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Old 06-21-2013, 03:36 PM   #1
TucsonStan OP
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Joined: Feb 2013
Location: Tucson, Arizona
Oddometer: 49
Have Helix, Will Travel.....

Hello Everybody,
Since this trip is going to cover a lots less days than my last ride report (America.....by Helix, 39 days), I knew that I'd better file this ride report as a Day Trippin report or risk the wrath of Mr. Moderator.

The boss has departed for a week in Illinois, visiting her father who, by the way, will be 95 in a few weeks. After that, she's off to Delaware, so me and said Helix are bound for the open road. Nothing as drastic as a quick trip around America. Just a trip around eastern Arizona and western New Mexico. For those of you who haven't followed me around....there will be no dirt!

Since I've never been there, I thought this time I'd take off for the fours corners area of America. I'm also hoping to ride both Arizona's and New Mexico's versions of Tail of the Dragon. In my previous ride report, I had hoped to ride the original Tail of the Dragon. Unfortunately, I had scheduled so many other stops and time constraints into the trip, that I had to skip the Dragon. On this trip, I intend to ride both Arizona's Hwy 191, on my way to four corners, and New Mexico's Hwy 152, on my way home.

In the morning, I'll be heading relatively straight north to Globe, Arizona. From there, I take a hard right turn to Safford/Thatcher, then north again to Morenci. Barring any unforeseen complications, Morenci will be the end of Day 1.

Ok, I'm off to finish packing in my usual way. A change of clothes, 3 extra pair of socks, several boxes of Clif Bars and I'll be good for at least a week.

See you tomorrow.......
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Old 06-22-2013, 04:31 AM   #2
Rutabaga
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It's Saturday. Rise and ride.
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Old 06-23-2013, 07:25 AM   #3
TucsonStan OP
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Joined: Feb 2013
Location: Tucson, Arizona
Oddometer: 49
Have Helix, Will Travel.....

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.

But first......

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.
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Old 06-23-2013, 09:15 PM   #4
klaviator
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Looks like a great ride. I'm interested to see how your scooter handles the mountains out west. I'm considering bringing my Sport City 250 out west next year.

looking forward to your report.
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Old 06-25-2013, 06:10 AM   #5
TucsonStan OP
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Location: Tucson, Arizona
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Have Helix, Will Travel.....

At the now famous stop sign, I turn left. In a couple of miles, I arrive in beautiful downtown Globe, Arizona.

In a previous day trippin' ride report that I read, the writer wrote the Globe was "not much". From the point of view of somebody who's just passing through on a 500 mile, one day circle through eastern Arizona, that's true. I, on the other hand, had the good fortune, or misfortune depending on you perspective, to live in this area a few years ago. I only lived there for a year or so, so I guess, even if you live here, it's not much.

One of the good things, in that year, was that I got to take a tour of downtown Globe, given by somebody who'd lived there all their life and knew the "real" history, the stuff you'll never find out by reading the Chamber of Commerce brochures.

So, here we go.........

All small town tours seem to start at the courthouse, so we'll start there too. This is the first courthouse of signifigance for Gila County, Arizona. The county has since moved to one of those new two story buildings on the edge of town that has no signifigance at all so there's no pictures of the new place.
The old courthouse is now the community arts center. The first two floors were administrative offices, with the courtroom and the judges chambers being on the third floor. I know that first hand. No, I was never in court there (I have been in the courtroom in the new courthouse but that's another story.) The community theatre people were putting on a play a few years ago that had 26 actors in it and I got drafted. I even had a few lines, one of which I forgot one night.


Now, if were convicted in Gila County and were sentenced to jail time, this is where you went.......


Because the old jail is right behind the courthouse, they didn't take any chances that you might escape. They marched you out the back door of the courthouse, across this walkway and you went STRAIGHT to jail!


As we start our walking tour through downtown Globe, the tour guide says, "See that building across the street? Years ago, the first floor was a doctor's office, upstairs was a whorehouse".


This building used to be the hardware store, upstairs was a whorehouse.


One building was the pharmacy, the other one was the laundry. Upstairs in both buildings were whorehouses.



This building has always been a bar. Upstairs was a whorehouse.

I can't vouch for those other buildings but I've been upstairs in this building. No, not when it was a whorehouse. I happened to know somebody who knew somebody who knew the owners. One Saturday night I got to take a "tour" of the upstairs. Everything was pretty much as it was 100 years ago, a bunch of little rooms, or cribs, where the deeds went down.

Also, don't hold me to what the building used to be....on the first floor! As for the second floor, that's exactly what the tour guide said.

I took some pictures of the other side of the street. All the buildings look decidedly different from the buildings we just saw. The reason for that is that, years ago, they wanted to widen the main drag in Globe. Trouble was, all the buildings were built almost at the edge of the street. There was the two lane main street, a small sidewalk and then the building. So, what they did was to buy the front 25' of the buildings, tear them off, build the new wider street and put "new" metal fronts on the buildings. Now one side of the street is original and other is "newer".




Now, before I head out of Globe, I wanted to share a building that's actually in the record books......


It has to do with the owner buying bricks for his new building and telling the contractor to use them all up. If you give your contractor those instructions, this is what you'll get......


After the brief tour of Globe, I ride east on Hwy 60, heading towards Pima/Thatcher/Safford, Arizona.

As I ride through Ft. Thomas, Arizona, I stumble across this......





Ft. Thomas doesn't qualify as a wide spot in the road today. It's hard to imagine it back then.

After riding through the towns of Pima, Thatcher and Safford, I continue east on Highway 70 in search of Hwy 191, which will take me north towards four corners.

At the intersections of Highways 75, 78 and 191, I come across an old drive-in movie screen. The only thing at the intersection, besides the old movie screen, is a gas station. No wonder the place failed. There must have been more here at one time, that or they anticipated the area would grow up around the intersection of three highways.


From the drive-in, it's just a short ride into the towns of Clifton and Morenci. In Arizona, these towns are pretty much said together,
Clifton/Morenci. Clifton was once a thriving mining town but now it looks like this.......



I'm guessing that the fact that Clifton is sandwiched between to sheer mountain faces, had something to do with the fact that it has pretty much died....nowhere to expand.

Morenci, Clifton's partner in crime, will be my stop for the night.

Tomorrow, it's north on Arizona's Tail of the Dragon, Highway 191.
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