Take a Ride in an Historic World War II C-47

c-47 photos

The C-47 military aircraft was the workhorse of the U.S. military for decades. Trips Into History had the opportunity to ride in one of these historic aircraft and we recommend it to anyone interested in vintage aircraft and twentieth century military history.

Below in this article we have listed several events that may offer these rides but before that we wanted to give you a brief history of the C-47.

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The C-47

An Aircraft With Many Names

The C-47 aircraft was the military version of the civilian DC-3. Nicknamed the “Gooney Bird“, the U.S. Army Air Corps ordered its first C-47s in 1940 and took delivery of it’s first aircraft in 1942.

The C-47′s, which also went by the names “Dakota” and “Skytrain“, carried troops and cargo around the world and when the war ended in 1945 the Army had taken delivery of some 9,348 C-47 airplanes. The planes served in every theater of the war. .At the same time the commercial version DC-3 dominated the civilian passenger business after it’s introduction in 1935.

Differences in the Military Version

Because the C-47 had to do many more things than the DC-3, several modifications were made. Floors were reinforced, the two engines were more powerful (1,200-horsepower Pratt & Whitney radial engines) and large doors in the rear for cargo.
As a supply plane, the C-47 could carry up to 6,000 pounds of cargo. Every branch of the U.S military and all the major allied powers flew the C-47. The British and the Australians designated  the C-47 the Dakota.
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The C-47 radio area

The C-47 / Unparalleled Military Service

There were many many uses for the C-47. Including what was mentioned above, the C-47′s dropped paratroops behind enemy lines and even towed troop carrying gliders that would land without any power in fields.

Add to this the job of being an air ambulance evacuating sick or wounded patients. The plane was capable of carrying eighteen stretchers.

An interesting note is that the C-47 was modified to actually sweep down and hook on to a landed troop glider and tow it back to base for further use. This method was developed when many of the gliders landed in fields to small for a C-47 to land.

The C-47 remained in service long after the war ended in 1945. The plane saw service during the Korean War carrying troops and supplies and evacuating the wounded much as it did during the Second World War. The C-47 was used during the Berlin Airlift and during the Southeast Asian War of the 60′s and early 70′s.

The C-47 was a rugged aircraft. Stories are that it survived mid-air collisions and could land on it’s belly with little damage. This was because the plane’s retracted tires still extended beneath the cowl.

Where to Enjoy a Ride in the Historic C-47

Commemorative Air Force / Falcon Field in Mesa Arizona

The Commemorative Air Force offers rides in the C-47 as well as in several other military aircraft including the B-17, B-25 and the Boeing PT-17 Trainer. Detailed information is found on the website…http://www.azcaf.org/

Airfest in Georgetown Texas

The C-47 Southern Cross that was built in 1941 offers rides each year at the Airfest event in Georgetown Texas, about 25 miles north of Austin along Interstate 35. This particular aircraft not only served during wartime and afterward but also was utilized for passenger service and was used by the president of Mexico. It was also used as a skydiving plane. For information of upcoming Airfest events see wwbesite…https://airfest.georgetown.org/

c-47 plane rides

Looking into the C-47 cockpit during flight

Holiday Lights Flights Over the Dallas / Fort Worth Area

The same C-47 aircraft, Southern Cross, that appears at the Georgetown Airfest offers flights during the holidays over the Dallas / Fort Worth area. Groups of up to 17 passengers enjoy hot chocolate and cookies before being driven out to the plane.

Flying at low altitudes, they will see Lake Arlington’s Interlochen Christmas Lights as well as views of downtown Fort Worth.

More information regarding the Dallas / Fort Worth Holiday Flights can be found at website…https://www.facebook.com/pages/Greatest-Generation-Aircraft/182241821796002

You may also enjoy the more of our articles on the links below…

Some of the Finest Western Aircraft Museums

More Western Air Museums and Their Aircraft

c-47 military transport

Tail section of the C-47 Southern Cross

The Cavanaugh Flight Museum

An airworthy C-47 Skytrain aircraft is displayed at the Cavanaugh Flight Museum located at the Addison Airport in Addison, Texas, a north Dallas suburb.

