Tuesday, January 06, 2009

White Spar road trip--rain...

Once upon a time, before Eisenhower had invented the interstate highway system, US 89 was a major north-south, border-to-border highway, originating in Arizona, ending at the Montana border with Canada. It was also the only paved road between the southern and the northern halves of Arizona.

The section of route 89, now down-graded to SR-89, most beloved of Harley riders and sports car drivers alike runs through the Bradshaw Mountains, between Wilhoit and Prescott. They like the curves. (If you check the map, you'll see only the major curves.) Today's road trip is a composite of several I've made in the past couple of years and is designed as an introduction only. Hang on to your hat, because it was raining on the first pass!

There! You made it to the pines near Prescott! How many curves? A visiting couple once made the count between Wilhoit and Prescott; their total was over 250, but I think that included the entering and departing ends of each curve. Stay with me. Next, we'll take the trip on a sunnier day (or two).


Antipodean Curmudgeon said...

My spouse suffered a severe cases of white knuckle syndrome when a passenger with YLH on said hwy.

A similar reaction was noted riding with younger male Ariz. cuz between Jerome and Prescott.

I merely made dents in the car floor with my right foot.


Ron Bloomquist said...

Thanks for the ride!

Where I live we have curvy roads. One time some folks driving by stopped their motor home. The guy hung his head out the window and asked me, "Where is the closest straight road? My wife is car sick!"

I holler at him, "Sixty miles east of here."

As he slowly drove off I noticed his license plate said IOWA.!

grannjJ said...

bro -- what it requires is 1) just getting used to the curvy trip and 2) doing it often enough to achieve number one.

ron -- we have plenty of Flatlanders down in Phoenix; they wouldn't be caught dead driving the White Spar. In fact, many of them have never driven off the blacktop.

stitchwort said...

Interesting interpretation of the word "curves"! I think the signs have the shape right.

AZ said...

I'm a Devil's Canyon kid (between Miami and Superior AZ), it was tough when I was little, I got car sick alot!

Granny J said...

stitch -- one of the signs we always said as "squiggle". I tink you can probably figure out which one.

AZ -- I don't believe my family ever took us kids on the trip up US60 through Miami and Superior; since we were as a rule headed back to Florida, we headed the southern routes toward El Paso and US90.

Anonymous said...

You did a great job demonstrating why I'll only drive up White Spar on a dry, clear spring or summer DAY.

Otherwise, Kirkland, Skull Valley, and Iron Springs for me!

~Anon in AV.

Anonymous said...

P.S. I love Devi's Canyon on SR-60.

That's a gorgeous drive, an AZ gem!

~Anon in AV.

Granny J said...

anon av -- is the Devil's Canyon the highway down the Salt River canyon? If so, I remember it only too well. My 1st husband & I were hitchhiking to Phx & caught a ride with a sales type individual in a fancy car, who alternated his feet between the gas & the brakes, sort of like a cat who is pumping his feet on your belly. Since the reason we were hitchhiking was that said 1stH had turned over a car in Mountainaire NM, you can imagine how comfy the sales type's driving made me feel!

AZ said...

No, Salt River Canyon and Devil's Canyon are two different places, Queen Creek runs at the bottom of Devil's Canyon not the Salt River. Go to YouTube and search Devil's Canyon Arizona, people on motorcycles film their rides up and down the canyon. You can see photos of the area on photo sharing sites also, it is a well photographed area because of the hoodoos in the canyon.

Anonymous said...

Yea, Devil's Canyon takes you from Superior to Globe-Miami.

I love that drive, going north. The rock formations are fascinating.

~Anon in AV.

dagnygromer said...

You have not experienced White Spar until you have done it on a day when there's ice in the shady parts!

Granny J said...

anon av -- so I guess that I did that stretch of US60 one time, but wasn't aware of it. Long, long time ago.

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