This trip is best if you take a long weekend to run it. Not much exciting until you get on Old Highway 80. You'll pass a broken dam that was washed out back in the 1970's by the Hundred Year Flood. It's interesting to look at and check out the gates. After that it's just beutiful desert until just outside Gila Bend. A few miles outside of town you'll come across the The Desert Shrimp Farm. Yep, the raise shrimp there in a large inground holding vat. Shrimp in the desert.... talk about wierd. The first half is through very baron desert and Indian Reservations. There are a few small 'towns' on Rte. 85 in the Reservation that you can stop at. There isn't too much there but it is interesting to see how the Native Americans live. As I rode across this land I could just envision the Indians on horse back riding over the distant peaks and through the valley. Makes me wonder just how much the land has changed in the past 100+ years. I don't think it has in this location. Until you get to Tucson there is just incredible desert to look at and wonder who put the white crosses on top of all the hills and mountain peaks. And of course, on a sadder note, there are all the crosses and fancy little buildings to mark where someone was killed. There was way too many of these along the road but surprisingly they were very well maintained. Fresh flowers, favorite drink and even toys and teddy brears were left. Just before you get into Tucson you will see a sing for 'Old Tucson'. This is a fun stop. It is the Tucson movie studio, where they have made numerous western movies. You can watch a re-enactment and tour the facility for a small fee. From there it's through Tucson with no stops. Just want to get back to the side roads. The 2 laners from Tucson to tombstone are just a pleasant ride through farming communities. Be sure to stop in Sonoita. They are known for the vineyards and their wine ! Another oddity in the desert. TOMBSTONE. Need I say much more ? This is the place to spend the night. I will only highlight a few of my favorites and leave the rest for you to experience. First, above all else, The Birdcage Theatre. It is the only original building left in Tombstone after the fire in 1879. It is a museum now and has tons of original artifacts, to include a sturrip from Doc Holiday's saddle. Be sure to check out all the bullet holes, 140+. Go early in the morning before any crowds. this will give you an opportunity to talk to the curator and you will get far more info than what they tell when people start coming in. Next, Big Nose Kate's Saloon. Come in, look at the gals in peroid dress, wet your whistle and be sure to go look at the mine in the basement. Yep, I met the owner and he let me and a friend get pictures of our bikes inside of the Saloon ! It doesn't get much better than that. Next, off to the Crystal Palace. This saloon was restored using old photos, back to it's original state. Incredible. Well since you are so close to the border, you might as well check it out. On to Douglas through much greener desert. Another beautiful ride through desert farm lands. Seems to me to be alot of water for a desert! Douglas isn't much to look at but I did find it interesting to see the Port of Entry and the fence. Yes, there is a fence along this section of the border. At the Port of entry you will see Mexicans going back to Mexico after shopping in the U.S.. They even have a stall for them to put the shopping carts before crossing the border. From Douglas to Bisbee. Bisbee is an 'Artsy, Fartsy' type of town. reminds me of California. I wasn't impressed except for the Lavander Mine. Pretty big hole in the ground. From there it's back through Tombstone and over more desert roads. Once you get on 79 be on the look out for the Tom Mix monument. Another of those roadside points of ponder. From there it's on to the Casa Grande Ruins. All I can say is that those Indians were a tough lot ! Well, that's my trip. There are many, many more things to see along the way but I didn't want to ruin your adventure.
This is a motorcycle ride in the state of Arizona. This motorcycle route has 7 scenery characteristics and other road conditions to help you plan your road trip. This motorcycle map was created by BushDawg in May. Click here to see other Motorcycle Roads by BushDawg
One word: wonderful
Fri Jan 11, 2013 at 9:10 AM
This ride will take you back in time. Spend the night in Bisbee and enjoy the trip back in time. Bisbee is only a short distance from Tombstone and once you travel under the tunnel you will swear you entered a time warp. Patagonia was another out of place byway. Miles of vineyards and wineries. I understand there are bed and breakfasts that cater to those who like wine tasting and live by code 8 hours from bottle to throttle, of course... "it's more of guideline than a code" (Pirates of the Caribbean). A return journey option is a short skip through Tucson, up Mount Lemmon (10,000 elev) and down the north face connecting with Oro Valley. A short detour that will leave you wanting more, more... Thanks for documenting your journey. Hope to see you on the road.
Fri Jan 11, 2013 at 9:09 AM