Well, we were taking Highway 666 today.
Ah, morning in an empty campsite. It's nice to wake up in a quiet, empty and seldom used camp. This particular spot was just about 10 miles outside of Globe. That meant it wasn't really a destination. If you were driving from Phoenix, why not go a bit further to the pines and if you were coming from Globe it's too close to bother camping. This meant it was extremely overgrown and under used.
We hit the highway and there was a nice chill in the air. We had made it away from the crowds and the traffic and we were HAPPY!
One of those spots that I forget exists so close to phoenix is the Salt River valley along the 60 freeway. It's just amazing and it sneaks up on you.
We kept heading towards the pines. The temps kept dropping. I knew how Arizona can sneak the cold up on you so I had an extra layer over the other guys. They must have been really cold! The 60 along here is also known as the "Duece of Clubs." This hints as the history of the town we were headed to. Show Low is named after a card game of chance between two men who wanted to decide who had to move.
"According to the legend, the city was named after a marathon poker game between C.E. Cooley and Marion Clark. The two men decided there was not enough room for both of them in their settlement. The two men agreed to let a game of cards decide who was to move. According to the tale, Clark said, "If you can show low, you win." Cooley turned up the deuce of clubs (the lowest possible card) and replied, "Show low it is." The stakes were a 100,000-acre (400 km²) ranch. Show Low's main street is named "Deuce of Clubs" in remembrance."
So as we headed for 6400 foot elevation all we kept repeating to ourselves was Hot Coffee, Hot Coffee!! We found a great little diner I had eaten at before and ordered up the Deluxe. How could you not when this is what you got for $6.99!!
After breakfast the sun had warmed the temps up a bit. Little did the guys know we were still climbing. We headed for Pine-top and Alpine and there was even a little snow still on the ground.
The cars were getting less and less frequent. Sometimes a minute in between them if you stopped.
Yikes, snow! Yellow snow too!
Keepin warm! (thanks to Monkey for the photo)
The terrain up here just keep changing around every turn. Lots of volcanic rock making the black outcroppings you see. (Lots of cinders) (thanks to Monkey for the photo)
At alpine the sun was shining warm, but the second you got up to even 50MPH it was cooold. I assure the guys it was all down hill to Clifton. Sort of.
We stopped at Hannigan Meadows. 9100 feet. Somehow we had gone up another 1000 feet! Whoops!
Officially the place was closed, but the Inn keeper opened up and got us a cold beer and let us sit on the patio for a while. Whilst sitting out front for a little over an hour we saw 2 cars. Just 2 cars the whole time. Now we had found one of the loneliest roads in AZ. Must have been the devil keeping people away!!
This looks like a great place to come back to in winter!
Furry wall hanging.
We kept on keepin on down the road. As we progressed the elevation decreased and the temps came up.
So many good places to stop and just relax...
And relax some more.
To more miles of no one and nothing.
Then relax again.
We were riding slow. Really slow and it felt right. No rush at all!
The curves. Miles and miles of hundreds... maybe thousands of curves.
The road behind.
The road here.
The road ahead.
Nice and warm now!
Almost down to the mine and town of Morenci/Clifton.
This mine is breath taking. I know that sounds odd to say about a mine so I'll just let you go and see it for yourself. I was more impressed than when I saw the Grand Canyon for the first time.
The mine has swallowed up a couple towns in it's many years.
We ran into Morenci and grabbed some grub at the local company bar. This whole town
is company owned. Little or no private land around here. It's interesting and a little confined feeling. So we decided to run 15 miles back up 191 to live out our devils highway ride just a LITTLE more.
Another good night.
And another great morning to be alive.
Time to hit the road.
The whole night we heard 2 cars go by. now that's perfect.
Old town Clifton has a run down and abandoned main street that is just begging for some rich Californians to come along and turn it into another Bisbee. That's both good and bad. For now, I enjoy it's left in time status.
Now you know that was a gnarly bar!
The old small rail steam engine. Before this steam engine the ore rolled downhill to the processing plant. Then burro's were offloaded out of specially made train cars and pulled it back up the hill!
The old prison.
We blasted on over to the dreary town of Safford for breakfast. The old time Mexican family restaurant was great and super friendly. Chorizo all around!
We then headed for Wilcox with a destination of Tombstone.
My bike had been running great so far. I pulled into the gas station and filled up. Then... click click. Huh. The battery was fine this morning and it was cold then. I had just been riding for hours so it should be charged up just fine. Hmmm. Well, it did sound like a dead battery noise.
We loaded the battery into Monkey's saddle bag and he headed off to the autozone. After some very funny April fools comments about the closest battery being in Tucson. The new one was in and that set back was worth about 15 minutes of our day. Not bad considering if it happened any time in the last 900 miles it would have been a big deal.
Off we went down the 191 towards Douglas. Looking for our turn to head towards Tombstone. We made it!
If you've never been to Tombstone and you must satisfy your curiousity, then go. If you can stand it and control yourself. Save the images you have in your mind and DON'T.
It's a pure disneyland place that has so little connection to any history that it just makes me sad. Not so sad that we didn't hang out and wait for some other buddies that were meeting us there of course!
Silly yes, but look at this though:
Just think, somewhere behind all that "flash" is a real historical bar.
Time to hit the road, but we were still missing 1 more man...
So we went down the street. Monkey got his boots polished and then the guy started to "heal" him. WOW!
Main Street was quiet because the Earps were off shooting the Clantons again...
A legit old pan chopper.
And then there were... MORE.
Back to Bisbee we went. We checked into Hotel Lamore and hit the town walking from the bars on Whiskey row to the copper queen.
Roma pizza was great.
It was a long night.
What in the??
The local brew.
Lots of bars.
Lots of bands.
Sort of a band.
And maybe just a few too many.
Fine art at the Copper Queen.
I was certainly seeing in black and white this Saturday morning.
Footnote. Any hotel that lets you park your bikes on the sidewalk is A Okay. Owner is a cool cat.
We, well everyone else ate a big breakfast. I wasn't too hungry...
We ran down along the border near Naco. It's always a trip to look out at a different country so close.
This area always reminds me of the African Plains.
The PHX group headed back to home and we headed over to the parents house. Like any real bikers we spent the day lounging in the pool and eating well! In the morning it was biker mochas and we were on our way!
And off we go!
We headed up the I-10. The three horsemen were just minutes from splitting ways. At the I-8 interchange we paid our respects as much as you can at 80MPH and split. I had a leisurely ride to home about an hour away. Stevil and Monkey had a 10 hour epic ahead of them riding back to Orange, Ca.
Can't wait for the next one. (Videos, still to come)
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