El Cajon, CA to Tucson, AZ

Hi All,

This travelogue report covers my journey on July 12th from El Cajon, CA to Tucson, AZ. The following map shows my route.

My route from El Cajon, CA to Tucson, AZ

My route from El Cajon, CA to Tucson, AZ

Initially starting out eastward on I-8, I turned north onto CA-79 and passed by Lake Cuyamaca along the eastern side of the Cleveland National Forest. Upon reaching the junction with CA-78 at the town of Julian, I continued eastward and passed through the Anza-Borrego Desert State Park. At the junction with CR-S3, a.k.a. Yaqui Pass Road, I turned north again towards the town of Borrego Springs. From Borrego Springs, I continued eastward along CR-S22, a.k.a. the Borrego Salton Seaway. Upon reaching Salton City, located on the western shore of the Salton Sea, I turned north along CA-86. At the small town of Mecca, I continued east and followed Box Canyon Road to I-10. I rode along I-10 to and through Phoenix, AZ until arriving at the Comfort Inn motel near the West Grant Road exit in Tucson.

This first photo shows the view from CA-79 across Lake Cuyomaca.

View to the northeast across Lake Cuyamaca

View to the northeast across Lake Cuyamaca

This next photo shows the scenery further to the east along CA-78.

View from near Julian along CA-78 towards the northeast

View from near Julian along CA-78 towards the northeast

I took this next photo over my shoulder to capture the view behind me of the hills in the Cleveland National Forest.

Over-shoulder view westward along CA-78

Over-shoulder view westward along CA-78

In this next photo, CA-78 enters a canyon leading into the Anza-Borrego Desert State Park.

Entering a canyon leading into the Anza-Borrego Desert State Park

Entering a canyon leading into the Anza-Borrego Desert State Park

Nearly 15 minutes later, I briefly left part of the Anza-Borrego Park and entered the open valley around Borrego Springs. Along the main road into the town, I came to the marker for the very nice and thus expensive resort complex called La Casa del Zorro Resort and took this photo of the interesting sign.

La Casa del Zorro Resort just south of Borrego Springs

La Casa del Zorro Resort just south of Borrego Springs

Nearby I spotted an attractive new home that was still unoccupied.

A new, but still vacant home near the Borrego Springs Resort and Country Club

A new, but still vacant home near the Borrego Springs Resort and Country Club

Heading out of Borrego Springs, I took two photos of the hills of the eastern section of the Anza-Borrego Park to create this next panoramic view.

Panoramic view to the northeast from Borrego Springs

Panoramic view to the northeast from Borrego Springs

Someone has some deals on property in Salton City!  And at the low, low interest rate of only 12.273%… Ha ha!  Why pay just under $7,000 when you can pay an extra $5,095 in interest?

Such a deal...

Such a deal…

This next photo shows a view towards the Salton Sea and the hills beyond. Unfortunately the haze hindered the view. It didn’t seem quite interesting enough to take a side road to the shore of the lake for a closer photo.

View from CA-86 across the Salton Sea

View from CA-86 across the Salton Sea

At the north end of the Salton Sea is the town of Mecca and the start of the Box Canyon Road. It passes through an area of uplifted rock strata. The San Andreas Fault extends through this area.

Geologic formations along Box Canyon Road just east of Mecca

Geologic formations along Box Canyon Road just east of Mecca

The welcome sign upon entering Arizona along I-10.

Welcome to Arizona!

Welcome to Arizona!

The ride across I-10 to Phoenix was an ordeal. The indicated air temperature of 115°F (46°C) felt like riding into the continuous blast from a hairdryer set on high. Despite my motorcycle air-conditioning unit, I had to stop at several rest areas or other facilities to hydrate and cool off as much as possible before continuing.

A few miles west of Tonopah, I took these next two photos of the scenery to the north of the highway.

View to the north from I-10 halfway just west of Tonopah

View to the north from I-10 halfway just west of Tonopah

View to the northeast from I-10 just west of Tonopah

View to the northeast from I-10 just west of Tonopah

At the last rest stop just south of Phoenix, I spotted several general information panels and an historical plaque regarding the purchase of the territory from Mexico, called the Gadsden Purchase.

Historical plaque about the Gadsen Purchase of Mexican territory

Historical plaque about the Gadsen Purchase of Mexican territory

A few miles later I arrived at the motel in Tucson and immediately took a cool shower. What a relief to be in an air-conditioned room again!  After recovering and resting for a while, I rode to the nearby Rusty’s Family Restaurant & Sports Grille for a nice dinner.

That concludes this report for July 12th. The next day I rode 55 miles southwest along AZ-86 to visit the Kitt Peak National Observatory. More about that excursion in my next report.

Don

About Don

I'm a retired computer programmer who enjoys touring the country by motorcycle.
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