1. sdmotor

    sdmotor Long timer

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    I'm planning on taking a trip form San Diego to Tucson the end of Sept. (27-29th) to visit the Pima air Museum, Titan museum and Davis Monthan AFB to look at the old planes etc. I was also going to hit Colossal caves and Karchner Caverns while I was there. I'm a pretty high speed low drag tourist and was thinking I would do the museums the first day and the caverns while enroute to Tombstone (last minute addition).

    Are there any other must see/do things out there that I'm missing? Are the caverns/caves worth the trip or should I blow them off for Tombstone? I planned on camping unless it's still unbearably hot....Any help or suggestions would be appreciated.
    #1
  2. wrysingfeenix

    wrysingfeenix Dust off those ashes

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    I live a few miles from the Titan Museum. Haven't visited it, but I took the Air and Space tour through the "boneyard"; anyone interested in such stuff won't want to miss that.

    Haven't been to the caverns, but everyone I know who's been there says it's a real experience. Have been to Tombstone a couple times, and I'm glad I went once, but it's so damned commercialized that it was a disappointment. Friends who were there years ago say it was great then and was legitimate. YMMV.

    FWIW, if you have a little extra time (and I assume you'll be on a bike) head south of the I-19 Titan Museum exit a few miles, take the Amado exit, ride the 23 miles to Arivaca and if it's Friday/Saturday/Sunday, stop at the Arivaca Coffee Company just before you reach town for a cuppa. Take a left at the intersection by the tire store (It's the only intersection in town) and ride the 7 or so miles to the Arivaca Lake turn off. This 30 miles is like a macadam snake through the desert, and one of my favorite MC roads ever. If you're on a dualsport, you might want to just cruise right on past the lake road where you hit gravel and ride the Ruby road back to I-19 just north of Nogales. Beautiful country...just beautiful. You might have to ford some streams if monsoon rains have been heavy.

    If you decide to go to Tombstone from Tucson, Rt. 83 from Vail to Sonoita is a bikers favorite; nice country and lots of big sweepers. If you go there from the Titan Museum area and are on a dualsport, take the Continental exit off I-19 towards Madera Canyon and bear left on the gravel White House Canyon Road, which takes you to Rt. 83.

    What else...If you're in Tucson for awhile, Mount Lemmon is a nice ride (still some road construction going on though) and for the real hardy, the jeep trail up the "back" side of the mountain from Oro Valley. Take a look at these threads for some info and pics.

    http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=24439
    http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=25066
    http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=24439

    Have fun!
    #2
  3. Codewheeney

    Codewheeney Hoopy Frood Super Supporter

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    I'd favor the Karchner Caverns over Tombstone. The Caverns are pretty amazing and you absolutely need reservations! You might get lucky and catch a cancellation, but don't count on it. Do so at http://www.pr.state.az.us/Parks/parkhtml/kartchner.html

    The Titan missle museum is really great, as is Pima Air Museum, so don't skip those. I'm also a fan of Organ Pipe National Monument, but that might be better done in cooler weather.

    jC
    #3
  4. sdmotor

    sdmotor Long timer

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    Thanks for all the input. I may have to add a day but everything looks great! I was going to blow off Tombstone at first but I've never been and would at least like a picture there.....
    #4
  5. QuickMule

    QuickMule Half-fast Adventurer

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    Take that picture in Tombstone, then keep going 'till you hit Bisbee, and take the mine tour - Tombstone is pretty cheesey as a tourist-trap.

    I really like the missile museum, but the Pima Air Museum is an absolute must-see, I've spent the better part of a lot of days there, but then I like to poke around the planes and get into design details that most folks don't. Both Collossal and Kartchner are well worth the time, but if you can only do one, make it Kartchner.

    You might also hit Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument and Kitt Peak National Observatory, since they're right on your way if you turn South off of I-8 at Gila Bend on 85 to 86 into Tucson. Along that route there's also a great open pit mine in Ajo.
    #5
  6. sdmotor

    sdmotor Long timer

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    Maybe I'll add a day and camp.......
    #6
  7. Drifting Fate

    Drifting Fate Been here awhile

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    You're getting good advice here (ie - the same things I have to say.)

    Bisbee - yes
    Titan Musuem - yes
    Tombstone - no, but if you go the old courthouse is a nice museum.
    Boneyard - yes
    Arivaca - yes
    Caverns - yes

    I like the ride between Nogales to Tombstone over 82 through Patagonia and Sonoita.
    #7
  8. QuickMule

    QuickMule Half-fast Adventurer

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    Now that I think about it, this might be better to do on the way back, since Kitt Peak closes rather early (around 4pm I think). Also, Organ Pipe is most enjoyable from the various jeep trails - pretty cool from the pavement, but not really spectacular until you get a couple of miles off the main road, so unless you set aside the time to explore it might be better to pass on this one this trip. The open pit mine is still pretty cool and quick though, look for the sign just as you enter Ajo.

    I agree on the Arivaca Rd. - Ruby Rd. loop, a very cool ride. There are also some great ghost towns accessable by dirt road in the Patagonia Mts. along the Mexican border, but it may be a good idea to do that one with other riders or at least be armed - that's a major smuggling route.
    #8
  9. DRGNHTR

    DRGNHTR Dragonhunter

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    If you've seen Knottsberry Farm you've seen Tombstone. Go to Bisbee.:nod
    #9
  10. xplore

    xplore Huskateer

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    <FWIW> If you're into nature - I sure wouldn't miss the Arizona-Sonoita Desert Museum - well worth a look-see but depends on your schedule.

    Cheers,
    #10
  11. Codewheeney

    Codewheeney Hoopy Frood Super Supporter

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    Absolutely don't miss this museum if you have the time, it's terrific (although it's better in the spring).

    Nitpicking: It's the
    Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum, since the Sonoran desert is the desert in which Tucson and Phoenix lie.

    JC
    #11
  12. GS Spirit

    GS Spirit Downsizing

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    There are many suggestions of things to do but I don't see any for off road riding / exploring. This is one of my favoite things to do whenever I can. I just moved here so I am still discovering good places but from the looks from my Arizona atlas and gazetteer map I will be buisy for a long time. Let me know if you want to any of this type of riding.
    #12
  13. GS Spirit

    GS Spirit Downsizing

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    I take that back about not seeing any suggestions I should drink my coffee and read more before sitting down in front of this keyboard. Better yet I will go riding instead.
    #13
  14. Bill the Duck

    Bill the Duck Unwitting Accomplice Supporter

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    Overnighted in Tombstone with DW and the ducklings. Rolled in around lunch and left about the same time the next day. Had four meals there, each in a different restaurant. Each was, sadly, really bad.

    So if you do Tombstone, pack food, and an hour or two is probably all it's worth.

    YMMV
    #14
  15. sdmotor

    sdmotor Long timer

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    Looks like this trip may turn into a three nighter!!! Sounds like a ride through tombstone with a photo at the sign will do it.....
    #15
  16. xplore

    xplore Huskateer

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    You are so right - I was just reading an earlier thread that talked about the ride down from Tucson via Sonoita and I had it on the brain! Dumb shit! Just shows - I have CRS!
    #16
  17. sdmotor

    sdmotor Long timer

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    I had to move the days, so I'll be in Tucson from 10-5 thru 10-7 if anyone wants to get together for a cup or something. If not it'll be a high speed low drag mini-vacation. :thumb
    #17