Map, lodging, and pretour info. - I'm Happy To Be Here - CycleBlaze

Map, lodging, and pretour info.

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This is our THIRD year touring south of Tucson during the winter. I've received flak, some not so friendly, about our continued return to the area. What's not to like? We are touring IN NOVEMBER! The weather is reasonably dependable, and the drive to the start is doable in one day. It hasn't yet snowed at home in Colorado, but daytime high temperatures are about 30 degrees lower than Arizona. I'm happy, and I'm the rider. So there. Well, Jacinto gets  to come along. He's happy too. He has a brand new bike to ride. More about the bicycles later.

Clarifying note - We did start a December tour in 2018, only to get snowed out in Sonoita. We decided 2017 was amazingly lucky with good December weather. For the past couple of years, we've toured over Thanksgiving. Let's call it 3.5 years of touring. Further clarification admits to base camp riding in Tucson during December and February. 

It's been a few years that we've done only motel tours. We book our rooms in advance, and do not carry a tent for contingency. Most of this route has many lodging choices.  My priorities are: clean, comfortable, close to food, and on route. I've gotten softer in my old age, and tend to pick rooms with chairs/sofas in deference to my back. Too much sitting on beds is not good for me. Larger rooms are easier to get the bikes in. I write down the person's name I spoke with. Speaking of bikes in rooms - when booking my room, I say that we will be arriving by bicycle, probably early, could we have a ground floor room, and an early check in? This is their opportunity to state their bicycle policy. Typically, bikes in the room are fine. We are respectful.  I sometimes ask for a rag to clean my bike. That request is always happily met. Some places have rags out for motorcycles and bicycles. 

LODGING - there were choices in most towns. 

Tucson - Hampton Inn/Airport - $91. non-refundable. King room/chair. Full, hot breakfast. Some reviews were questionable. We found everything very clean, and employees polite and helpful.  I was concerned about staying here, as our previous Tucson airport favorite, the Quality Inn, should be closed (my opinion). Unfortunately, I was unable to sweet talk them into free parking during the tour. They charge $5. a night. The parking lot is very clean, and looks safe. I will probably go with convenience, as opposed to moving to a parking lot for the same price (but covered parking). 

Amado - Amado Territory Inn - $149. king room. This is a B&B, the only game in town. Beautiful house. Lovely grounds.  Hot breakfast. Wine in the afternoon. It's one of my favorite stays. Another choice is to stop at Green Valley. Lodging there is expensive and not near as memorable - we did that only once. A second choice is to continue on to upscale Tubac. The daily mileage is more even when staying at Amado, plus I like the lodging. There would be more/better food choices somewhere else. 

Patagonia - Stage Stop Inn - $139. King room. Memory foam mattress. Fridge/microwave. Ice in chest in the lobby. Rooms are arranged around a central courtyard. It's the only motel in town. We did an airbnb once, but have come back to the Stage Stop. No included breakfast. Centrally located. Restaurant on site. The Gathering Grounds is a breakfast spot, 3-4 doors down. Good breakfast and coffee.

Tombstone - Larian Motel - $90. king. This is our first trip here. Gordon was extra friendly on the phone. Reviews are good. Previously we stayed at the Tombstone Miners Cabins, but they were already booked. We stayed at the Tombstone Motel our first time through - it was rundown, but clean. There are many, many choices in town. Heads on the pillow report - this is a hidden gem.  The rooms are remodeled with a new bathroom, and laminate flooring. We will stay here again. Great location, Linda even offered to wash our clothes!

Douglas - Best Western Douglas. $146. king.Comfy chair.  Extra spacious room. Fridge, microwave. Hot breakfast. Rags to clean my bike! No toilet paper AT ALL in room. Serious, temporary problem. 

Sierra Vista - Sierra Inn $89. Two Queen beds. It is a former Day’s Inn, based on the sunrise style room door numbers. Tristian is beyond nice. She made me happy to be there. Roomy room. Fridge/microwave. Two sink areas. Sufficient plug ins. Picked solely for it's proximity to food available on Thanksgiving day.  5-6 fast food places adjacent. Grocery and Chili’s is .4 miles away. Next door Comfort Inn was $125. Before tax. I’d stay here again. 

