Wednesday, June 18, 2008

The several routes of SR69

Standing in the Best Buy parking lot, looking to the northwest, one gets a good picture of three different versions of SR69, the highway that links Prescott to Phoenix and points south ... to Flagstaff and points north (as well as east and west). When we first arrived in these parts, the highway that we knew was the abandoned road of the great gash in the hillside that's very visible in all these pictures. I believe that the current roadbed consists largely of a widening and straightening of the route, which had previously been leveled. If you look carefully, you will see a road line higher on the hill, one which follows the contours instead of fighting them. That much older road disappears into the hillside scraped by Lowe's (below), which is too bad -- I've always had a hankering to walk it.

This view shows a couple of tight curves in the old road. Of course, when I was young, the preferred route to Prescott was what was then US 89, the famous Mexico to Canada highway. Yes, it was all curves as it passed between the Bradshaws and Prietas, but it was paved. You couldn't say that for the Black Canyon Highway, the eastern route, of which this road section is a small part. I recall hearing the grown-ups talk about the dangers of the Black Canyon road, which they wouldn't dream of driving. How the world has changed in my lifetime!!


Anonymous said...

Granny J, I forget...which range is the Prietas?


~Anon in AV.

Granny J said...

anon av -- the Prietas are the mountains to the west of SR 89, the Bradshaws are to the east of SR 89. The two ranges are, basically, separated by the Hassayampa watercourse.

TomboCheck said...

I can't say as I remember that cut of road ever being used, but I do remember before all of those stores moved in and Bullwhacker hill was a very precarious place to drive during the winter time. 3 lanes across with ice made for interesting trips to and from prescott valley. :)

worldphotos4 said...

More people, more cars and trucks. Progress I would guess. They need some new autobahns in Germany. Way too much traffic with borders down.

Lane said...

Loved those pictures! I'd like to walk it as well. FNFM

Granny J said...

tombo -- I doubt if the newest routing has done much to disappear the ice; credit GW or its cousin for that. Are you old enough that you recall when US89 was the preferred route south?

steve -- here progress is measured in rooftops, retail boxes, new roads, and, of course, new taxes to pay for the above, one way or another.

TNFM -- good to see you here, again! Maybe we can figure out how to access that small remaining strip of aboriginal road so we can walk it. In a different season, of course.

RV-boondocker-explorer said...

The best thing about the new roads is that they are wider.

The worst is that they bulldoze the topography with grade and fill. So you don't get to drive whoop-tee-doos anymore.

Granny J said...

boonie -- whoop-de-do -- is that what one does in an ATV?

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