I am issuing an order. If you live anywhere near the Greater Bay Area, you MUST go to to the Castle Air Museum. Even if you only have a passing interest in airplanes, it is a required destination for any Bay Area resident. Deanne and I had driven through Atwater a couple of times and seen a mention of the Castle Air Museum. Being the plane dorks that we are, we made a note to go there sometime. Well we finally got around to doing that this weekend. Mike, Deanne and I drove out to Atwater (about an hour south of Tracy on 99.) Once we found the museum, the first thing we saw sitting in the parking lot was an SR-71 blackbird. Now this is probably one of the most famous aircraft ever made. There were only 36 produced and to have one sitting in our backyard was quite a surprise. Almost the entire collection of 46 aircraft is outside on the site of the old Castle Airforce Base. In a park-like setting, the planes are laid out with concrete paths for you to walk around the planes. The collection consists predominantly of post-World War II aircraft with many fine examples of very rare airplanes. Of greatest interest to me was the Sr-71 of course, but also the Avro Vulcan, which is my father's favorite airplane. It really is a massive airplane, and such a unique design. But it's size would pale in comparison to the massive B-52 which they had there. Castle AFB was home to the 93rd Bomb Wing, of which this B-52D was a part. I could easily have spent all day there and I will definitely be going back as they will soon (through donations) be getting an F-14 Tomcat and a F-15A Eagle, amongst other things. I urge you to go there, it's only $8 to get in and you more than get your money's worth. You can find my 99 photos from our visit here Mike also has some great photos here Interesting tidbit: On 16 February 1956, a B-52 exploded in midair near Tracy, California, while on a flight from nearby Castle AFB. The crash made national headlines, in part because of the B-52's then unprecedented cost of $8 million.