The museum offers several rides on a variety of aircraft and presents some excellent aircraft exhibits.  For more information on this museum see website…http://www.cavanaugh flightmuseum.com/

The Dutch Dakota Association / Netherlands

The Dutch Dakota Association was founded in 1982 with the slogan “Working on a future for our aviation past”. It`s main objective to keep its two DC-3 historical aircraft in the air and make them accessible to a wide audience so they can experience romantic flying the way it used to be. While flying at 1400 feet you will enjoy a wonderful view of the Dutch landscape. For more information from this organization see website…https://www.dutchdakota.nl/en

Having the opportunity to take a flight on the C-47 will lead to a fun experience. In addition to the few venues listed above, additional opportunities where C-47 rides are offered will certainly be available around the country during select  airshows and special events.

(Article,photos and video copyright 2014 Trips Into History)

Visit Historic Round Rock Texas / Sam Bass and the Palm House

outlaw sam bass

Some may call it The Daffodil Capital of Texas, but the city of Round Rock has quite a noteworthy historic past and it’s a great place to visit during your Texas travels. Attractions in Round Rock Texas include plenty of historic sites and buildings, excellent dining and unique shops.

Round Rock and Sam Bass

Look back at the history of Round Rock Texas and the name Sam Bass will come up. There is much more to the history of Round Rock aside from the infamous train and stagecoach robber Sam Bass and his gang but it’s a theme that has stuck around for nearly 140 years.

outlaw sam bassThe legend left behind about Sam Bass is somewhat larger than his real life actions. There’s even a major street in Round Rock Texas that bears his name. Bass’ entire life lasted but twenty-seven years however during that relatively short time he was involved in plenty of criminal activity.

Like most legends from the old west there are a few versions of Bass’ exploits. Following is the most common version.

After prospecting in the Black Hills of the Dakota Territory with two other men and losing all their money, Bass decided to replenish their cash by robbing stagecoaches and they were given the name the “Black Hills Bandits“. Stagecoach robbing then turned into train robberies which typically paid better. The gangs big payoff occurred in Big Springs, Nebraska on September 18, 1877 when they robbed a Union Pacific express train of $60,000 in $20 gold pieces being transported east from the San Francisco Mint.

historic buildings round rock texas

The Palm House Museum

The gang, then being chased by lawmen and army soldiers, had to split up. Most of the robbers were killed or captured, one fled to Canada with his share of coins and Bass and another fled south. One year later Bass held up a train in Allen, Texas north of Dallas.

The Texas Rangers made sure that the fugitive Sam Bass met his end in Round Rock when he was gunned down on July 19th, 1878. bass was reportedly in Round Rock with some of his gang planning a bank robbery. He was recognized and lawmen approached. After being confronted in a store the Williamson County Deputy Sheriff was shot and killed by the four gang members. A Travis County Deputy Sheriff was outside the store and entered and subsequently shot Sam Bass. The bandits attempted to flee from the alley and were shot at and hit by Texas Rangers who had heard the original gunshots. Not long afterwards Bass was found mortally wounded outside of ton and was brought back to Round Rock where he died of his wounds.

This particular shooting actually took to being called the “Sam Bass Shootout” and you can view it’s reenactment every July 4th at Round Rock’s Old Settlers Park during their annual Frontier Days’ event.

Round Rock and the Palm House

Located in the old downtown area is the Palm House, one of the many historic attractions in Round Rock. The house was moved from Palm Valley to it’s new location in Round Rock in 1976. In 1979 the Palm House received it’s State Historical Marker. The Palm House is located at 212 East Main Street next to the library.

Today, the Palm House serves as both a museum and the offices of the Round Rock Convention and Visitors Bureau.

