Acura ILX Trip: Why, Arizona

Odometer (Legend):  522,599

522599

Odometer (ILX):  44,920

44920

Trip Distance:  370 Miles

why_map

An instant message conversation with a colleague at work went something like this on Friday.

IM_with_ed

Apparently my coworkers know me too well.  I can’t sit still for long.

It’s times like these during the peak of Phoenix summer heat when the 4 million of us who live in the Phoenix metropolitan area ask ourselves, “Why?”  Why do we live in this oven of a city?  The answer shows up in the fall when Mother Nature unplugs the heater and we bask in perfect winter weather from October through May.

The word “Why” took on a whole new meaning this weekend.  “Why” is a place in southern Arizona.  It’s a place so small and insignificant that even my Garmin Nuvi GPS unit didn’t know what it was.

why_on_gps

You’re telling me there’s no other town named Why for at least 2,800 miles from here?  This place must be special.  I was determined to see what this little speck on the map had to offer.  As it turns out, the drive was most rewarding.  On a cool summer morning (that’s 96 degrees at 8:16 in the morning for us Phoenicians), I set out westbound on Interstate 10 in my 2013 Acura ILX 6-speed.

departure

At Arizona Highway 85, I headed south for 35 miles to Gila Bend.

buckeye_distance_sign

This blog entry brought to you in part by Fertizona:  Arizona’s largest agricultural fertilizer and crop protection retailer.  (Not really, but I thought the name was clever).

fertizona

Gila Bend:  Home of 1700 friendly people and 5 old crabs.  The 5 crabs’ names, by the way, are written out on the smaller sign below.  Seriously!

gila_bend_entrance_sign_acura_ilx

After passing through town, which didn’t take longer than a minute or two, I headed even deeper south.  Next stop:  Mexico.

mexico_sign

Without a passport, I wasn’t going to get too far, but there were plenty of shops willing to sell me a Mexican insurance policy.  Here’s one such example where they actually sell Mexican insurance at a DRIVE-THRU.  Can I get a chimichanga with that policy?

mexican_insurance_drive_thru

Just a bit down the road in Ajo, Arizona (Ajo is Spanish for “garlic”), I found the ultimate one-stop shop.  Cactus, jelly, copper, onyx, jewelry, T-shirts, blankets, pottery, rugs, and… swords?!  Good to know!

southwestern_souvenirs_acura_ilx

Ahh, here we go.  Getting closer – the sign told me I was just 10 miles from Why.  Rocky Point, at 103 miles from this sign, resides in Mexico.  It’s a popular summertime destination for Arizonans seeking beach-time.  It is, in fact, the closest beach to Arizona.  Remember that country song, “Oceanfront Property In Arizona”?  Well, that ocean’s in another country.

why_distance_sign

We now learn why Why is called Why.  The map below from my GPS illustrates it best.  When the unincorporated town was formed, it lied at the intersection of Highways 85 and 86.  They roads came together at a “Y.”  Since the law at the time required a town’s name to be at least 3 letters long, it was spelled out W-H-Y.  Safety concerns later on prompted the creation of a traditional “T” style intersection instead of the original Y.

gps_in_why_arizona

At last.  I made it.  Surprisingly, there’s enough customer traffic for a few businesses to stay afloat out there.

why_entrance_sign_acura_ilx

Here’s that piece of road that’s now curved where it used to go straight down.

entering_why_arizona

No trip to Why would be complete without a stop at the Why Not Travel Store.

why_not_travel_store_acura_ilx

Because you can get Free Why-Fi.  Love it.

why_fi

I made a bathroom break out back and continued on my way.  I’d seen all that Why had to offer.

why_rest_room

At only about 25 miles from the Mexican border, it was ironic that Madonna’s “Borderline” chose to play from my iPod on the ILX’s 7-speaker Premium Audio System at this time.  I rocked it out with plenty of volume.

borderline_song

Eastbound on Highway 86, I had the road to myself.  Except when I passed this guy.  He didn’t even flinch when I laid on the horn.

horse_in_the_raod

The next place of any significance on my drive was Sells, Arizona.  Sells was pretty quiet except for the marketplace.  It’s on Indian land and is the capital of the “Tohono O’odham” Nation.  A service station by the name of Sells Gas sits on the main drag through town.  I bet they… sell gas.

