A while ago, I saw where somebody had posted a picture of a map with their route highlighted. I thought that that was a good idea. It gives everyone a general idea of where that ride might go. I say it that way because everyone knows that a plan is only something to base the changes on.
Here's the route.....
The blue parts of the route are roads that I've ridden before. All of the red marked roads are the ones I've never been on before.
It's good to be an early riser when you live in the Sonoran Desert. As I'm leaving the house at 6am, the therometer is already leaning hard on 80 degrees. It takes about a hour to get across town to Oracle Road which will become Arizona Highway 77.
Hwy 77 is a road that I've ridden so many times, have seen so many times, that it's hard to remember to stop and take pictures.
Just north of Tucson is Biosphere 2......
Originally, it was privately owned but it was recently donated to the University of Arizona as a research facility. Now that it's funded with my tax dollars, you'd think that they'd be considerate and have it open when I'm there at 7am. No such luck. I was hoping to, at least, get close enough to take some pictures but that didn't happen.
All I got to see on the road into Biosphere was an Arizona road obstruction.
Since a lot of Arizona is free range land, you have to be constantly aware of these moving speed bumps.
(As a side note....Years ago, I lived in Alaska. From time to time, I check out the obituaries in the Anchorage paper just to see if I know/remember anybody. The other day, there was a 29 year old guy in there who'd died after running into a moose. Alaska's moving speed bumps.)
From Biosphere, I ride through little towns with names like Mammoth, San Manual, Dripping Springs, and Dudleyville. After an hour or so, I get to the towns of Winkelman and Hayden.
In the picture, Winkelman has the taller of the two smoke stacks. Hayden would be on the far left in the picture. Both of them are old mining towns. These towns are two of only a handful of Arizona towns where the smelters still operate. Most mining companies have closed the smelters in favor of other, less costly, ways to extract the good stuff, the good stuff being mainly copper.
I turn left through Winkelman. There really isn't too much to Winkelman. It has the appearance that it used to be a "bedroom" community to Hayden. Hayden looks like, at one time, it was a thriving little mining town. Today, it's all but gone.
The town bank is now the police station.
The movie theatre hasn't shown anything in many, many years.
If you're interested, the church is for rent.
And the whole place pretty much looks like this......
After my quick tour of the Hayden/Winkelman area, it's back to Hwy 77, north towards Globe. A while ago, I saw that someone from the Phoenix/Scottsdale/Mesa/Tempe area had done a one day trip around eastern Arizona. I recall that he'd said something to the effect that there wasn't much to Globe. Well, he's pretty much right but ten years ago, I used to live there, so our Globe tour will be with a little more detail.
Just some of the scenery that I'm forced to ride through......
For a long time I've wondered if this is an Arizona sinkhole. The land at the very center of the picture is 50' to 100' lower that the surronding mountains. I read somewhere that the mountains in Arizona are all ancient volcano's. I guess this is the best Arizona can do for a sinkhole.
About an hour's ride up Hwy 77, I reach the top of El Capitan Pass, 4974 feet.
Th State of Arizona has provided a viewing area and a few picnic tables at the top of El Capitan Pass. They've even included a table for the handicapped.....unless they actually want to sit down!
I have to share this particular stop sign because there's a story in here.
For years I've down residential maintenance work, a lot of times for people who'd just moved to Tucson. As I worked, we'd talk about the area. Everytime I mentioned that I used to live in the Globe area, they'd express an interest in driving up there to check it out. They'd usually ask how to get there. I tell them to get on Oracle Road, which would turn into Hwy 77. Then I'd tell them to turn left at the FIRST stop sign and they'd be there. Invariably, they say, "Wow, that's easy, I think we'll try that". What I didn't tell them was that the first stop sign was 100 miles away!
I always wanted to be a fly in their car to hear their conversation.
At the stop sign, I'm turning left......to Globe.