The Palm House was built in 1873 by Andrew J. Palm who moved to a valley east of Round Rock with his mother and siblings in 1853. A.J. Palm and his wife Caroline Nelson Palm raised eight children in this house. An interesting side note was that the Palm family was related to Svante Palm who served as the Swedish Vice-Council to the Republic of Texas. Svante Palm encouraged members of his family to relocate to this area of Texas.

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Old Post Office and mercantile store in the settlement of Brushy, the first name for Round Rock

You can walk through the house and visit the rooms, filled with authentic period furniture. When you visit the Palm House today you will see early settlers furnishings as well as interesting items donated from local residents. The house has authentic furnishings, an elegant parlor and Swedish kitchen.

You may enjoy the Trips Into History articles on the links below…

Visit Luling Texas / Railroads, Oil and Watermelons

Visit the National Ranching Heritage Center

Visit Round Rock Texas

Round Rock Texas is located nineteen miles north of Austin. Old Town Round Rock is located just east of Interstate 35.

palm house museum

A room at the historic Palm House

The area of Round Rock and Austin offers many historic sites to visit including the historic buildings in Old Town including the Palm House Museum.

You’ll also want to visit the  area of the first settlement which was named Brushy just across on the west side of Interstate 35 along Brushy Creek. By request of the U.S. Post Office the name had to be changed because there was another town in Texas named Brushy. The settlement then took the name Round Rock in recognition of the large rock in the middle of Brushy Creek.

(Article and photos copyright 2014 Trips Into History)

The Mysterious Vortexes of Sedona / Where to Find Them

sedona arizona red rocks

What are the energy vortexes found in Sedona Arizona? Can they really be explained? Will I feel the energy?  Our suggestion from Trips Into History is to visit this absolutely beautiful part of Arizona and experience the Sedona vortexes first hand.

sedona arizona red rocks

View of Uptown Sedona

Sedona’s Lure

There are many reasons to visit Sedona Arizona and one of the best has to be the spectacular and stunning red rock scenery. Recreation attractions in Sedona include plenty of excellent hiking trails, biking trails and off road jeep tours either on your own or with one of the jeep tour companies.

Sedona is all about tourism and you’ll find an excellent selection of unique shops, including crystal shops and restaurants, as well as fine lodging and resorts. The city is also a cultural center for the arts featuring over forty galleries.Sedona also offers more than 220 miles of dedicated trails for mountain biking and over 300 miles in total for hiking, biking and equestrian pursuits.

There’s something for everyone in Sedona including nightly UFO tours in the nearby desert and of course tours of the world renown vortexes which draw millions of people annually from around the globe.

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View of Cathedral Rock

Sedona’s location in Arizona is also advantageous for tourists being about a two hour drive north to the Grand Canyon, a forty-five minute drive north to historic Flagstaff and about a two hour drive south to Phoenix and Scottsdale.

The Sedona Vortexes

In short, a vortex is an area of concentrated energy to which seekers of enlightenment are drawn. These are also referred to as energy vortices. Another description would be a swirling concentration of energy emanating from the earth. Yet another description would be a formation where visitors have witnesssed a feeling of inspiration from a beneficial source of energy.

Native Americans of this part of Arizona, Hopis, Navajo and Yavapai, were well aware of the special properties of these mystical sites for generations. The term “vortex” as we know them in Sedona Arizona was actually created by a local Sedona medium by the name of Page Bryant during the early 1980′s. Bryant called Sedona the “heart chakra of the planet“.

It’s very true that Sedona vortexes affect different people in different ways. Some may notice the power of the vortex and others may not.

Types of Vortexes in Sedona

The Sedona tourism industry has been in high gear for just a matter of decades whereas, as mentioned above, Native American knew these sites as sacred places for generations. The three recognized forms of Sedona vortexes are the balanced, electrical and magnetic. The balanced vortex is a combination of both electrical and magnetic. A magnetic vortex is of a feminine characteristic and the electrical vortex is of a masculine characteristic.

Where Are The Sedona Vortexes?

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View along the hiking trails

Vortex attractions in Sedona include four well known sites. These are found at the Airport, Bell Rock, Boynton Canyon and Cathedral Rock.

