A Scenic Casa Grande, Arizona Bike Journey


Casa Grande Arizona Motorcycle Ride
Nothing says “Arizona” like tall saguaros. These thorny towers are within the Sonoran Desert Nationwide Monument.

Arizona is understood for its 5 Cs – copper, cattle, cotton, citrus, and local weather – all of that are represented on the state’s nice seal. I skilled three of them in abundance on this scenic southern Arizona loop, rolling previous harvest-ready cotton fields and enormous dairy farms and having fun with spectacular climate. Two extra Cs – cactus and vehicles – have been additionally highlights of this entertaining experience. 

Casa Grande Arizona Motorcycle Ride

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Earlier than you get the incorrect impression from the title, I didn’t get locked up on this journey. “Large home” is the English translation of the Spanish “Casa Grande,” the beginning and ending level of this loop experience. My journey started with a stroll across the metropolis’s downtown, which features a tidy and attention-grabbing neon signal park, a properly curated museum, a metropolis park, and a formidable metropolis sq.. Each January, the annual Historic Downtown Avenue Honest/Automobile and Bike Present attracts upwards of 40,000 guests to Casa Grande.


Casa Grande Arizona Motorcycle Ride
A roadside show in Casa Grande highlights a few of the state’s foundational Cs.

After the stroll, I mounted my BMW R 1200 GS for the brief experience to the Francisco Grande Lodge and Golf Resort. Tall palm timber stood sentinel as I rolled onto the resort’s stunning property, which was established within the early Nineteen Sixties because the spring coaching residence of the San Francisco Giants. It was additionally a favourite hang-out of John Wayne. After settling into my room and having fun with the unimaginable view, I had a tasty burger within the Duke’s Lounge and admired photographs of Wayne, Willie Mays, Pat Boone, and different legendary guests. 

See all of Rider‘s West U.S. Motorcycle Rides here.

After an incredible night time’s sleep, I mounted my GS and rode west by means of cotton fields and dairy farms to my first cease, the Dwarf Automobile Museum. The unassuming cluster of buildings belies the treasures displayed inside. I paid my $5 entry charge and walked inside. At first look, I might have been in any cool basic automotive museum, however as I acquired nearer, the vehicles appeared to shrink. 

Casa Grande Arizona Motorcycle Ride
The beautiful and diminutive creations within the Dwarf Automobile Museum sit waist-high to the 6-foot-3 creator. Along with small vehicles, the museum additionally has an attention-grabbing assortment of automotive memorabilia.

After scanning the whimsical, barn-like inside of the museum, I noticed a gentleman warming himself by a fireplace within the excellent man cave. Ernie Adams, the grasp builder of this eclectic and interesting assortment of diminutive classics, invited me to have a seat, and we had a pleasant chat about his life and his vehicles. Adams constructed his first dwarf automotive within the early ’60s, and they’re about 11/sixteenth scale. He bases each creation on a wheel measurement of 12 inches and miniaturizes every little thing else to that scale. Adams doesn’t do a lot of the work anymore, however his son, daughter-in-law, and a good friend keep on the custom. He even has a tidy assortment of classic enduro bikes in a backroom.  

Casa Grande Arizona Motorcycle Ride
What gearhead doesn’t have a smooth spot for classic Japanese dirtbikes?

Again on the GS, it was time to go to a different C: the cactus-rich majesty of the Sonoran Desert Nationwide Monument, one of the vital biologically various deserts in North America. Saguaros tower over the sand, every hanging their very own distinctive pose. With the rugged South Maricopa Mountains serving as the right backdrop, I explored a couple of established dust roads off State Route 84.

On Interstate 8, I opened the throttle and made my westward experience by means of extra of this desert grandeur. Interstates have by no means been my selection of roads, however this stretch of I-8 is as stunning as they arrive. Varied cactus varieties dot the rolling hills within the foreground, and distant mountain ranges create texture within the background.

Casa Grande Arizona Motorcycle Ride
The Casa Grande Neon Signal Park within the metropolis’s downtown space preserves classic neon indicators from historic native institutions.

The experience west was relaxed and exquisite on the best way to the ultimate landmark on my listing: the Area Age Lodge in Gila Bend. I’ve all the time been a fan of the rock band Rush, particularly Neil Peart, who was arguably one of many biggest drummers in rock ‘n’ roll historical past. After tragically dropping each his daughter and spouse inside a span of months, Peart rode his BMW GS greater than 55,000 miles by means of North America, Mexico, and Belize, which he chronicled in his memoir, Ghost Rider: Travels on the Therapeutic Highway. One cease on Peart’s journey was the quirky, seemingly out-of-place Area Age Lodge, and I needed to see it. 

Casa Grande Arizona Motorcycle Ride
The music-loving creator needed to make a cease in Gila Bend to take a look at the Area Age Lodge, which was talked about in Ghost Rider, Rush drummer Neil Peart’s wonderful moto-centric memoir.

As I rolled out of city, one final incongruity caught my eye. Twin fighter jets crouched in entrance of a tiny airport on the outskirts of city. The pair of RF-101 Voodoos flew reconnaissance missions in Vietnam and now have a everlasting residence in Gila Bend. 

It was time to go again to Casa Grande. Moreover I-8, the opposite street that crosses the Sonoran Desert Nationwide Monument is State Route 238. This extra northern street doesn’t have the towering saguaros of the interstate, however it’s a relaxed desert experience with a lot much less site visitors.

Casa Grande Arizona Motorcycle Ride
The Museum of Casa Grande is housed in an attractive Southwestern mission-style stone constructing. Greater than 40 buildings within the metropolis are listed on historic registers.

This southern Arizona loop is finest navigated from fall to early spring, because the desert temperatures are toasty in the summertime. What it lacks in curves, it makes up for with a full plate of different entertaining Cs.

Casa Grande, Arizona Bike Journey Assets

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