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Old Tucson Tour - 1/25/20

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We’ll gather at the Love’s truck stop at 56th Street and Sundust Rd. at 08:15 and will depart at 08:30. To get to Sundust Rd., you will want to exit I-10 at Exit 162 (which is also the exit for Firebird Lake and Wild Horse Pass) Turn left (East) to get onto Sundust. The truck stop will be on your right (South) side about a ¼ mile from the interchange.      
We have one gas stop planned for about, a 320 mile trip. If everyone starts with a full tank, we should be fine. However, get on the radio if your bladder is not cooperating with the plan.                            
Exit the truck stop heading West on Sundust, which will become Wild Horse Pass Rd. Just as we pass Firebird Lake, the road will turn left and become Maricopa Rd. (Hwy 347), heading South. Roughly 30 miles later, we will come to the Junction with Hwy. 84.

Turn left (East) onto Hwy 84 (Gila Bend Hwy) for about 17 miles.  We will be stopping at the Shell Station at 861 Gila Bend Hwy on the outskirts of Casa Grande for a restroom break, and gas if you need it.
Leave the Shell headed West (back the way we came) for about ¼ mile and turn left (South) onto Thornton Rd. In about 7 miles, we will be turning left (East) onto Hanna Rd. In another ¾ of a mile you will come to Hwy 15 (Chuichu Rd.), turn right to go South. This is the prettiest part of the drive. Two lanes but not much traffic, all on Indian reservation land.

38 miles later we will come to a junction with Hwy 86. Turn left, (East) towards Sells and Tucson. This road will be a little narrower, but straight for long periods of time. We have about 22 miles from the junction to Sells, AZ. You will notice an increase in the activity of the Border Patrol in this popular international transit area. The mountains you see off to the right are in Mexico.

There is a Shell station on the right as you come into Sells where we can take a break. We will depart Sells on Hwy 86 (East again) headed toward Tucson.

In 51 miles (before we actually get to Tucson), we will come to Kinney Rd. (There is a McDonald’s on the North East corner of the intersection) It has a traffic light which we will use to turn left (North) on to Kinney. This is a busy intersection and we will probably only get a couple of cars at a time through the left turn light. But it is only 5 miles up Kinney to get to the “Old Tucson Studios” entrance on your right. We will wait for you in the parking lot. There is a fee to get into the site.

Lunch, shopping, and sight seeing commence. There is a nice museum, with information on the many Western movies and TV shows that have been filmed here, starting clear back to 1939.

We are scheduled for lunch at Big Jake’s BBQ at 12:30 MST. There is an ice cream shop on the property should you need to top off that BBQ with something sweet & cool.

Feel free to depart whenever you feel like it but please see note below about traveling with another club member.

The return Route
You can either go back the same way we went down or navigate to Interstate 10 and take the freeway home,
your choice.

Depart whenever you feel like it, we won’t be caravanning home but pick another car or two returning on the same route and leaving the studio at the same time, it’s always good to drive with another club member for several reasons.

If you take the same route back it is going to be pretty much the same as our route going down.

Except! When we go North on Hwy 15, we will go straight through to Interstate 8. (bypassing the potty stop in Casa Grande & the farm traffic). Go West on I-8 (about 22 miles) to exit 151, which will put you on Hwy 84 North headed back to Maricopa.  In only 6 miles, turn left onto Hwy 347 for the last leg of the trip.

There are lots of places to pull over for a potty stop after the first 13 miles of Hwy 347, if you should get uncomfortable just get on the radio and let everyone know you would like a break and the first one we come upon, we’ll stop.

Paul Ebeyer, President Arizona BMW Z Series Club

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