Sunday, August 12, 2012

Day 12... A Day of Extreme...

Heat, cool, food portions, and panic...

It's also the day we got to the turn around point in our trip, Pinetop, AZ.
Saturday started as a nice, but not real cool morning. We took advantage of the hotel's continental breakfast. It was a treat to have frosted flakes and ice cold milk after a week of eggs, meat and potatoes for breakfast.
We left Grants, NM and went south on NM-117, along side the El Malpais N.M.

Soon, we were riding NM-36 to Quemado, NM-32 to Apache Creek, and NM-12 to Reserve. In Reserve, we stopped at the first place we came to for lunch, Carmen's Authentic Mexican & American Food.

The special of the day was...

It was bigger than I expected... I started to eat it before I remembered to take a picture. It must be healthy, it has lettuce, beans and green chili.....

After lunch came the heat. 106 degrees (41.1 C) in Clifton, AZ. And if the heat wasn't enough, there was the FEAR/panic of the first 10 or so miles of US-191 from Morenci to the north. There is a HUGE copper mine at the edge of town. They have mined right up to both sides of the highway. When I could get the courage to look sideways, I couldn't see the bottom. Karen, It was 100 times worse than seeing just "the tops of the trees". I could only look at the road! John drove into a "scenic overlook" of the mine and drove right to the edge for a few pictures. I drove only far enough off the road to be out of the way of traffic! After about 10 miles or so, the road is like many other mountain roads, up, down, and lots of curves, no problem. At least there were fewer sections of long vertical drops next to the road.

I have NO pictures of any views near the mine or the first 10 miles or so.

Before coming off the mountain, we rode through Hannagan Meadow. The temps at 9200' (2800m) was a very nice 61 degrees (16.1C). We gassed up in Alpine, AZ and John called his cousin Paul. He gave us directions to Pinetop and told John to call him back when we got there, and he'd come and meet us at the Chevron station.
We spent the night with Paul and his wife, Mona, and their dog Maggie.
It was a 400 mile day, and the point where we turn for home!
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  1. Too bad there are no mine pictures. I've been to a number of open pit mines over the years and I find it fascinating to see the exposed rock along the cuts. They are even better than road cuts....

    You are right that it if you don't like steep, huge drop offs then you wouldn't enjoy studying the mines.

    Out of curiosity, was there a specific goal for this leg of the trip or was it just to explore?

    1. John wanted to visit his cousin Paul in Pinetop, and 191 looked scenic.

      I've been to the gold mine in Lead, SD I could stand near the edge, just not drive near it.....odd, I know.

    2. I've been to the same mine. They are building a science facility (big science) inside of the mine shafts at the Homestead mine right next to the open pit mine. Water from the open pit mine were flooding the mine shafts but they have it pumped out to 5000' and heading for 8000' down.