From the Ari to the Zona



As is so often the case, I think I am going to make it further than I do on any given day. On this day I crossed the border into Arizona and made it as far as Willcox. I pulled over at a gas station and started talking to a guy in the parking lot about lodging. He told me I should check out the old part of town. He said he used to stay at a well kept inexpensive place called the Motel 8 when he was in town. At $30 a night, it was perfect!

I booked a room and headed out to eat. There is a BBQ joint housed inside and old train car in Willcox.

Before I went in for dinner I had to check out this amazing sunset. I only wish it could have lasted longer.

Then it was dinner time. I asked the waitress to take a photo while I pretended to check the menu.

After dinner, I didn’t have to cross the tracks. I just wanted to stare at the train as it passed.

The next day I was headed for Tombstone, AZ. On the way was this wicked cloud formation. I was not looking forward to another day of getting wet. Fortunately the road veered to the right before entering this monstrosity.

There were warnings of flash floods along the way and water on the road. I had my legs raised high as I crossed about 5 of these while headed south toward the Mexican border.


Douglas is a town on the US Mexico border. I needed gas and wanted to see the border so I rolled on through.

In the time it took me to hop off and snap this shot, the border patrol was already zooming down the road toward me. There are border patrol all over the place in this part of the country. Lot of cops too. On many roads they even have Border Patrol check points where you have to stop and be scrutinized. On the other side of the wall below is Mexico.


The guy I met at the Willcox gas station also told me I should check out Bisbee, AZ. On my way to Bisbee I stumbled across this little gem. If you blink you could miss it. I did not blink.


Bisbee was described to me as one of those old hippie towns and I guess that’s just what it is.


Tombstone Arizona. The place of legends. Tombstone is what I expected. A overly commercialized historic town. I checked it out and had a beer at Big Nose Kate’s Saloon.

The O.K. Corral. You had to pay to have a peak at the spot where they claim the McLaury’s and Billy Clanton were gunned down. I missed the reenactment so I passed on the fee. Besides it is questionable where the gunfight actually took place. There is speculation that it happened down the block.

I asked Doc Holliday and he concurred.


In Tucson they have what is known as the old boneyard. It is a place on Davis–Monthan Air Force Base where old military aircraft go to rest. It is an incredible sight. Adjacent to the base is a museum. The museum then offers a guided tour through the Air Force Base.

F Who?

With Davis Air Force Base across the road you can see many planes still flying around doing maneuvers.

This was the first flag planted on Utah Beach at the invasion on D-Day.

Seeing all these old planes with rich history was riveting.

(insert rimshot here)

Then came the tour of the base. There are endless rows of planes, helicopters, and parts over the square miles on the base. CLICK HERE for a satellite view of the AFB.

After visiting the boneyard, I had hoped to see Casa Grande ruins. Unfortunately it had closed by the time I got there. Grrrrrrrr! So I pulled over to prepare myself for the ride into the blazing sun. Just as I was taking off to head west, my foot pedal snapped off. Not cool! Fortunately there was a Home Depot not far off and I could make a new one. I used the ball head from a tripod until I got to Home Depot. I think I did a pretty good job!


The Yuma Territorial Prison. The infamous prison figured in many western movies still exists today. Though no longer a functioning prison it is kept as an historical site.

These prison issue digs look quite stylish and comfy.

This is the Dark Room. It is where the more unruly prisoners did some time. Most stayed in there for short spells. One guy stayed in there for 131 days. They say he was a model prisoner when he rejoined the population. I went inside and closed the door behind me. As I got a feel for the place I saw something. A shadow moving within. Was it the ghost of a former inmate. Had I seen an apparition?

I set my camera to use the flash and found out I was indeed not alone in the dark room.

4 Responses to “From the Ari to the Zona”

  1. Brian Sherman Says:

    Another awesome report, I love to follow along. How is the Bonnie running? other than your footpeg coming off that is….

  2. Wonderful trip, pictures and journal! Be safe my friend! 🙂

  3. I concur patreeq riveting

  4. we are never alone! Loved this part as well. Great photo journalism with just the right amount of commentary. Thanks for the ride….

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