Dang, nice plan. I have always like Trail 66 and it has always annoyed me that the TNF closed it to motorized use. You can blame the Arizona Trail folks for that one as they just take what they want and screw the rest of us
I would have done the same thing when you got to the super gate. Why the TNF does not add a simple sign on the East end saying Road Closed X miles ahead is beyond me. I guess it takes someone almost dying for common sense to kick in. You might want to let the TNF know about your experience.