WELCOME TO ARIZONA!
You have reached my online version of Moon Handbooks: Arizona—the most comprehensive guidebook to the state! This website, and the 9th edition of the printed guidebook from which it comes, cover Arizona's sights, recreation, and practicalities based on 29 years of research and travel. For each edition I drove some 10,000 miles around Arizona to discover what's new and to verify the old. The well-organized information will help you to plan the best possible trip.
Discover Arizona suggests travel strategies and provides background to the land and people of Arizona. Travel chapters begin with Phoenix and South-Central Arizona in the heart of the state and work their way around to Eastern Arizona. You can also drop into the Photo Gallery, check out the latest Updates, and browse the Arizona Booklist. I've also included some photos and excerpts from Moon Handbooks: Utah, a worthy book and destination as well, in the Photo Gallery.
For travel stories of my adventures trekking and cycling around the world, head over to Bill's Exotic Travels. To see a list of useful Arizona links and those of friends and fellow authors, swing by Favorite Websites. My Dad, Gordon W. Weir, has written a fine memoir on his flying experiences, Navigating Through World War II.
ON THE ROAD WITH BILL—UPCOMING AND RECENT TRIPS
A Grand Tour of the American West
This big ride will take in many spectacular regions of the West on a loop beginning and ending at San Francisco. The adventure runs April to September 2016. You can join me at www.crazyguyonabike.com/doc/GrandWest2016
Cycling in the Himalaya of India's Sikkim & Arunachal Pradesh, then Across Myanmar to Thailand
From Sri Lanka I flew to New Delhi for a week, then took a train east to Siliguri, where the ride to Darjeeling and Sikkim commenced. After enjoyable loops in Sikkim, I rode east across West Bengal and Assam to Bhalukpong, gateway to Arunachal Pradesh and the very tough ride over increasingly high passes to Tawang near the borders of Bhutan and Tibet. Also in Arunachal Pradesh, I rode to the capital Itanagar and the very pretty hill country around Ziro. From there I turned south back into Assam and across the great Brahamaputra at Majuli Island, then continued south through Nagaland and Manipur states to the border with Myanmar. Only recently have independent cyclists been able to ride all the way across Myanmar, and I was fortunate to do that on a very memorable adventure! I emerged into Thailand at Mae Sot. The journal for this epic ride is at www.crazyguyonabike.com/doc/IndiaSwing2015
Cycling in Sri Lanka 2015—A Loop of the South
In late August I returned to this tropical island for another loop, this time with an emphasis on the South, a region I've never visited before. As on my April ride of Sri Lanka, I made a clockwise loop from Negombo and headed first to the Ancient Cities region. The route also took in the East and West Coasts, as well as the South Coast. For the story and photos, swing by www.crazyguyonabike.com/doc/SriLankaSwing2
Cycling Swing Through Europe 2015
I landed in Rome's Fiumicino Airport at the end of April and began a nearly 4-month ride north through Italy's dazzling spring countryside to Genoa, then east across the mountainous north to Slovenia and on through Central Europe—Hungary, Slovakia, Poland, Czech Republic, and Germany to Holland. A giant ferry then took me across to the U.K. for it's memorable history, culture, and landscapes. Follow along at www.crazyguyonabike.com/doc/EuropeSwing2015
Cycling in Sri Lanka 2015—A Loop of the North
For the month of April I visit Sri Lanka, the ‘Teardrop of India,’ packed with beautiful tropical beaches, temples, wildlife, and mountains. First I ride to Mannar Island and Jaffna in the North, which now welcome visitors again after the long civil war. Join me in at www.crazyguyonabike.com/doc/SriLankaSwing
Bill's 2014-15 Cycling Swing Through Thailand, Cambodia, and Vietnam
Yes, I keep coming back to this favorite region of the world! From Bangkok, I headed west to Kanchanaburi Province and all the way to the Myanmar border, passing many historic sites, caves, waterfalls, and beautiful limestone mountains along the way. Next I turned the wheels east for Cambodia to take in contemporary culture and ancient Angkor temples. From northeastern Cambodia's Ratanagiri Province I continued east to Vietnam and over the hills to the coast, where I turned south toward the Mekong Delta. Lastly I returned to Thailand via southern Cambodia. Story and photos at Bill & "Bessie Too the Bicycle" Explore Thailand, Cambodia, and Vietnam at www.crazyguyonabike.com/doc/AsianSwing3
Bill's 2014 Grand Cycling Tour of the U.S.A.
