An updated directory has been added to the site under the Members Only area. You must be a member and logged in to access it.
Two NWTFC rallies are planned for this year – and we are encouraging members to step up and host another one before the end of the year!
The March 2020 edition of the club’s newsletter, Trek Travels, has now been posted. Click the link below to see what has been happening in our club….
The Quartzsite 2020 Rally Report has been published to the website.
Thanks to Bret Medbury for writing it, and thanks to Tom Selvidge, Greg Weiss, Brad Teubner, and Bret Medbury for the pictures.
Harry and I volunteer with Habitat for Humanity’s sub-group called the Care-A-Vanners. This is a group of RVers who go to different parts of the country and help Habitat for Humanity build homes.
I know there are a bunch of Trekkers who travel around the country and thought some of you may be interested in this type of opportunity.
If so, here is a link to a brochure telling more about the Care-A-Vanners program:
Here is a link to their website:
The January 2020 edition of the NWTFC Trek Travels is now available to read on the website. Thanks to our editor, Al Zimmerman, for keeping us informed on all the NWTFC news!
The Club’s 2019 Annual Board Reports have been posted to the website. You must be a member to view these reports.
Congratulations and thanks to our newly elected officers for 2020:
All NWTFC members should have received an email today from our club secretary reminding them that their 2020 dues should now be paid.
If you would like to pay those dues through PayPal or by credit card, here is the link:
If you are a member but did not get the email from David, please contact the webmaster at NWTFCwebmaster@gmail.com
Bret and Laura M.’s mural on their 1993 Isuzu Trek is definitely different that most of the murals seen on Safari Treks – or anywhere else in fact. The mural is about aviation, and a very specific and secretive area of our country’s aviation.
Bret was very interested in knowing the story behind his mural, as he was involved in the SR-71 and the U-2 (spy plane) programs for many years. They stumbled on this motorhome in their general search for an Isuzu Trek and as Bret says, “WOW is it appropriate.”
“What you are seeing is a mural of an SR-71 carrying a D-21 drone (for the purist out there, the aircraft is a modified YF-12 called an M-21 – also called the “blackbird”). This was a program where we (the USA) launched a mach 5 unmanned drone from the back of a Mach 3 SR-71 to spy on the bad guys back in the 60’s.”
In July of 2011, Bret posted a picture and what he knew of the mural on TrekTracks:
“Our Mural is a bit unique. It was painted in 93 by Randy Nagle from Vanetia, Oregon. It is a tribute to a man named Ray Torick who was fatally injured in July 1966 while attempting to launch a D-21 drone from the back of an M-21 (SR-71) aircraft. We have been trying to find some history as to who had it painted, etc. but so far nothing. We are especially interested as I was involved in the SR program, knew of this accident and had met the pilot of that flight, Bill Park.”
Soon after, they received a call from the artist, Randy Nagle. They learned that on July 30, 1966 an accident occurred where the drone collided with the mother ship (the SR-71) and cut it in half and a man named Ray Torick drowned after successful ejection from the aircraft (the pilot Bill Parks survived). All of the above occurred at 80,000+ feet and Mach 3+ (about 2,200 MPH). Ray Torick was 30 years old when this accident occurred. Ray’s widow, Louise, had the mural painted when she purchased the Trek in 1993.
Bret says that as amazing as all the above is, the real interesting part to him is that he was involved in the program and although not in the time of Ray’s accident, he was well aware of the story.
According to the website, http://www.area51specialprojects.com, this was the second A-12 to be converted to an M-21 for launching the D-21 reconnaissance drone. During a flight test on 30 July 1966 for launching the drone, the drone pitched down and struck the M-21, breaking it in half. Pilot Bill Park and LCO (Launch Control Officer) Ray Torick stayed with the plane a short time before ejecting over the Pacific Ocean. Both made safe ejection, but Ray Torick opened his helmet visor by mistake and his suit filled up with water which caused him to drown.
This terrible personal and professional loss drove Kelly Johnson to cancel the M-21/D-21program. This accident also prompted water survival training by the A-12 pilots based at Groom Lake. Under the supervision of 1129th SAS commander Col. Hugh Slater, the pilots, wearing their flight suits, were lifted high above the waters of Lake Mead on a parasail being towed by the United States Coast Guard. The training was quickly aborted when some of the fully suited pilots almost drowned after dropping from the parasail into the water.
If you are a member of the NWTFC and have an interesting story you would like to share for our new section “Member Stories”, please email me at NWTFCwebmaster@gmail.com.