- Written by Deryle & Wanda Mehrten
A year or ten back the International Motorcycle Show use to come to Phoenix. One year SEAT did an Overnighter in conjunction with the show…we dined at Hooters. Unfortunately to get to Phoenix is usually a freeway shot from Tucson, not the most enjoyable route. We started looking for a SLC&WA.
One afternoon coming across Highway 86, the Ajo Highway, we stopped at the gas station just west of Sells. We had looked at Indian Road 15 that cuts off of Hwy 86 at Quijotoa and runs up to Casa Grande or Stanfield as a possible SLC&WA to Phoenix, but our map showed parts not paved. As we stood outside the gas station convenience store having a cup of coffee, a Tohono O’Odham electrical systems maintenance truck pulled in. The driver was a friendly dude who gladly answered my questions about which roads were paved across the Indian Nation. Turns out IR 15 is paved to either Casa Grande or Stanfield.
Back then IR 15 had little to no highway markings either down the center or on the sides. Route signs and side road signs were practically non-existent. Our plan was to take IR 15 to the junction of IR 42 then to Stanfield where we would loop around into Phoenix. We missed the IR 42 turn off, there wasn’t any sign, so we took the next left. Turns out the next left was a nasty, narrow “alligator” pavement road that crosses the Santa Rosa River at an old, abandoned spill way. It was a hoot!
We managed to make it to Stanfield and all the way up to 82nd and Bell with no freeway. Since then we have taken IR 15 a couple of times. The road is now well paved with center and side markings. A good SLC&WA.