2 On The Road Blog

After 12 years of full-time rving, we've sold our truck and trailer but we're still traveling. Email us at wowpegasus@hotmail.com if you would like to contact us.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Maricopa County Tent City Jail

.... I heard that groups could tour the Maricopa County Tent City Jail in Phoenix so I set up three tours for Sunscape RV Resort. As we enter the front doors there were signs listing the rules. Inside I walked up to this counter to tell them the group for Sunscape was here.
The start of the tour took us past this display of items that inmates had made. They're creative when they don't have much to do.
The carving in the middle is made out of soap. Pretty talented, huh?
Always gotta have their contraband.
Once outside that building we were inside a high fence with razor wire all around. We weren't even to the area where the inmates were kept.
...We went back out a gate then passed this guard shack and entered another building. Yes we were entering the In-Tents Jail. Hilarious, huh?
This sign in the entry really makes the point that the prisoners in this jail have it a lot better than our troops in Iraq and Afghanistan.
The prisoners used to see visitors through these windows via a phone link. This is the old way and the windows are now painted over.
The new way is via monitor with a phone link. There conversations are recorded. The prisoners are actually sitting at the same place but the visitors have been moved across the hallway. We weren't allowed to take photos in the day room that we walked into. Prisoners roam freely in this room and have one TV on which they can watch the Disney Channel, CNN or the Weather Channel.
...We went through a gate and into this tent where prisoners returning from work duty are strip-searched and given a set of clothing. Most prisoners go out daily to work somewhere. Sometimes they get to work at the food distribution area where they package up the meals for each inmate. The officer is showing us the striped outfits each inmate wears. The pink stuff in the bin are socks. Pink underwear is the trademark of the Maricopa County Sheriff's Office.
Even the sheets and towels are pink. Oh, the handcuffs are pink too. So many were disappearing as prisoners were sent to other jurisdictions that Sherriff Joe decided that they would have pink ones so they would be readily identified. We just watched a show on TV about the female officers of Maricopa County and I saw them put pink handcuffs on an arrestee. Yes the male officers carry pink handcuffs too unless they have their own set like the officer that was leading our tour.
What's even funnier is that anyone can buy some pink underwear with the Maricopa County Sheriff's Office logo at http://www.pinkunderwear.com/.
The rubber footwear looks more orange than pink.
Then we entered a portion of the yard that was unoccupied. These are the tents the inmates sleep in. There are 22 inmates bunked in this size tent. The tents have metal framework because it lasts longer and the inmates can't use the rope and stakes as weapons.

This is an old guard tower that is no longer used due to stringent OSHA regulations. It didn't photograph well but there's a sign at the bottom of the tower floor that flashes "Vacancy".
The officer leading the tour shows us one of the two bags of food each inmate gets every day. Yeap, they're only fed twice a day. That gives them the full calorie requirement dicated by law. No hot meals here.
Once outside the fence again we saw that it was covered in strips so that the prisoners couldn't see what was going on outside the fence. The top part if the fence is electrified.
...At the one spot where there wasn't strips, we could see there were two layers of fences topped by razor wire.
There are several different prisons here. This is where they take in people that have been accused of mistreating animals. The animals are kept here as evidence. At least here they are cared for. Another section of the prison is called the "Con-Tents Jail" LOL
At the corner of the yard on the outside of the fence is a guard shack mounted on a lift. Nolan and one other person got to ride to the top and looked out over the yard. The windows are really dark so the inmates can't see if someone is in the shack or not.
The bluish-white building in the background is Con-Tents.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Green Desert Hike

South of Casa Grande there's a small mountain/large set of hills. I think they are called the Casa Grande Mountains or Grande Mountains. Any way we went there to hike. It's been raining a lot and the desert has turned green.
....We hike one of the small hills. The one on the far right of the previous photo. From there we had a view to the north of Casa Grande. Well some of Casa Grande. If you enlarge this photo and have really sharp eyes, you can see our car out there in the green in both this photo and the next one. Hint: It's by a saguaro cactus! LOL Ok the other hint is that it is red.

..The ocotilla are green and starting to get red blooms at the end of each branch.

Picacho Peak with the other Picacho Mountains behind it.
...We followed a trail along the side of the mountain. It was easy to see since it was the only thing not green.
The funny looking bushes are Cholla (choya) cactus. Stay away from them because they propagate by sticking to anything that passes by. One stuck on the back of Nolan's shoe then was flicked up to the back of his pants right behind his knee. He felt it when I tried to knock it off of him.
There is a shooting range on the other side of the mountains but we came across some guys shooting on this side so we turned around and headed back the way we came.

....I'd like to say this is what we were trying to find but this 80, yes 80 arm saquaro is somewhere by Apache Junction. We just heard about it so I'm going to try to find out more and take a group there next winter.

Sunscape Luau

Sunscape RV Resort had a luau on March 10th. Here we are posing with the Goddess of Volcanos, Pele, and a "Hawaiian warrior". In real life, he's on the park Board of Directors. I was playing with his pet snake. Behind us is a "volcano" that belches smoke and rumbles. In the past the park has had a jail as a fundraiser and people had to pay a fine to stay out of it. Since we were going with an Hawaiian theme, we decided on a volcano. The volcano may be used, as a mountain, for the Veteran's Day and Christmas floats.

Three hundred and sixty-six people bought tickets for the luau but we only had seating for about 280 so people had to get their meal eaten and get out to their seats in front of the clubhouse for the Hawaiian dance show. We are lined up along the clubhouse and looking toward the community center where all the big events are held.

The caterers are experienced and the line went quickly.
After the meal the caterers became the dancers and performed different Polynesian dances. They are all family members. This is the granddaughter of the main singer and cook. She sure could wiggle those hips.
Then they asked for female volunteers to come up and learn some moves. It was entertaining. We wished we had more lighting in front of the dancers.

Then the grandsons came out and showed us some moves.
This one then did a fire dance.
The girls came back out several times in different outfits to show us different dances. This one is the daughter of the singer/caterer and the mother of the other female dancers.

By the way, the temps in the 50's during the dance.

The funniest part was where they got some of the guys to come up and wiggle their hips. One guy, by the name of George W. Bush, lost his pants while he was swinging his hips. Yes, that's his real name. He's quite a card.