Monday, July 20, 2015

Show Low, AZ to Scottsdale

US-60 descending into the Salt River Canyon
Rain had been predicted all Saturday long when I left Show Low, AZ for Scottsdale. I hadn't brought any rain gear with me, aside from the leather jacket and full face helmet I normally wear. So, I was prepared for a soaking.

"It's just water", I often explain to myself.

I did, however, bring my cold weather, waterproof gloves, because they don't take up much space in the trunk. Yet, I opted not to wear them because rain was not actually falling the moment I left. I'm one of those "in the moment" guys, as opposed to those, "you never know" guys, and would just rather wait to see how accurate the forecast was.

As US-60 made the slow descent from the White Mountain Range into the Salt River Canyon, grayish thunderheads loomed across the horizon like giant puffs of billowy cotton soaked with the warm waters of the Gulf of California. The highway wasn't making any attempt to steer me away from them either. It looked as if this ride was going to be as wet as the weatherman said it would.

If there was any consolation, the road was wide open. The scores of minivans and RVs I had expected along this route just wasn't to be found.

Yet somehow, I had passed under numerous clouds that looked to ready to unleash their loads, and nothing came down. So far, the rain had waited.

As the highway began the twists and turns that snaked its way down the rock canyon walls to the river bottom, sunshine had actually come out. The air was starting to warm up to the normal 100+ degrees F that Arizona typically sees this time of the year. I felt rewarded for having stuck to my guns about gearing up for the "now" instead of for the "might be". And just when I thought I was going to be stuck behind a line of slow moving cages, the highway offered a passing lane that let me twist the throttle and get in some good leans.

Another 10 miles down the way, I was treated to some beautiful views of blue sky interspersed with bright white stratocumulus clouds hovering over streaks of bluish-gray mountain ranges. Where were the other Saturday afternoon riders? I suppose they were frightened off by the overly-cautious weather forecast.

After I finished a rather uncharacteristic lunch of all-you-can-eat Chinese buffet in the town of Globe, I opted to prolong my journey into the Salt River Valley with a side route to Roosevelt Lake via AZ-188. According to Google Maps, AZ-188 would then intersect me with AZ-88, a road that would take me to Scottsdale but more twisty and challenging.

Yet when I got to the 88, I found a sign warning me that it was all dirt. So, I stopped at an overlook that offered gorgeous views of Lake Roosevelt, and spoke to a couple of Harley riders, who confirmed that the 88 was indeed all dirt, and very soft in places. No worry, I ended up taking the 188 instead to AZ-87, and then into Scottsdale.

As it turns out, I got only a light bit of rain taking the AZ-87 south, not even enough to pull over and put on my waterproof gloves for. Sometimes when it threatens to rain, that's all it amounts to.

View more photos from this ride here.

1 comment:

  1. I am glad the rain held off for you. The Chinese buffet sounds like a good idea for lunch when riding, although I'd probably want a nap after.


About Steve

A vagabond who hauls a motorcycle around the country in a toy hauler, earning a living as a website developer. Can often be found where there's free Wi-Fi, craft beer, and/or public nudity. (Read more...)