Last year in November, I rode this road from north to south under the title... "Another run to Monument Valley (or how I learned to check the wx forecasts)...", so this year I thought I'd 'do it' again, but from the south.
The Coronado Trail, US 191 on maps, between Morenci and Eagar, used to be Hwy 666, aka the Devil's Highway because the numbers are also known as the 'Number of the Beast' - Satan himself, but changed to 191 so as to not to offend anyone.
Whatever it's called, it IS one helluva ride with a HUGE number of turns in its 100 odd miles!
I left home at 7:20AM riding to the start - Morenci, AZ, site of one of the largest open-pit mines in the world, via Superior, Globe, Safford and Clifton, about a 3 hour ride, then north into the twisties (check the Mapquest map, then go to Mapquest and increase the scale to see ALL those turns!).
After lunch overlooking PART of the mine I saddled up and headed north. I have to say that it was WORK (
) doing that 100 miles, but anything for you guys...
The road goes up to close to 10,000', the temperature was low and I was on the lookout for ice or snow in curves, PLUS the fact that so many are REALLY tight, kept my speed down to a somewhat safe level. In fact, I entered one series of left-rights (in shade) and was onto frost almost before I could correct. There's times when SLOWER is FASTER - I didn't waste time crashing...!
The first (southern) 25 miles or so are the tightest, and by the time the road 'opened up' near Hanagans Meadow I was seeing snow on the sides, as well as evidence of the 'white' color that salt leaves when it dries up.
The tire pictures show how far into the 'chicken-strips' I had my Tourances....
It's much more open from there to Eagar as I transitioned onto Hwy 60 to Show Low, where a motel room, a pizza and several beers awaited me, arriving there at 4PM. (As it's another 3 hours home, I didn't want to run a gauntlet of deer and elk as the sun set!)
This morning arrived clear and cool (36F in Show Low), and after the motel's "continental breakfast" - toast and coffee - I gassed up and back onto 60 for the remaining 140 miles home, this part along another designated 'scenic highway' along several canyons including the Salt River Canyon, kind of a mini-Grand Canyon, but with seriously curvy roads thru it!
The GPS mileage showed 500.5 miles when I pulled into my garage and shut 'er down at 11:30.
As an aside - my clutch was getting a bit stiff, so I set to work after I WD40'd the chain, removed the lever, attached the cable in a vertical position and dripped (what else...?) WD40 into it. At first I couldn't get the cable to move in its sheath, but in a few minutes it was free and easy, and seems PDG now.
I'm NOT recommending it, but this is the FIRST time the clutch cable (ORIGINAL) has been lubed in 38,000 miles, but my Vs are ALWAYS garaged, except for the MAYBE 20 days I've been on-the-road on long trips. (Fasteddie - AKA "the WD40 kid"....