Sonoita - Sonoita Inn - $139. Vaca ranch room. Queen bed. non existent internet. I can forgive a lot if the internet works. The only time I had a good connection was at 5:30 AM. By 8 AM, I was kicked back out again. The room itself was spacious. Memory foam pillows seemed way too tall, but were actually comfortable. We had noisy drunks in the common room, and a baby that cried FOREVER. Poor continental breakfast included. Which is surprising, considering the upscale lodging. All of those things added up to me almost skipping the overnight on round two through Sonoita. Jacinto talked me into staying again. Let's see how it goes. The room itself was above average nice, but there were too many negatives to look forward to the stay again.

The other choice, way outside of town, is the Xanadu Horse Motel, where we stayed last year. It's more homey, like staying with your aunt, on a ranch with a long dirt driveway. To my memory, the internet there was good. No breakfast at all, so I didn't have expectations. 


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Comment on this entry Comment 19
Benjamin MeyersonHi Kelly. Great to see you back at it. We did a Tucson tour last spring for 3 weeks - Tucson to Silver City one way with a Coronado Trail loop - and used the Holiday Inn Express Airport for a base, free parking the whole time, no trouble. Also, the Larian in Tombstone was great and the Sonoita Inn was very good too and actually has a pretty decent breakfast. Enjoy!
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7 months ago
Bill ShaneyfeltAsalways, looking forward to seeing some desert nature!
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7 months ago
Steve Miller/GrampiesGlad to see you will soon be on the road again, as will we but in the Yucatan for us. Just a minor quibble-you put the date as 2022. Not so fast, we still have a bit of 2021 left ya know.
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7 months ago
George HallTouring in November? That's fantastic! I'm usually just getting in a few rides in the Nov-Feb period, trying to at least stay connected to the bike. So if you can do an actual tour, then who cares that it's a familiar route? It will be new to me as I follow along, looking forward to it.
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7 months ago
Kelly IniguezTo Benjamin MeyersonI’d love to read your tour report. Is it forthcoming? We rode as far as Morenci, but didn’t make it to Silver City. Or, Pie Town!

I hope breakfast at the Sonoita Inn Has improved since 2019. That would be good news.
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7 months ago
Kelly IniguezTo Bill ShaneyfeltBill, I will try to find some green things for you. Probably nothing new, since this is a familiar route!
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7 months ago
Kelly IniguezTo Steve Miller/GrampiesOoops, I fixed the date! Thank you. Jacinto will especially love following along with you in the Yucatán!
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7 months ago
Kelly IniguezTo George HallBuddy,

Thanks for following along. With COVID, a lot can change in one year!
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7 months ago
Bill ShaneyfeltTo Kelly IniguezNothing new is fine with me! I miss the old familiar desert!
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7 months ago
Rachael AndersonWhat’s not to love about going to Tucson. Id be happy to go there every winter. Glad to hear your going on another tour and this time with Jacinto!
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7 months ago
Kelly IniguezTo Benjamin MeyersonBenjamin,

We rode small bits of the Coronado Trail on our 2021 border to border tour. We were supposed to ride the entire route - but sanity prevailed about the steep climb out of Morenci. Did you ride it? My helmet off to you!

What were your overnight locations on your three week loop? It sounds like something we would enjoy, if we rode downhill into Morenci!

Thanks,

Kelly
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6 months ago
Benjamin MeyersonTo Kelly IniguezHi Kelly:

Congrats on another TWO successful Tours!

Yes, that climb out of Morenci if you go clockwise on the Coronado is pretty intimidating. That is why we chose to ride the Coronado ccw and gain our elevation in smaller chunks and downhill into Morenci as we were not exactly traveling light, touring with our dog in a trailer (yes, ridiculous, I know, he's very spoiled) so were fairly heavily loaded for an inn to inn tour with no camping or cooking gear.

For our route we robbed the Anderson's terrific "A Short Southwestern Sojourn" route from Tucson to Safford almost exactly - you know most of that turf - and used many of the same lodging options and also did the day ride from Pearce (Dreamcatcher BnB) to Massai Point in Chiricahua National Monument which is highly recommended.

In addition we also spent a second night in Safford and did the climb up Mt. Graham as an unloaded out and back day ride - nearly traffic free and outstanding. Jacinto would like that one!

From Safford our overnights on Coronado and into Silver were as follows:

Clifton (just below Morenci) - Rode Inn
Glenwood - Los Olmos Lodge
Hwy 180 (at hwy 12 junction) - Hidden Springs Inn
Alpine - Escudilla Mountain Cabins
Hannagan Meadow - Hannagan Meadow Lodge
Clifton - Rode Inn
Lordsburg - Hampton Inn
Silver City - Holiday Inn Express

All pretty reasonable days although the Hannagan Meadow to Clifton day was fairly difficult even with the big downhill at the end due to a lot of high altitude climbing and absolutely no services.

