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Seeing as how I had the day off today, I thought it was time to go ahead and cross Ruby Road off my list.

Below is the loop I more or less followed, "C" is Ruby, "D" is Sonoita, and that white line near the bottom is the international border with Mexico.

I've been up Kitt Peak on my KLR to see the telescopes up close before, and although the lighting is pretty bad here you can just make them out from the valley below.

I had to stop by the Buenos Aires NWR sign for a photo-op. As you may have seen in the news, there's been some controversy over whether this is a safe area for US Citizens to visit.

It seemed like a nice place to me.

Just outside Arivaca, AZ.

The generously named Arivaca "Lake". There is a drought on, after all.

I thought the nearby geology was more interesting than the hydrology.

90 miles into my ride I finally found the end of the pavement, and this ominous sign.

From the numerous empty plastic gallon water jugs I came across, I can only assume there's some truth to the sign. The only suspicious character I saw had already made the acquaintance of a Border Patrol officer, and was receiving some (visibly much-needed) shade and water under the lift gate of a USBP Tahoe. I thought it inappropriate to stop for a pic of that scene, which for better or worse was a significant moment in the life of at least 1 person.

I carried along my way and found Ruby, AZ not quite as ghostly a ghost town as I'd hoped. Apparently a caretaker for the town still lives on the premises, and he keeps the gate locked.

Fortunately for me, there were other things to see along Ruby Road.

A nice shady lunch spot in Sycamore Canyon.

Then back on the road.

Then after 30 miles or so the dirt came to an end, and it was back up to highway speed to finish the loop.

I did have to stop by the country store in Sonoita for a corndog of unknown age and provenance.

From there I high-tailed it back up AZ 83 to Tucson, but I did stop for a picture that it looks like there won't be too many more chances to take.

It seems pretty inevitable that soon the area behind by TW there is going to be an open pit mine. I understand that the copper has to come from somewhere, but I'm still pretty bummed. I'm gonna try to get in a few more rides through that area while I still can.

On a happier note, my TW didn't burn any noticeable amount of oil today, even with 150+ miles of 55-65 mph highway cruising. I couldn't get her up over 70 either though, even in a full tuck. I think I was getting too much drag from my luggage, I had no luggage on when I got her up over 80 down that same stretch before. Amazing how much difference little things like that make.

All in the loop was 207 miles, and about 6 hours including breaks. Not a bad way to spend a Monday.

129 Posts
Thank you, that was so great to read about and see. I really enjoy ride reports! I have only spent a very short amount of time in such arid country. Your photography showed it off, love the glowing blue in some of the pictures of the sky. We sometimes get that rich blue sky in the east, but not too often. Thanks again for the post.

395 Posts
Awesome RR. Thanks for sharing so many pictures

13,345 Posts
Thanks for the shot of a little vitamin N. I took like the photo of the old country store. I picturing a bunch of horses tied up to the hitchin rail, but a TW parked nearby is about the same thing...just more modern. Thanks for sharing more great photo's of southern Arizona.

173 Posts
Really cool ride report! What's neat is I am only an hour north of you and I can look at those pictures and "feel" the climate that you were riding in. If that makes any sense? My wife's grandpa was from Patigonia. Not to far off from where you where riding at one point. Beautiful country.
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