but we had to return to Salt Lake to have  an April Fools’ dinner in the evening with my kids, so we broke camp early in the morning.


Cathedral Valley in the morning. Capitol Reef National Park.


To leave Cathedral Valley we had two options. We could go back the way we came (drive south then take the highways north) or head north towards I-70 and hope we could make it. The day before I asked the National Park Ranger if the roads led all the way to I-70. He said we could make it if we knew what we were doing and had a map of the area.

I felt we knew what we were doing, but we lacked an accurate map. Still, I figured we could make it without a map, because we had tall mountains on our left and the San Rafael Swell on our right. And, we had a compass. We had food, gas and water. All we had to due was keep heading north.

As we packed up camp for the drive north, a miracle occurred. I had thought I packed only one map: a general map of the US. It turns out that I had packed a second map: a map of the San Rafael Swell area. That map showed all the roads we needed to take in order to reach I-70. With the guess work out of it, we could relax and enjoy the trip a little more.


Our drive through Cathedral Valley.

Before we left the park, we stopped at a spot called the Gypsum Sinkhole. I didn’t see any gypsum, but there was a big hole. You can just see Ann’s shadow at the edge of the shadow.


Gypsum Sink Hole in Cathedral Valley, Capitol Reef National Park.

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Delivery Package Van Brochures

• CATEGORIES: Advertising & Brochures, Features • TAGS: .

I just purchased the following package van brochures from eBay.



Below is the Urban Package Delivery Van which Jesse is rebuilding.

1940s-urban-package-delivery-van-adWhile not exactly a package van, the principle was the same with this modification:


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March 31: From Wolverine Loop to Cathedral Valley

• CATEGORIES: Features • TAGS: .

<– Day 13 – March 30: From Cottonwood Canyon to Wolverine | Overview | Day 15 – April 1: From Cathedral Valley to I-70  –>


Sunday March 31 day break at Horse Canyon.

Technically, the March 30th night we camped at the Horse Canyon trailhead wasn’t allowed by the NPS. However, had we walked through the gate to the wilderness study area we could camp legally. Besides, it wasn’t like we hadn’t tried to find a camping spot in other places. Since we were all alone, we didn’t think it was a big deal. We didn’t make a fire and we left no trace we were there. Just the same, we broke camp at sunlight and began our second day in Utah.

We’d planned to return to Highway 12 once we got back to the Burr Trail. But, one thing I’d never done was cross Capitol Reef NP on the Burr Trail and then head north (normally I’ve driven south to Bullfrog Marina on Lake Powell). Ann was all for the impromptu route, so we drove north on the Wolverine Loop and headed east. Along the way we took a few photos (surprise, surprise).



Wolverine Loop Trail


The western entrance to the Wolverine Loop from the Burr Trail. This is all within the Grand Staircase Escalante National Monument.


Looking West on the Burr Trail Road. The early morning sun was lighting up the hillsides.

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March 30th: From Cottonwood Canyon to Wolverine Loop

• CATEGORIES: Features • TAGS: .

<– Day 12 – March 29: Holbrook, Arizona, and Route 66 | Overview | Day 14 – March 31: From Wolverine Loop to Cathedral Valley –>


The southern entrance to Cottonwood Canyon Road

Last night we put together a plan to drive north from Williams on highway 89 and then take a little known dirt road short cut called Cottonwood Canyon Road that links highway 89 with highway 12. I’d driven that road more than a decade ago and wanted to tackle it again.

So, on Saturday March 30th we took off on an adventure. The first thing we encountered was a road closure. Highway 89 was closed near Page, AZ, due to some gaps in the road caused by moving earth. However, a detour of thirty miles got us around that issue.


This shows our entire route on March 30th from Williams, through Page, and ending at the Wolverine Loop Trailhead.


This is a closeup map showing the latter part of our drive.

By noon we were in Page, where we suffered an unexpected tragedy (the death of a wine bottle).

