Tucson to San Diego in a day

We decided to drive from Tuscon to San Diego in one day (about 400 miles or 660 km). Like driving from Sydney to Nyngan. The drive was good up to lunchtime when the heavy rain set in and driving across the range was tricky, Ian was up to it and we arrived safely at our hotel by about 4pm.  We saw three rollovers on the way down due to drivers going to0 fast and braking too sharply in the slippery conditions.

We stopped at Cracker Barrel in Yuma to break the journey. This is Ian’s favourite eating place and he has been hanging out for the opportunity to sample their meals. Yuma is nestled in the Yuma and Gila valleys of southern Arizona on banks of the Colorado River.

With three days in San Diego, it was worth pushing on to get the opportunity to rest up a bit and catch up on washing and other chores. We are staying at a La Quinta on the outskirts of San Diego, again a great hotel at the right rate.

Grand Canyon, Phoenix, Tucson Arizona

After a delicious breakfast at our hotel, we set out to spend the morning in the Grand Canyon South Rim National Park. Entry was $25US per vehicle and with maps in hand, we headed into the park. The Rangers were very informative and helpful. It helps to be Aussie everyone likes to chat to an Aussie. The weather was very clear and not all that cold, a bit chilly to start off but warmed up during the morning. The park is well layout and designed to handle large numbers of visitors. As it is heading towards winter it is considered low season but still, there were quite a few hikers and visitors out and about. The viewing areas give spectacular views of the canyon and wow this is some gully. The colours and character of the canyon were different at every place we stopped to look. Spotted the Colorado River snaking through the canyon at the Hermit’s Rest lookout, even spied some rapids through the binoculars. We spend an enjoyable few hours exploring before retreating to the general store for coffee and shopping. All touristy items but still fun to look at.

At about 1pm we set a course for Phoenix, with the plan to overnight there before heading to Tucson where we plan to stay for two nights allowing us time to make the trip out to Tombstone. The drive was uneventful and the roads really make driving easy. We arrived in Phoenix at 5.30pm and had a bite to eat in the hotel (Courtyard on Marriott) cafe. Up early and quick continental breakfast before finding a Walmart (don’t know how we did it ..only at least 20 to choose from according to Tom)  for essential purchases than on the road for Tucson only couple hours drive away. On arrival, we head out to the Pima Aviation Museum and Boneyard where all planes not in use are mothballed. The museum was great, so many different planes from so many different eras. Even a couple of old Air Force One planes (Kennedy and Johnson’s AF1 plane was on display). The B52’s are so big, how on earth did they get off the ground, especially fully loaded. To see a paddock full of planes as far as the eye can see is something to behold.

Checked in to our La Quinta room and walked next door to the Denny’s Diner for a light dinner, well at least mine was light, Sharpie has 3 courses again, he couldn’t resist the apple pie. Spend the next two hours moaning about eating too much. Tomorrow we are headed to Tombstone Wyatt Earp and Doc Holliday country and the site of the famous Gunfight of the OK Corral.