For route specifics and stats, photos, and brief descriptions of the rides you are welcome to check my Strava posts, each day of the entire tour is on there from 3/28-4/15 2021. Go to Strava - Explore - Athlete Search - and enter Ben Meyerson in the search bar, I'm the one from Utah.

And like the Anderson's we also did a one way minivan rental (Enterprise) from Silver City to get back to our truck parked at the Holiday Inn Express airport in Tucson.

Great Tour all in all, we had hoped to be in Andalucia during that time but had to cancel our tickets due to Covid so it was a pretty nice plan b. We now have tickets for Andalucia this coming spring keeping our fingers crossed!
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6 months ago
Benjamin MeyersonTo Kelly IniguezHere is the link to Strava:

https://www.strava.com/activities/5122798774
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6 months ago
Kelly IniguezTo Benjamin MeyersonShoot - I'd love to include a link here, but I guess that's not possible in the comments. Thank you for including your route details. I've mapped it out on Ridewithgps - under my name, then search my routes for Ben's Silver City Route. I think it looks very interesting. I don't know when we would ride it . . . we already have plans for 2022. We will be in your neighborhood. It's my 60th birthday, so I picked the route. We are riding some of our old favorite spots, with some new ones included. We have ridden southern Utah, and some of northern Utah in 2020. Now we are going to cover the middle.

If you go to my name on ridewithgps, and look up my route titled 'ending', it will show you our Utah route. I mostly took it from the USBR map, not having personal experience. Not many people ride central Utah, so, defaulted to USBR.

What I would like to do is ride to Hite Marina instead of Moab. I've discovered that they *should* have RV's for rent. That would get us out of the heat, as we will be there in late June. If I can sleep comfortably, I can get up very early in the morning and escape most of the heat. We are waiting to see about an RV rental for certain. If that doesn't work out, we will do the Moab/Green River piece.

When this spring is your Andalusia trip?

Kelly
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6 months ago
Benjamin MeyersonThat's funny, I'm turning 60 next year as well, hopefully in Andalusia, we'll be there for my Aries birthday April 5-25.

I looked at your Utah Birthday route, we have done several 1-2 week tours as well as many many day rides in central and se utah over the years and know those areas extremely well, and also the area around the Wasatch Front where we live of course. I like the concept but agree Hite preferable to Moab. You might also consider using the Lake Powell ferry from Halls Crossing to Bullfrog IF it's running - hwy 276 from Natural Bridges to Hall's Crossing has 0 traffic and is absolutely spectacular, one of the best rides anywhere. There are a few hidden accomodations that make this possible inn to inn. I might also suggest a few changes in the small details of some of your routes to better cycling roads, if you want to kick it around a bit maybe better on email: benjaminmeyerson@hotmail.com.
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6 months ago
Wayne EstesI also stayed in the Vaca Ranch room at Sonoita inn. Totally quiet during my stay. You just got unlucky. As you wrote, the loud guests and baby are not typical for such an upscale place.
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6 months ago
Kelly IniguezTo Wayne EstesWere you there on a week night? I think that might be the secret. Thanksgiving 2020 we wanted to stay there and they were full for a 'roping'. Which I think is a rodeo contest? That's when we stayed at the Xanadu Ranch. Same price, not as upscale, down a long dirt driveway. No breakfast at all. Inconvenient to food. I would stay there again. Being close to food and on a paved road is important to me. I am especially aware of flat tires at the moment, although that isn't usually a personal problem!

Have you ever tried slime in your tires? Hank (Thanksgiving 2020 trip) swore by it. Tom (lives in Tucson) uses Marathon Plus tires. I've never had enough trouble to consider either one too seriously, but am now giving it some thought.
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6 months ago
Wayne EstesTo Kelly IniguezI stayed at Sonoita Inn on a Wednesday night. It has unique charm.

I tried a slime tube once and hated the mess. Pumping up a tire was tricky. I just patched a flat today, but only get maybe 3 flats per year. No goat heads here!

I prefer lodging to be close to a restaurant and/or store and close to an interesting town to explore.
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6 months ago
Wayne EstesTo Wayne EstesThe CycleBlaze consulting committee is planning your next bike tour on the message board. ;-)
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6 months ago