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  1. #1
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    Default So’ Cal’ to Southern Arizona loop trip


    (Map by Mark Sedenquist based on Shirohnichan's report)

    These are notes from my family's road trip to southern Arizona and back from our home in Southern California in late January.


    (Map created by Shirohnichan)
    Day 1
    6:40 AM: Left Orange County via CA-91 east and CA-60 east to I-10 east.
    7:47 to 8:40 AM- Breakfast at the Wheel Inn in Cabazon, CA. This diner is next to the famous concrete dinosaurs and was a location for the film “Pee Wee’s Big Adventure.” We sat at a table that in the film was a memorial for Large Marge. Mile 72.
    8:40 to 10:00 AM- Continued on I-10 east to CA-111 south.
    10:00 to 10:09 AM- Stopped to take a photo at Salton Sea State Park. Mile 145
    10:09 AM to 12:01 PM- Continued on CA-111 south to I-8 east.
    12:01 to 1:25 PM- Visited the Yuma Territorial Prison Museum and had a picnic lunch. Filled gas tank nearby. Mile 265.
    3:05 to 3:24 PM—Stopped for ice cream at Mc Donalds in Gila Bend, AZ. Mile 377.
    3:24 PM to 5:20 PM- Continued east on I-8 to the Sheraton in Tucson. Mile 502.


    (Map by Mark Sedenquist based on Shirohnichan's report)

    Day 2
    10:13 AM- Left hotel, filled the tank again and headed east on I-10, then south on AZ-80. Just north of Tombstone we had to pass through a checkpoint but weren’t stopped. Due to illegal immigration in the area the Border Patrol was checking licenses of northbound drivers. If you are a foreign visitor, have your passport handy.
    11:38 AM to 1:52 PM- We toured Tombstone, ate lunch, and shopped for souvenirs. Mile 575.
    1:52 to 2:20 PM- We followed AZ-80 south to Bisbee. I wish I would have left more time to tour the town. We stopped by the open-pit copper mine and read a memorial about Technical Sergeant Arthur Benko, a local man who became a B-24 top turret gunner during WWII while flying over the Hump. He is credit with 7 destroyed enemy aircraft in one mission! In town were a number of pubs and coffee houses I’d have liked to have tried. Mile 599.
    We returned via AZ-80 west, AZ-90 north, and I-10 west. We were went through a Border Patrol check point (I think it was north of Whetstone).
    (time not recorded)- Arrived back at the hotel in Tucson. Mile 701.

    (Map by Mark Sedenquist based on Shirohnichan's report)

    Day 3
    9:59 AM- Headed out to the Sonora Desert Museum via Grant Road. West Grant Road becomes West Ironwood Hill Drive once you get near the hills driving west. We there encountered one of the highlights of the trip for my 11 and 4-year old daughters. The undulating road had a series of “whoop-de-doos” (small crests that gave a rollercoaster-like ride when driven at the 35 mph speed limit) that entertained my kids more than almost anything else on the trip. And it didn’t cost me anything more than gas! We continued on the local streets to Gates Pass Road and Kinney Road, which offered great views of the Sonoran desert.
    11:01 AM to 11:24 AM—We took photos at Tucson Mountain Park.
    11:34 AM to ?- We spent the day at the Desert Museum and ate lunch in its café. We took in the raptor show and admired the museum’s flora and fauna (it’s more of a zoo than a museum). Mile 727.
    ? to 3:58 PM- We took South Kinney Road to the Ajo Highway east to I-10 south to Davis Monthan Air Force Base and the Pima Air Museum.
    3:58 to 5:13 PM- Unfortunately we arrived at the museum only about one hour before closing time. I walked briskly around the grounds to take photos of the B-58 and B-36 bombers (among other aircraft) while I had the time. My kids had ice cream in the cafeteria. Mile 752.
    5:45 PM—We arrived back at the hotel after a stop to fill up the car again along the way. Mile 769.

    Day 4
    8:10 AM- We headed northwest on I-10 and then west on I-8.
    9:53 to 10:03 AM- restroom break in Gila Bend. Instead of taking the same route home, we took AZ-85 north to I-10 west. Mile 890.
    12:55 to 2:11 PM- We stopped in Quartzsite, AZ for gas, lunch, and a visit to the Hi Jolly Memorial. The pyramid-shaped memorial commemorates a Syrian camel driver named Hadji Ali (which the locals pronounced “Hi Jolly”) who served in the army’s Camel Corps in the late 1850s. Mile 1022.
    3:20 to 3:27 PM- We stopped in Cabazon again to see the concrete dinosaurs once more and to stretch our legs. I-10 west to CA-60 west to CA-91 west. Mile 1172.
    4:13 to 4:20 PM- Restroom break in Corona, CA. Mile 1224.
    4:50 PM—Arrived back home in Orange County. Mile 1243.

    Photos to follow
    Last edited by Mark Sedenquist; 06-23-2011 at 12:48 PM.

  2. #2
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    Day 1: Breakfast at the Wheel Inn in Cabazon.
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  3. #3
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    Facing northwest from the east shore of the Salton Sea.
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  4. #4
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    Yuma Territorial Prison
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  5. #5
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    Day 2: Tombstone, AZ. The former Oriental Saloon and Crystal Palace
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  6. #6
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    Day 2: Bisbee, AZ

    Lavender Copper Mine
    Bisbee
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  7. #7
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    Immigration status check north of Sierra Vista, AZ
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  8. #8
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    Day 3: Sonora Desert Museum raptor show, Tucson, AZ
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  9. #9
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    Day 3: Pima Air Museum, Tucson, AZ (and me standing under the wing of a B-36 Peacemaker)
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  10. #10
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    Day 4: Hi Jolly monument in Quartzsite, AZ
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