As I explained to my wife while picking up the glass from the broken wine bottle in the Safeway parking lot, it wasn’t my fault. Really, it wasn’t. Instead, it was the little crazy four-year-old who was riding like a mad-man around the busy parking lot while his father panhandled while riding a skateboard. The kid’s father had just asked us for money when his son crashed about three feet behind Ann. Meanwhile, I was in the process of opening the back door of the jeep. It happened like this:

1. I began to open the rear hatch door.
2. The kid crashed
3. As the door swung slowly upward, Ann yelled “no, no, no”
4. Ann’s attempts to stop me from opening the door bounced off me as if they didn’t exist, because I was wondering if the stupid kid was hurt.
5. I continued to lift the door.
6. Ann continued to yell “no, no, no”
7. I continued to ignore her (she was two feet away right in front of me)
8. I heard a noise of something sliding.
9. I heard the sound of glass breaking.
10. I heard the sound of me saying . . . “it wasn’t my fault, it wasn’t my fault. it was that kiiiddd!”

Well, it went something like that. No matter how it happened, I was soon buying her another bottle of wine. Actually, 2 bottles. Happy wife, happy life.

Once that adventure was over, we were off to Cottonwood Canyon Road, which turns north from highway 89.  I won’t bore you with details. The road is dirt and the terrain varies wildly. Lots of tight turns, hills, and dust. Don’t drive it when wet. It is just under 50 miles. It rocks! Here are some pics.


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March 29: Holbrook, Arizona, and Route 66

• CATEGORIES: Features • TAGS: .

<– Day 11 – March 28: Petroglyph Rocks and Tent Rocks | Overview | Day 13 – March 30: From Cottonwood Canyon to Wolverine  –>

Our goal was to drive to Williams, Arizona, then drive to Prescott, before returning to Williams for the evening.


Our drive Friday from Holbrook to Williams

We had a busy day that started in Holbrook, AZ. If you have ever seen the movie CARS then you will recognize many of the sites in Holbrook. It’s a fun place to step back in time and cruise the old Route 66.  Here’s a picture of the Wigwam Motel. The prices on these run around $55. I wish I had known they were in Holbrook, because we would have stayed there. Note the old cars parked out front of some of them.




While looking around the town we came across this poor CJ-5 hiding sadly behind a mixer. It’s a project!


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The Lightweights: Ford, Crosley, Willys, Kaiser, Chev, Nuffield, & Jeep

• CATEGORIES: Airborne Lightweight Jeeps, Features, Unusual • TAGS: .

During World War II, trying to get vehicles, especially Jeeps, onto the ground where military personnel could use them was of paramount importance for obvious reasons. But, how to accomplish that goal was less clear. A variety of strategies were used. One idea that was opened up to bids by companies was a program to create an air-droppable Jeep, a lightweight jeep-like vehicle known as extra lights (EL) or lightweight jeeps or jeeplets that could be boxed and flown into areas where they were needed.

Similar to the original jeep prototype program, where multiple companies (in that case Bantam, Ford and Willys) submitted prototypes and pilots for review and testing, during World War II the military announced their lightweight jeep program and welcomed designs from a variety of manufacturers.

This program resulted in a variety of different vehicles that have been showcased across the web, mostly through old photos. In the article below I organize them using newer photos (whenever possible) to provide the most up-to-date look at most of these vehicles (I don’t have pics of all versions of every vehicle).  For a fuller story of the history behind the lightweights, check out this 1977 article from Hemmings.

The image below shows a photo taken by Patrick Coovert in 2008 at Hallsville, Ohio. In order, from left to right are a CT3 Crosley Pup, the Chevrolet Extra Light (CEL), Willys WAC (Willys Air Cooled), and a Kaiser Extra Light (KEL). These are just a few of the jeeps developed.

1. THE LIGHTWEIGHT CROSLEYS: (More info on the Pup here)

CT-3 Pup: According to Hemmings, 36 Crosley CT-3 Pups were built during 1942 and purchased for testing in several locations. of the 36, 6 of these would make the trip to Europe.  This would make the Pup the most successful of all the early lightweights produced.  The Pup had a 2-cylinder 13hp engine air cooled motor and weighed 1125 lbs. Hemmings notes, “they could only carry the driver and one passenger, and the military testers, initially enthusiastic about the Pup, found weak steering knuckles, weak springs and a weak steering column.

The Crosley Auto Club claims are at least 7 known to still exist (their text has since been updated to indicate that ‘several’ are known to exist).  One is housed at the museum in Ft. Eustis, Va, and one at the Mighty Eight Air Force Museum in Pooler, Ga.   These were taken by a Flickr User name Skeggy at the Mighty Eight Museum.

