Monday, November 23, 2009

Driving the Devil's Highway

My wife and I took a little 3-day getaway last week. We went to the mountainous, east-central part of AZ. Neither of us had ever been there and it was quite a treat. From a scooterists perspective, the drive home was best. We drove down US 191, formerly know as US 666 aka "the Devil's Highway." It is 90 miles of winding, climbing, falling, twisting 2-lane blacktop with no shoulders and no guardrails. The first photo is of one of the many curves with no guardrail and, although you can't see it, there is several hundred foot drop.
If you look in the background of this second picture, you can see the road winding up the side of one of the smaller hills. This road goes from about 2000 feet in elevation to 9000 feet, more than once! No vehicles more than 40' long are allowed on parts of this road because so many of the curves are so tight. LOTS of 180 degree , or more, curves.
This hairpin is just one of many. I'm estimating that this is probably about 200 degrees. I would really love to have the scooter on this, wouldn't you?
In this pic, you can some of the windiness of much of highway 191. The scenery on this road is simply breathtaking. It was a little less than 200 miles from Show Low, AZ back home to Tucson. In that distance we saw the largest continuous stand of Douglas Fir trees in the world, snow, lakes, stands of Aspen, a Bighorn sheep, fields of cactus and incredible views of mountains and desert. The temperature went from 18 degrees in Show Low to about 80 degrees in Tucson.

This is an incredible road to ride. The bad part about it is that it is so far from civilization. It took us 10 hours to drive home by that route. Of course, much of the reason it took so long is because the speed limit is 15-25 mph for miles because of how twisty it is. It is still about 130 miles or so to get to the southern most part of 191 and you HAVE to take interstate highway to get there. Maxi-scooters can get there easily enough, but not my 150cc scoots. I guess maybe there is a maxi-scoot in my future, hehe,

Ride on,

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