Brianna and I recently went and did some touristy stuff. We’re pretty much constantly on the road, but 90% of the time it’s places we’ve been to over and over. Often times having taken the same route we’ve done a million times purely for efficiency’s sake. Now and again we’ll detour, time and money allowing, and check out something we’ve not seen before.

Old Tucson, Arizona is one such place. It’s basically a big western movie set. If I recall correctly, over 400 films have been shot there over the years. John Wayne, Clint Eastwood…even guys like Steve Martin and Chevy Chase! I thought it was pretty awesome. Even knowing there was very little historical significance outside of being a Hollywood set, it still felt very much Old West.

They have the entire day scheduled out with shows and tours that run pretty much every 30 minutes if you’re so inclined. You can walk about the park on your own accord if you’d like, but we opted to mostly follow the schedule they have laid out as there was lots of information and entertainment to be had. They serve beer and liquor at the bar. They’ve got some food and ice cream and all that other good stuff to aid you in parting with your money as well.

Here’s a map of what to expect:
old tucson map

Check out this scene of Old Tucson from the movie Death Wish

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At the beginning of each month during the late fall and through winter, we go to Inde Motorsports Ranch for YCRS. Sometimes it ends up being a mad-dash to get there and get back to somewhere else…sometimes we get a few days to chill and explore. This trip to Inde happened to be the latter.

fj09 mt09 tracer inde motorsports ranch

I’m writing this while stopped at mile marker 2 in Arizona. We’re headed northwest to Las Vegas, but decided on one last stop in Arizona before we go to LV. We can ALLLMOST see the Hoover Dam from where we’re parked. It’s mostly quiet except for the freeway, which is in earshot. There’s no one else out here.

This is what my view looked like about an hour ago before the sun set to the west:

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Six days it took us, six days to travel over 2400 miles and to the far side of Arizona.

Six days of course is not counting any time used to prep for the trip, in this case making sure we replaced our tires. Mine because I had a tire that had carried me to Montana and back (and was the appropriate hardness to do so), and Joe’s because his previous attempt to ride this particular tire had ended with him growing a large hematoma on his buttocks. We took full advantage of a friend, Blaise, raiding his garage in the middle of what could have been for him a pleasant date, and commandeering his tire machine.

Oh well; better forgiveness than permission… and better surprise than dread. In retrospect it was well worth it, as neither my or Joe’s ham-fisted-throttle-happy-asses were tossed high and to the butchers.

The first leg was set at a 16 hour drive, which was quickly adjusted to 16:45 because we forgot Joe’s wheel at my house at the first attempt. The essentials of course were coffee for myself. A good strong kind with an exotic name like Kama Sutra or something of the sort. And for Joe, can upon can of Redbull.

shift racing redbull like a mofo

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In preparation for our ~2000 mile long journey, Toe and I loaded up the shiney Nissan with all our shiney camera gear, 5 days worth of shiney clothes, and a shiney black and red GSXR 600. None of it would stay shiney for long as we would find out.

We’ve been shooting the same tracks for a few years now. The first was Buttonwillow in 2006. The last new track we’ve shot was Reno Fernley, in 2007. It was time to see, shoot, and ride something new.

The trip started out on Thursday around noon with me realizing that I’d forgotten to unpack some things from the Element, which Melissa had taken to work in downtown Sacramento…20 minutes the opposite way in which we needed to go. I’d left my emergency roadside pump and my GPS in there, and I like to always have both with me. We headed north around noon to meet Melissa and get what we needed, then set out on a slightly augmented travel plan… roughly: hwy 50 > 95 > 93 > 10.

We brought a travel buddy with us, thanks to Mike @ Ace Custom Graphics
pedo bear sticker

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