Day 80

Racing the Rain

A wheel from a haul truck off Highway 191 near Morenci Mine, Arizona, USA
A wheel from a haul truck off Highway 191 near Morenci Mine, Arizona, USA

Head of the ditch campground to Vacation Inn


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Day 80 - Devil’s Highway, Route 191, Alpine to Morenci. I stumbled on the epic squiggly line on a map that ran along the mountain peaks. It was going South. Away from the Grand Canyon but it’d be worth it. I packed up my wet, cold and lonely camp. I was frustrated by the rain. As I hit the Alpine the road made me forget everything. There was little traffic. A couple of crazy riders in the cold. It started long and sweeping and slowly tightened. It must’ve gone for 80 miles. I stopped halfway at a lookout. The clouds were grey and threading. I hate rain. I continued winding through the tricky mountain pass. I ignored the 35mph signs unlike others. It was a safe road. Good surface and relatively well signed. No guardrails - as The US enjoys. As the route got tighter, the rain loomed next to me. I hoped I’d avoid it as the trickles began. I wound up the road hoping it would take me away from the low cloud. It took me further in. I rode faster to escape it. I couldn’t. As I reached a giant copper mine by Morenci my legs were wet. I took shelter and realised it was 5 miles to a town and Starbucks. I can make it. As I took off the rain became torrential and windy. I was soaked. I ran back to the shelter and applied my weather pants. I arrived at Starbucks when it stopped 🙄 I continued to Pheonix where the altitude dropped and the temperature was hot. This is what it was supposed to be like in the South. I booked a motel in a dodgy area. I kept the bike near my window where people were constantly passing. It was fine. The room smelled.

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