The Airport Vortex is located high up in the area of the Sedona Airport. This particular vortex is considered a balanced vortex. The site has ample parking and the views you’ll have from this location are second to none. Sunset viewing is stunning from this site. The vortex is located behind the saddle in the rocks near Airport Road. Getting there requires just a short drive up Airport Road, off of Hwy 89 A about one mile west of Uptown Sedona.  on a paved road. This is the closest vortex to the town of Sedona.

The Bell Rock Vortex is considered a strong energy field located just north of Hwy 179 between  Sedona and the village of Oak Creek about three miles south of Uptown Sedona. The youngest rock found in this formation is said to be 272 million years old. The vortex is found anywhere on Bell Rock.

See the Trips Into History articles on the links below…

Could Be the Best Hiking Trail in Sedona

Visiting Arizona / The Roots of the Long Apache War

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The Boynton Canyon Vortex is located on a short spur off the Boynton Vista Trail. In fact you can take the spur directly to the vortex. The main trail is considered easy to moderate and is about 2.5 miles in length. The vortex site itself is located between the Kachina Woman and Warrior formations. To reach the trail

and vortex you’ll take Dry Creek Road north from Hwy 89 A about three miles west of Uptown Sedona.

The Cathedral Rock Vortex is said to have a relaxing energy. Cathedral Rock is probably the most photographed formation in Sedona. To reach the vortex points on Cathedral Rock drive south on Hwy 179 about three miles from Uptown Sedona (near the Bell Rock location) and turn right on Back O’ Beyond Road. Drive 0.6 miles to the parking lot on the left and the trail head. This is a steep climb with a 600 foot elevation change and should be taken with caution. As with all hiking be certain to wear hiking shoes and take along sufficient water.

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View from Sedona’s Airport Vortex site

Sedona Arizona is known as a gem of nature and an excellent travel destination during all four seasons of the year. As you can see from what’s written above, Sedona attractions are plentiful.

Sedona Arizona is one of the most unique and popular tourist destinations in all of the U.S. and truly has something for everyone. If you’re visiting Arizona you’ll be glad you added this one to your travel planner.

(Article and photos copyright 2014 Trips Into History)

 

Could Be the Best Hiking Trail in Sedona Arizona

west fork trail sedona

If you’re looking for ultra scenic hiking it may be time to head to Sedona Arizona. Sedona and it’s unique red rock scenery not only offers a large selection of hiking trails but also some of the best photo opportunities you’ll find anywhere in North America. One of these fun trails is the West Fork Trail.

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Sedona’s West Fork Trail

Sedona’s West Fork Trail

Many people will tell you that the West Fork Trail is the best hiking trail in Sedona.

This trail is located in the Call of the Canyon Recreation Area about 9.5 miles north of downtown Sedona along Hwy 89A. The trail head is on the left side of the highway when traveling northbound. It is between mileposts 384 and 385. There’s plenty to see along the West Fork Trail as described below.

Mayhew’s Lodge

Near the start of the West Fork Trail you’ll come across the ruins of what was Mayhew’s Lodge. The lodge was built near the confluence of Oak Creek and the West Fork of Oak Creek. Mayhew’s Lodge was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1975 but ended up being delisted in 1980 after it was destroyed by fire. Today, hikers will view ruins of fireplaces and foundations.

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Old Mayhew Lodge fireplace ruins

History tells us that the first structure built on the site in 1870 by Charles “Bear” Howard. It’s said that Howard killed five bears with his knife thus the nickname.

Later Howard moved further into the canyon and the cabin was occupied in 1881 by the Thomas Family. A second cabin was constructed on the site in 1902 by a Judge Bennett from Phoenix.

The first road through the canyon was built in 1912 and ten years later in 1922 the movie of Zane Grey’s story, The Call of the Canyon starring Richard Dix and Noah Beery, was shot at this site.

Carl Mayhew, a photographer who worked on the Zane Grey movie, liked the area so much that he and a partner purchased the site in 1925. After making the cabins into an operating lodge, Mayhew bought out his partner in 1927. The Howard and Thomas cabins were connected and more rooms were added over the years. After Mayhew’s death in 1943 his family continued operating the lodge.

