I have just taken a new job in Great Falls, Montana. A new state and new areas to explore.
By: joealaska , 2:15 PM GMT on October 19, 2012
Tuesday night was windy in Albuquerque, and it continued breezy as we golfed at Black Mesa north of Santa Fe. But it was sunny and warm, perfect for golf. Technically I was the winner on Tuesday, but Casa was the obvious winner on Wednesday. It cost me a dinner at a nice Mexican restaurant on the way home.
The day before I broke my wedge at Paa-ko Ridge, so I bought another one at Black Mesa.
Yesterday morning brought another great day weather-wise. I headed west on I-40 and tried a couple exits which offered primitive roads down to Rt. 60 driving across the reservation. In both cases there with negative signs and vibes at the start of the rough road, so I moved further west.
At Grants I stopped and played a wide-open golf course Coyote del Malpais. Been there several times. Again, the golf was OK with an occasional hiccup good shot. But still had a great time.
Then I back tracked a few miles down I-40 and headed south on a small road to Quemado (Rt 187).
Great scenery, very few other cars. At Quemado I continued south to Reserve, then further south toward Silver City. My plan was to see Mogollon, stay there if possible. There were very few options for overnight stay within a 100 miles. Now it was getting late in the day. It gets dark at 7 PM, and I got to the turnoff for Mogollon at 5. The signs said 9 miles to go. There were many signs warning about no road maintenance, best not to drive it at night, narrow, yadda yadda. But it was a great late afternoon and I headed on.
Right away steep switchbacks, which ended just as quickly as I popped out on an upper plateau. After a couple miles, the switchbacks kicked back in. They were very steep with hard u-turns. No guard rail and the road was narrow, then REAL narrow. At best, a lane and a half, at worst one narrow lane. Thank God the road was rarely being used. But I did see maybe 6 cars on the round trip. Just a matter of luck if you run into one on a blind 1 mph curve 1000 feet up.
I heard a lot about this town, but the road was a complete surprise. It was very intense, and I have seen my share of those. But I KNEW I did not want to return on that road in the dark.
The road was the narrowest just near the end. But I went over one last rise, then dropped quickly down into an interior canyon, and suddenly I was there in Mogollon. I am sure there were people there, but I saw nobody. It was not what I expected at all. I expected a tourist trap of sorts, but that was not the case. Just a quiet little town. Many old vehicles sitting around. Not a sound. I drove through town and over the one lane bridge spanning the creek that ran through town. Then the road was blocked and I turned around. I wished I could stay around. There were few signs pointing toward the mining history of the town. But I simply did not have much daylight left.
So I headed out. Just as the sun dropped beyond the desert mountains, I came to an intersection where I had to make one last decision. Go left to Duncan Arizona and hope to find a room. But it was a small town and I was unsure of what was there. So I headed out of my way to the north and MORENCI. This is a big mining town in Eastern Arizona with a long mining history and it is stll cranking. A very unique town built on the edge of a mountain.
Will check it out Friday AM, then off to Tuscon.
Joe and Dot Kentucky just celebrated 59 years of wedded bliss. Can you believe that?!
The views of the author are his/her own and do not necessarily represent the position of The Weather Company or its parent, IBM.
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