The Rainy Ride from Tucson to Jerome!
Two moto-vloggers passionate about traveling and the open road.
It's pretty rare that we get out on a proper group ride aside from our annual Sturgis run, so we were excited to hit the open road with the great group of guys (and gal) from Laidlaw's Harley-Davidson! The goal for the trip was to make stops in Bisbee, Tombstone, Payson, Jerome, and a few landmark stops along Route 66 on the way back. A nice storm front came out of nowhere a week or two before the trip which was aimed right for the regions of Arizona we'd be riding through, but we held the course and weren't going to let it stop us!
We left home base in Canoga Park just after 9am with a goal of making it to Tucson, Arizona to spend the night and wait up for the Laidlaw crew, who would be about 6 hours behind us. Although crisp at times, we hit some nice weather up until we passed through Tonopah just before entering Phoenix, AZ. That's when the real fun started...
Just after 4pm, the rain began pouring down, and we didn't seem to catch a single break until pulling into the Tuxon Hotel in Tucson a few minutes after the clock struck 7pm. We're used to riding through rain on our trips, but this is probably the most constant downpour that we've ridden through in years! Luckily, we were rocking the Thrashin' Mission rain gear which kept us dry and toasty into our destination.
We had a great stay and checked out a local steakhouse for dinner, then hit the hay for a solid night's rest before another full day of riding in the rain! The next day, we woke up and greeted Matt Laidlaw and his crew from the dealership then hit the road to make it to Bisbee for our first stop at the Bisbee Breakfast Club, one of our favorite breakfast joints in the area.
We pulled in to Bisbee just past 11am, enjoyed a nice warm meal with the crew, then cruised on over to the other side of town to take a quick ride through the historic district to show everyone the colorful hillside architecture of Bisbee, Arizona! This was a first for most of the group, so it was cool to see their faces light up riding through the narrow alleys and vibrant streets!
We were a little behind, so we twisted those throttles and got out of there to make our way to one of the main destinations of the trip...Tombstone! Tombstone is a neat little western town that we've been to many times on our travels, and it has tons of great history, bars, shops, gun shows, and more. Tombstone is known for it's wild west history and was one of the last boomtowns in the American frontier. It grew significantly into the late 1800's as the local mines produced anywhere between $40 to $85 million in silver bullion, making it the largest producing silver district in the State of Arizona! It is best known as the site for the gun fight at the O.K. Corral made famous in the movie 'Tombstone' and draws a majority of its income from Tourism.
We were particularly excited to share Tombstone with the group, and it made a great hangout spot to wait out some heavy rain for an hour or two. Riding the major highways through Phoenix, Jerome is about a four and a half hour ride compared to the nearly nine hour ride criss-crossing on the 2Lane scenic route, and considering the heavy rain, we decided to take the shorter route.
The rain was coming down and the visibility was poor at times, but we were all having a blast enjoying the freedom and unpredictability of the open road! We headed north on I17 before making our way to the beautiful 89A which would take us right into Jerome's windy narrow roads built into the hillside. Due to time constraints, we got a quick In-N-Out dinner, then pulled into the Jerome Grand Hotel just before 10pm. The Jerome Grand is a historic hotel high up in the hills of Jerome, and was formerly a hospital up until 1950. It was then abandoned for 44 years and was eventually converted into Jerome's only full service hotel in 1994.
What a day of riding! It was great getting out there with a great group of fellow riders and taking whatever came our way. We still had another full day ahead, and luckily the weather was clearing up! Stay tuned for episode two! We hope everyone enjoyed coming along for the ride for a bit of a different adventure and we appreciate all of the support!