sells_gas_sign

Over the course of my 6 or so hours behind the wheel today, I encountered dozens of border patrol vehicles.  The Ajo-Why-Sells-Tucson area is a hotbed of immigrant activity.  For this reason, it’s heavily policed.  I was stopped briefly by officers here, just east of Sells on Highway 86.

border_checkpoint

For a brief moment while I neared Tucson, I thought I’d driven my ILX into Dr. Seuss’ Whoville.  Wasn’t there a Who named Cindy Lou Who?  Apparently Cindy Lou Who opened up a restaurant out here called Cindy Lou’s Cafe.  Tacos are only $1.25!

cindy_lous

Now we’re cookin’.

tyson_random

Last stop on the journey was a meet-up with my friends Nick & Kurt in Tucson for a bite of Mexican grub.

tyson_nick_in_tucson

Hope you enjoyed the trip to Why!  Now, if I could only find out if there are towns named Who, What, and Where.

In high-mileage news:  My friend Jason linked me to a website about a 2005 Honda Accord Coupe EX V6 that’s gone the distance.  Here’s the thread on the 7th Generation section of the DriveAccord.net forums.

500k_accord_odo

The odometer reads just over 506,000 miles.  The car was owned since new by a territory salesman in Minnesota and every service record is accounted for.  The timing belt was changed every 100,000 miles.  Reportedly, the only items which have failed are the starter, the power steering, and the battery.

500k_accord

The new owner paid $6,000 for the car.  He plans on modifying it with visual & suspension upgrades.  I’d leave it alone!

Over and out.

12 Responses to “Acura ILX Trip: Why, Arizona”

  1. Adam Stewart Says:

    Hey, I noticed in your IM convo pic you were going to do Pikes Peak this weekend? Would you be willing to let me tag along?

    • YES Adam! I was going to reach out to you this week. I’m going to stay in Denver somewhere on Friday night. A couple friends and I are driving to Mount Evans on Saturday morning. Then, I’m thinking of staying in Colorado Springs on Saturday night and doing Pikes early in the morning on Sunday. Could you join on the Sunday morning drive? Let me know what works for you.

      • Adam Stewart Says:

        Absolutely! I’m off that day and could definitely be around in the AM. This sounds bad as I’ve lived at the foot of that mountain half my life and haven’t been up it in eight years; would be a blast to do it again.

  2. Wow. I am looking forward to this Pike’s Peak adventure. Tyson, if I lived closer to you, I would be all over this. Pike’s Peak along with the San Juan Skyway are my top destinations in Colorado. Make sure to check your brake pads are in peak condition before you go up on that mountain.

    • Carlos, Pikes has been on my list for awhile – I can’t wait to check it out! I am sure the ILX is up to the task. I’ll have the GoPro camera charged up and ready to capture the ascent. Wish you could join us for the fun!

  3. Why, Cindy Lou Who, and the ILX. Thats a triple play right there!

    Denver huh? Hmmm I know a vehicle there you might be interested in…….

    • Dave, tell me more. I’m going to be in Denver on Friday night and then Colorado Springs on Saturday night. I remember a blk/blk 94 LS 6MT KA8 for sale in DEN not long ago. Haven’t seen it pop up on craigs for awhile, though.

  4. Tyson, great post! Loved the sharing of your “Why” visit. Definitely something I need to checkout next time I’m in the area. I kid you not, there’s a street in Laurel Hill, NC called, “Why Not St.” I have a pic of it somewhere here. Floored me when I saw it. I’m still in shock about that Accord going 500,000+. That averages to just around 5,300 a month?! Truck driver status there.

    • I love clever street names. I think there’s a street somewhere in Phoenix called Sesame Street. I’ll be hitting that up soon. That Accord was remarkable. I’ve heard the automatic transmissions are fail-prone, so I’m amazed he got 500k out of that one. I wish I had time to drive 5,000+ a month like that.

  5. LOL “ILX’s 7-speaker Premium Audio System” – product placement. Ugh, is there anywhere in Arizona you haven’t been. I need to step up my travel game!

    • Remember this was when I was still doing all I could to promote my new free car! I didn’t have the title yet – of course I wanted to put in a plug any chance I got! I need to get back to Why.

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