I flew into Los Angeles from Asia on a double-deck Airbus A380 to begin a ride of the American Southwest. Unlike my trip here two years ago, I arrived early enough in the spring for pleasant weather in the desert regions of central and southeast Arizona. I greatly enjoyed cycling in my home state, including several rugged mountain routes. I then headed into Utah to Moab, east into Colorado, and kept riding east all the way to Washington, D.C.! A curious feature of the ride is that it began near my birthplace of Santa Monica and passed through most of the places where I have lived over the years! Follow us along if you like, Bill & Bessie Too the Bicycle ride California to Virginia www.crazyguyonabike.com/doc/VultureBill2
Bill's 2013-14 Cycling Swing Through Thailand and Cambodia
I enjoyed the ride in Southeast Asia last winter so much that I returned for another one! This time the route begins in the east of Thailand and ends in the north. You can come along on A Swing Through Thailand and Cambodia at www.crazyguyonabike.com/doc/AsianSwing2.
Bill's 2013 Himalayan Adventure on a BicycleIn late July 2013 I flew to Ladakh in India's far north to visit villages, monasteries, and experience the grand scenery here in Northern India Delights. From Ladakh I cycled west to Srinagar in Kashmir. Next I took buses to New Delhi for festivals and art in October and November, then continued east by train for a week in Kolkata. Stories and photos are at www.crazyguyonabike.com/doc/IndiaDelights
Bill's 2013 European Grand Cycling Adventure
I had long wished to experience Italy on a cycle ride in the springtime. So that's where my trip Italian Delights, then Short Visits to Slovenia and Croatia went! Flights in April 2013 took me from steamy Bangkok to Rome for a grand 90-day tour of Italy. From Italy, I continued along coastal Slovenia, followed Croatia's Istria Peninsula around, then turned inland to the capital Zagreb. The greatest challenge wasn't the rugged mountains of Italy, but the lofty Euro prices! I managed by free camping and picnicking for much of the trip. My online journal, www.crazyguyonabike.com/doc/EuropeDelights has lots of beautiful photos along with practical advice for cycling in Italy.
Bill's 2012-13 Cycling Through Thailand and Cambodia
In late November 2012 I set out with "Bessie Too the Bicycle" on a four-month journey, Off the Beaten Track in Thailand and Cambodia. The theme was to experience places that I've not been to before, many off the tourist track. I took a bus from Bangkok to Nan Province in the very mountainous north near the Lao border. From there I made a big arc around northern and northeastern Thailand, following the Lao border and Mekong River much of the way. I then crossed into northern Cambodia to visit remote Khmer sites before stopping in at the famed temples of Angkor Wat area. I continued to the capital Phnom Penh and rode south to the coastal plain before returning to Thailand. From Chanthaburi in the east I took buses to Songkhla in the far south and rode north via Nakhon Si Thammarat to a ferry for Koh Phangan and a meditation retreat. Afterward I hopped a boat to Koh Tao for a spell of scuba diving. You can read about the trip and see the photos at www.crazyguyonabike.com/doc/AsianSwing.
Bill's 2012 Southwest Adventure in the U.S.A.
From April to September 2012 I enjoyed A Grand Ride of the American Southwest with "Bessie Too the Bicycle," www.crazyguyonabike.com/doc/GrandSouthwest. The ride began in San Francisco, California, and followed the coast south to Oceanside in San Diego County, headed inland to Arizona, climbed the Colorado Plateau for visits to the Grand Canyon's south and north rims, continued on to southern Utah's canyon country, swung west across the lonely Great Basin's mountains and valleys of Utah and Nevada, crossed the Sierra Nevada in northern California, then lastly rolled over the Golden Gate Bridge to San Francisco. Unusually, this time I simply headed out the door for the ride without any planes, trains, buses, or automobiles to deal with. Also, no visas, as it was one of my rare bicycle tours in the U.S.A.!
Bill's 2011-12 Asian Grand Adventure with a Backpack
On November 22nd 2011 I headed to Asia on a backpacking trip, Indian Ramble. Flights on Cathay Pacific took me from San Francisco to Chennai in the south of India, where I traveled overland north to New Delhi, then east to Kolkata, taking in lots of Indian culture (and cuisine) over the course of about three months. A short flight brought me to Bangkok for a spell of about two months of meditation, travel, and scuba diving in southern Thailand. Story and photos begin at http://arizonahandbook.com/indian_ramble.htm for India and http://arizonahandbook.com/thai_retreats.htm for Thailand.
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Site last updated on May 31, 2016
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ęBill Weir 1999-2016
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