And it started just that way.
|Main Street - Old Clifton|
Not trying to denigrate the folks that live there, but it is a 100% company owned town and it looks like it.
What I found interesting is that the road – AZ191 – is intertwined through the mining town AND the actual mine. Can’t say for sure, but I’d bet the course of the road has changed a few times by the needs of the mine to access the copper ore.
To give an idea of the size of the mine - the largest copper mine in north America - here's a Google Earth view.
|Morenci at the red bubble. AZ191 is the yellow squiggly line.|
|See? I was really there on the bike!|
Please note – the road is narrow and there are NO GUARDRAILS! The drops vary from 10-20 feet to hundreds of feet if a curve is missed!
I did not know what was missing until I got up high and in the middle of the tree lined road.
|Elevation - 9177 feet.|
|Note the black square in the middle of the panorama. Obviously someone else loved the mountains. I can't help but wonder if this was another tragedy of war?|
|Moth seeking nectar|
|A high plain - No cars, so I stopped in the road - no hazard!|
|Believe the sign!|
|Miss the corner - and it's a long way to the bottom!|
Riding in the west Texas Davis Mountains was nice, but they were not particularly tall and the pine trees were nice, but stunted compared to the towering Ponderosa’s here.
Essentially, a part of my soul was segregated and hidden during the decade in SA. And the most ironic thing? I was unaware there was a piece hidden away.
So now that I am aware, I’ll not allow so much time go by without venturing into the mountains to smell the scent of pine in the air – regardless of where I’m living.
I drove the road with the PU and trailer on Monday. I settled into an RV park in Springerville AZ that evening. I unloaded the bike and rode the road on Tuesday. I intended to go back with the video camera on Wednesday – but you can read what happened in that diary.
For my riding buddies on Volusia Riders and David and Kevin in SA - put this on your "must ride" list before you stop riding. It is that good! Ride it both ways - north to south and south to north.