All in all, the Mayhew Lodge operated from 1925 to 1968. The lodge boasts many famous guests including President Herbert Hoover, Clark Gable, Jimmy Stewart, Walt Disney, Cesar Romero, Maureen O’Hara, and Susan Hayward.

During the years of the Mayhew Lodge, many movies were filmed in and around Sedona Arizona drawing in well known actors and actresses. In 1968 the Mayhew Lodge was acquired by the Forest Service when the Mayhew children were unable to manage the property full-time.

What to Expect on the West Fork Trail

The West Fork Trail north of Sedona Arizona offers a little bit of everything. The official trail start is just beyond the Mayhew Lodge ruins. Signage may give you conflicting ideas of the trail’s total length. It’s a good guess to estimate that the trail spans about three miles each way with a total round trip hiking time of about five hours.

Below are links to additional Trips Into History articles you may enjoy…

Explore Tucson Arizona’s Historic Landmarks

Visiting the Southwest / Apache War and Historic Sites

Visiting the Mysterious Vortexes of Sedona Arizona

An excellent guide to Sedona’s red rock country includes…Sedona Arizona Red Rock Country Tour Guide Book: Your personal tour guide for Sedona travel adventure! by Waypoint Tours.

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One of the stream crossings along the West Fork Trail

Obviously you can make the hike shorter depending on your wishes and abilities. We found the trail to be moderate and accommodating to most day hikers.

The trail is nearly always level and close to the stream for the first three miles. After the three mile mark the trail will climb steeply. The trail does continue past that point for several miles and joins another trail. For our purposes we used the three mile mark as the trail end. A good portion of the trail consists of stepping on rocks so make sure to take along those hiking boots or comfortable footwear.

You’ll cross small streams stepping from rock to rock. Stream crossings one way total six. The stream flows year round through a forested canyon.

Your West Fork Trail hike will lead you through forests, along the stream and past towering walls of red rock giving you some terrific photo opportunities.

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Looking up at one of the rock walls along the West Fork Trail

Explore Sedona Arizona / Hiking, Historic Sites and Vortexes

The West Fork Trail in Sedona is just one of the many fun recreational opportunities offered in this beautiful part of Arizona. The list of hiking trails in Sedona is large. Off-road jeep tours are also quite popular and will take you to some out of the way sites such as the historic Van Deren Cabin which you might not visit otherwise.

Sedona attractions also include the Chapel of the Holy Cross which was constructed in the red rocks in 1956 and draws tourists from around the world. Sedona also has a world wide reputation as being a spiritual mecca and global power spot. Sedona vortex sites have drawn people to the area for many decades. Vortex sites are believed to be locations having energy flow that exists on multiple dimensions. It is said that the energy from a vortex interacts with a person’s inner self.

(Article and photos copyright 2014 Trips Into History)

 

Luling Texas / Railroads, Oil and Watermelons

oil museum luling texas

Luling Texas is one of those historic towns with more than one version of how it got it’s name. One version has the town named after a Chinese railroad worker, another that it was named for a Judge and yet another that it was named after a railroad owner’s wife. Whatever story is true, there are plenty of attractions in Luling Texas both historic and recreational and it makes a fine addition to your Texas travel vacation planner.

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Luling’s original 5,000 sq ft. theater

A Fun Visit to Luling Texas

Luling Texas is located on the San Marcos River south of Austin Texas and northeast of San Antonio. The town is located just off I-10, near the US Hwy 183 – I-10 interchange. Luling is 45 miles from Austin, 139 miles from Houston and 90 miles from Victoria Texas.

This is a trip stop that will make a good addition to your Texas travel planner. Luling is renowned for its barbecue, rich oil history, decorated pump jacks, fresh produce and plants, abundant watermelons, and Texas’ first inland canoe paddling trail on the San Marcos River.