Here’s an image from the 2006 MPVA convention in Dayton, Oh, and uploaded to webshots by haasjo


I have not located much information about the Nuffield, though it was featured in one of my early favorite book called The Jeep. I believe this was based primarily on Willys parts, though it was lightened as much as possible, with a removable steering wheel and fold down windshield to maximize compactness.  The tests of this were successful, though it was deemed unnecessary by the time it was completed in 1944. Nuffield would go on to develop another 4wd vehicle called the Nuffield Gutty.

Here are some images of an exact copy (as possible) of the Nuffield lightweight jeep from a british website.

And some photos of the original:

3. CHEVROLET EXTRA LIGHT (CEL): Hemmings reports Chevrolet developed 2 prototypes with an “Indian 90-degree V-2” 45.44 cid motor.  They adapted it from the Indian Military motorcycle. One prototype is located in the Militia Museum of New Jersey.  This image was taken by Bill Maloney.

This image was taken at the 2006 MPVA Convention by hassjo and uploaded to webshots.

Here’s an image of the CEL this is in a variety of places.

4. KAISER: There were several versions of the Kaiser Extra Lightweight Jeep.  Mark Askew in his Rare WW2 Jeep book has images of a couple different versions.  For example, the Kaiser ‘midjet’ weighed about 1370lbs and the ‘1160’ weighed 1520lbs.

Hemmings has several articles about the Kaisers, including Kaiser’s Jeeplet, Kaiser Lightweight Spotted, and a general article about the Search for Junior Jeeps.

The below pic of the Kaiser Jeeplet was uploaded to webshots by haasjo:

This another Kaiser airborne prototype:

5. FORD “JUNIOR JEEP”: This prototype still exists and is owned by Ted Wisniewski of Belleville, Michigan and was highlighted in an article at Hemmings. A commenter to the article noted he had done some jeep research in the Ford archives and uncovered a wooden model of this prototype, images of which I  have never seen.

From Fred Crimson’s Book “U.S. Military Wheeled Vehicles,”, via the Hemmings website, comes this paragraph explaining more about Ford’s prototype.

“For reasons which can only be speculated on, the little miniature Jeep was not entered in the competition, and the tests proceeded without Ford’s contribution. The engine for this vehicle was a 71 cubic inch agricultural tractor powerplant which produced good torque, but not much horsepower. Perhaps ford realized that the combination of low horsepower and downsized components resulted in an unacceptable vehicle. The other manufacturers did not seem to realize this until the tests were completed and all vehicles had failed. The tires were 5.00x17s with agricultural type tread. It was a clean and well integrated design, even if the offset grille looks a little strange. The radiator had been offset to allow clearance for the steering column. A blackout driving light is recessed below the left headlamp.”

6. WILLYS: Naturally, Willys also developed a series of light jeeps.  Here are a few. Mark’s Rare WW2 Jeeps has some pics of both the Willys MB-L and L2. From Jedsite.info had a photo of the first MB-L. It’s also known as the “Gypsy Rose Lee” Jeep (Unity Magazine, Dec 1947).


Here’s a photo of the Willys MB-L2:


and a photo of the MB-L2 next to a standard MB


Willys Pilot WAC or Jeeplet (harley davidson engine)

Willys WAC or Jeeplet (harley davidson engine)

Willys Aero Jeep (bobcat).  This looks very similar to the CJ-4 prototype.

There were others too.  The Mighty Mite was a version of a lightweight Jeep.  A company that built German Krakas delivered a few hundred of these vehicles to bundeswehr for testing. And, South Africa employed an airborne jeep called the Jakkal. This 500lb four wheel drive folding airborne ‘jeep’ was tested. Pics appeared in the July 1958 Issue of Popular Mechanics (Pg 83).

The MB/GPW Glider (very unique story):

I’ve never run across another reference to this story, but Sam (who runs the Motor Pool) shared a story from his friend Lee (recently deceased) about an experimental Jeep Glider.  Not unlike the Rotabuggy, which was a jeep transformed into a helicopter, the Government also transformed a Jeep into Glider, built to carry 8 personnel plus the jeep.  The Army accomplished this by attaching glider pieces to a jeep.  The jeep was then pulled into the air, like any other glider, and it would fly to a landing spot.  Once down, charges would be ignited and the pieces would fall off. The Jeep could then drive away.

