Arizona is home dozens of beautiful desert highways that meander over hills and mountains, crossing over creeks and washes, treating motorcycle riders to spectacular views of rock formations pushed upwards by tectonic forces underground.
Over time, the wind and rains smoothes over their jagged edges and sprinkles them with swashes of yellows, greens, and purples from the Spring time flora. April and May is a beautiful show of colors throughout the Grand Canyon State.
US-60 between Globe and Queen Valley is a 38 mile course up and over the Pinal Mountains taking riders down into the valley floor where the mighty Phoenix metropolis rises up from the desert heat. Saguaro, Cholla, and Prickly Pear cactus line the rocky mountain sides with bright yellowy blossoms of Palo Verdes interspersed between. The US-60 curves and winds in wide gracefuls, perfect for a novice rider to enjoy what makes highway riding so much fun.
Sash and I started the day further to the east in Safford, an agricultural town along the US-70. I hadn't ever ridden this route before and was eager to satisfy my curiosity. I found largely straight road running through farm fields, cattle ranches, and Apache reservation. Once on the other side of the "rez", we rolled into Globe.
Globe is an old silver mining town, started in 1875, but soon converted into copper mining. Today, it still depends on its copper smelting operations.
But it's also known for the Drift Inn Saloon, a popular biker bar located in downtown along Broad St that goes back to 1902. On a weekday, when we stopped in for a bite, it was populated by locals. But on weekends, it's packed with bikers who ride out from the Phoenix area.
"We even have our own bike week in April", the bartender told us, showing us a photo of the last event. "They close off Broad Street and the whole place is filled with bikes."
An old Navajo indian, who apparently goes by the name of Bill, was there hawking his handmade jewelry. Locals says he's there numerous times a day.
"Are you from here?" he asked Sash.
"No", she answered.
And that was apparently the wrong answer. Because those who know him know not to trust him. Sash found a bracelet of his that she liked, and he started telling her about the silver and turquoise. After she bought it from him, locals came by to inspect, confirming it was fake.
"But I just liked the way it looked!" she kept trying to tell everyone. "And I liked the fact that he's out here working instead of sitting on the rez."
After paying our tab, we headed out.
At this point, US-60 takes over for US-70, taking us up and over the Pinal Mountains. Our destination was Surprise, where Arizona Harley Dude lives. He had once offered to put us up for the night, so we decided to redeem the offer.
That evening, the three of us went out to dinner.
|Sash posing on her V-Star 650 in Safford, AZ|
|Cruising down US-70 between Safford and Globe|
|US-70 has some beautiful vistas in places|
|Inside Drift Inn, Globe, AZ|
|Front entrance of Drift Inn, Globe, AZ|
|US-60, west of Globe, crossing over the Pinal Mountains|
|Cool rock formations along US-60|
|Sash rides up front along US-60 heading into Gold Canyon|
|US-60 heading into Gold Canyon|
|Three of us riding through Surprise, AZ|