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Luling Texas Watermelon Shop

Luling the Railroad Town

Luling as a community came into being because of the railroad. In 1874 the Galveston, Harrisburg and San Antonio railroad laid track from Columbus to a terminus three miles west of Plum Creek. The area around this terminus became the city of Luling. Most of the first settlers in Luling were from the area of Plum Creek and from the Atlanta community.

Fifteen years later in 1889, a second railroad, the San Antonio and Aransas Pass, laid tracks through Luling, connecting it with both Lockhart and Shiner, Texas.Luling’s population rose and fell during the last part of the 1800′s and by the year 1900 the population was estimated at about 1,500 residents.

oil museum luling texas

The Luling Texas Oil Museum

The 1922 Oil Discovery

The discovery of oil in Luling Texas in 1922 led to rapid growth. Prior to this discovery Luling, Texas had an economy that relied essentially on one crop, cotton.

A man named Edgar B. Davis moved to Caldwell County Texas from Massachusetts to manage oli leases on his brother Oscar’s property. In 1921 Edgar founded the United North and South Oil Company. When his brother passed away Edgar bought the oil leases from the estate and began drilling. After six dry holes, Edgar Davis hit oil on the seventh try in August 1922. This was despite the claim of geologists that there was no oil to be found there.

The discovery was large. By December 1924 Davis’ field was producing 43,000 barrels of oil per day. In 1926 Davis sold his oil leases to the Magnolia Oil Company for a reported $12 million.  In celebration of the sale Edgar B. Davis threw a barbecue and reportedly gave a substantial cash bonus to each of his employees.  Davis was known as an oilman and philanthropist.

Oil fields attract a good number of retail and service businesses. The 1922 oil discovery drove population steadily over the years and by 1930 Luling’s population was about 6,000.

When you visit Luling Texas make it a point to stop into the Luling Oil Museum located at 421 East Davis Street. The museum is located in the historic Walker Brothers Mercantile Store which was established in 1885.The museum pays tribute to Luling’s rich cultural heritage and the significant role the oil industry played in the growth of the area. As of this writing, the museum hours are M-F 9A-5P Their phone number is (830) 875-1922.

luling texas attractions

East Davis Street

The World famous Luling Watermelon Thump

The world famous Luling Watermelon Thump is always held the last Thursday-Sunday in June in downtown Luling, Texas. The Watermelon Thump is comprised of several events over it’s four day run.

One such event is the “watermelon seed spit” contest. Luling has the distinction of having the world’s record for this event. The Guiness Book of Records Watermelon Seed Spit Record is 68 feet 9 1/8 inches from the starting line.  The Championship Watermelon Seed Spit record was set in 1989 by Lee Wheelis from Luling.

You may also enjoy the Trips Into History articles on the links below…

Visit the National Ranching Heritage Center / A Texas Trip Into History

A Tour of the Texas State Capital Building / Austin

Visit Round Rock Texas / Sam Bass and the Historic Palm House

luling texas historic buildings

Historic Walker brothers Mercantile Bldg.

The Best Kept Secret in Texas, Luling’s Paddling Trail

Luling has one of the states inland paddling trails for canoeing/ kayaking recreation. The paddling trail, designated by Texas Parks and Wildlife, is a six mile stretch of the San Marcos River. This stretch of river offers a relaxed paddling experience for both novices and seasoned paddlers. The paddling trail takes an estimated 2 to 3 hours to complete. You can put in your canoe or kayak at  the Hwy 90 Bridge two miles west of town and take out at the Zedler Mill.

Shuttle & Equipment Rental can be arranged through Luling Parks & Recreation Department. Phone  (512) 227-1724.

An Area Where Early Texas History Abounds

You’ll find plenty of attractions in Luling Texas and it makes a fine addition to you Texas travel planner when you visit other nearby towns and cities such as Austin, San Antonio, Lockhart and Gonzales. All of these towns and cities offer Texas historic museums, historic buildings and structures dating to the 1800′s and fun recreational activities like canoeing and kayaking.

(Article and photos copyright 2014 Trips Into History)