Unfortunately, while the tests were successful in the U.S. in anticipation of the D-Day invasion, a test of the glider system in Britain failed to the point that the army considered this idea unfeasible, with the differences in climate said to be the main reason they succeeded in the US and failed in Britain.

I have yet to run across any photos or drawings of this project, but perhaps someone else has?

General links

  1. Hemmings.com’s Search for the Junior Jeep is a good article for lightweight jeep history.
  2. Rare WW2 Jeeps, by Mark Askew, has a variety of lightweight photos.
  3. Jeeps 1941-45 By Steen Zaloga
  4. Jeep by Jim Allen
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March 28: Petroglyph Rocks and Tent Rocks

• CATEGORIES: Features • TAGS: .

<– Day 10 – March 27: Caverns & Aliens | Overview | Day 12 – March 29: Holbrook, Arizona, and Route 66 –>

Today we drove north from Tularosa to explore Santa Fe and “Tent Rocks”. Our final destination was Holbrook, Arizona.


Thursday’s drive from Tularosa to Santa Fe.


Part of the slot canyon at “Tent Rocks” National Monument

There is no way you can start off a morning wrong when you have hash browns smothered in green chiles and cheddar cheese. It was delicious dish we enjoyed at the local Tularosa gas station restaurant.

Following breakfast, we trekked north for a stop at Three Rivers Petroglyph Site run by the BLM. Within a relatively small area 21,700 petroglyphs have been identified. Within five minutes of hiking we were surrounded by petroglyphs of all sizes and shapes. It seemed every rock was marked.


2013-03-28-three-rivers1 2013-03-28-three-rivers2

After Three Rivers, we renewed our drive northward. On the way we discovered that Tinkertown wouldn’t open until Friday. Moreover, not too far from Tinkertown is Madrid, the town made famous by the WILD HOGS Movie. After pondering our options, we decided that we would have to save Madrid and Tinkertown for some other time.

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A Crime at the 356th Fighter Group in Ohio

• CATEGORIES: Features

Bob sent me a crime report. This jeep is sitting outside at the Akron/Canton, Ohio, Airport with no protection, a lost sole without a loving home. There’s another sitting there too. Both have been left to nature (as best as Bob can tell).  Note the rear tires is flat and the front tire is close behind.


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1960s Cast Surrey Model Cedar Falls, IA **SOLD**

• CATEGORIES: Features, toys • TAGS: .

UPDATE: **SOLD** Was on eBay.



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March 27: Caverns & Aliens

• CATEGORIES: Features • TAGS: .

<– Day 9 – March 26: Space History and White Sands | Overview | Day 11 – March 28: Petroglyph Rocks and Tent Rocks –>

On Wednesday March 27th we spent the day exploring eastern New Mexico.



We began the morning with a beautiful drive east up to Cloudcroft, a town that sits at 9000 ft, making it popular destination for folks looking to escape the heat of the Alamogordo valley.  It was early, so not much was open. We continued until we reached the dusty town of Artesia, NM. My oldest son Karson had been ‘stationed’ in Artesia to get his final training for Fema Corps, but left Sunday (only 3  days earlier) for Brooklyn, where he will spend two months helping the Hurricane Sandy clean up process.  So, we just missed him!

From Artesia, we went south on Highway 285 until we reached Carlsbad Caverns National Park.


After entering the Carlsdbad’s visitor center, we had a choice. We could either take an elevator down or walk down to the caverns themselves. Ann thought it best to take the elevator, but was perfectly happy to let me walk down the winding pathway through a massive cave entrance, which leads to the caverns.

So, I started towards the entrance. At first the switchbacks were relative gentle…


But soon they got steeper. As the path led into the cave opening, moisture from the walls and ceiling bled onto the path, making it slippery in spots due to the angle of descent. 2013-03-27-carlsbad-cavern4

Eventually, I reached an intersection. I was uncertain which way to go until I spotted a sign I thought would get me to the elevators. So, I turned right, unaware that I was actually heading into the cavern system itself. Once I realized my mistake, I then had to figure out whether it was quicker to head back the way I had come or venture forward until I returned back the the intersection starting point. Poor Ann was left waiting for me. I think it took me about 15 minutes to complete the entire circuit through the caverns at a slight job.

One I found Ann again, we I took my second stroll around the caverns, this time at a much slower pace. My photos of the cavern were mostly blurry, but this was turned out reasonably well.


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