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Author Topic: Devil's Highway & SS1000  (Read 1674 times)


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Devil's Highway & SS1000
« on: May 03, 2015, 03:49:20 PM »

I marked another one off my bucket list.  I have wanted to ride US 191 from Clifton to Alpine, AZ on my motorcycle. It is done.  It is called the devils highway because it used to be signed US 666 and other reasons such as the dangerous curves.

I made reservations at a KOA Kabin in Silver City and loaded my motorcycle for as sort of camping trip. I left my home later than wanted to at just before 0700 on a Tuesday.  It was cool and wet upon leaving just north of the Dallas-Ft. Worth area.  Although the rain was very light I had to stop to put on my rain gear near Boyd, TX.  I avoided the interstate until west of Ft. Worth.  At Weatherford, TX I jumped on I-20.  On this trip I only had four days to get out there, ride 191, and get back home so secondary roads all the way, which I would have liked, was not an option.

Good time was made as traffic was light and the rain was not heavy so hydroplaning was not an issue.  Rocking along at 75-80 on my made in the USA Honda VTX 1300R was very comfortable and easy.  Abilene was my first scheduled fuel stop.  With my small auxiliary fuel tank I can make 200 miles before fuel.  The temperatures had dropped from mid 50s to mid 40s.  I was prepared.  A fellow motorcyclist headed east assured me that there were patches of sun farther west.  After a snack and some water I was on my way.

Next stop would be for fuel in Monahans, Texas.  The fellow motorcyclist was correct by Sweetwater there were small patches of sun but still cool.  I kept my rain gear on for the warmth.  However, by the time I stopped in Monahans the temps were in the 60s so off came the rain gear.  Fuel, restroom, snack, and water were also taken care of at this stop.  This is my normal routine when I am trying to knock out some miles using as little time as possible.  Next fuel would be at Sierra Blanca.

Not much here in Sierra Blanca but the sheriff's department is busy with processing people stopped at the near by Boarder Guard Inspection Station.  I have purchased fuel at this Exxon a few times.  The first time was on my turn around point when I rode my first Iron Butt Association Saddle Sore 1000 (1000 miles in under 24hrs on a motorcycle),  It was a good quick stop with RR, fuel, snack, and water.

This 80 mph speed limit sure eats up the highway and fuel doesn't last as long but I allowed for that.  Next fuel stop would be after taking the loop 375 around El Paso, passing through the Franklin Mountains and on to Deming, NM.  This stop was the same routine as the previous stops.  I have done enough of these Long Distance ride with this motorcycle I do the same thing at every stop to save time.

I arrived at the KOA Kabin in Silver City after 850 miles and 13 hours.  By the time I was unloaded for the three nights and fixed some food it was bed time.  Tomorrow will be my US 191 quest.

Wednesday I left out of Silver City north on US 180 with intentions of making a quick ride to NM 78 then head west through Mule Creek and arrive on US 191 just south of Clifton.  The quick was lost because of a bicycle race.  It sure takes a while to travel 40 miles at 20 to 25 mph.  It was not the end of the world and i made it to NM 78 eventually.

NM 78 was really a bonus ride.  I found it very interesting.  Parts were a bit rough but not too bad.  In NM there were some curves but a lot of straight aways.  Once into Arizona on AZ 78 the surface was better for the most part.  The elevation changes and curves made it very interesting.

I joined US 191 and began my journey up the "Devils Highway".  At first it was divided four lane but eventually went to 2 lane and a bit rough. I passed some signs warning 40 feet was the max length recommended not much farther north than the open pit mine.   

Several miles north there is a very large open pit mine.  It is the first one I have ever seen.  It was an awesome sight.  The highway was a little rougher which I imagine is from the heavy trucks.  It did not matter as from here on fast was not the name of the game if a person wanted to stay on top of their ride.

Curves abound from here to Hannagan Meadow with no guard rail just trees and cliffs.  Hannagan Meadow is very pretty and peaceful.  There is a lodge there along with camping and cabins.  I ate lunch at the restaurant.  It was a very good burger and the people there were very friendly. 

The rest of the ride to Alpine was not as much work since the road was smoother and a few less curves.  Once in Alpine I topped of the tanks (main and Auxiliary) for the ride south on US 180.  This was for the most part a smooth easy ride.  Almost no traffic so I took advantage of it and made some serious time back to my stay for the night.

Thursday was a rest day with very little activity.  I went to town for lunch and that was about it.  I packed as much as I could for the trip home.  I cooked a steak by the camp fire and went to bed early.

The next morning I would be headed home the long way.  I figured if I did 850 miles in 13 hours I could go by way of Albuquerque and Oklahoma City for an extra 200 miles to add another Iron Butt Association Saddle Sore 1000 (1000 miles in under 24 hours by motorcycle) to my collection. 

One of these rides requires a witness or two at the beginning and end plus gas receipts at each fuel stop with a time and date to prove your route and start/end time.  The campground host provided the witness signature and a stop at the nearby gas station was my starting time receipt.

Las Cruces would be my next fuel stop as it would be a corner for my route.  I was already tired but I figured I just had not woke up yet.  After the stop I felt better for a while.

After about 75 miles I was getting tired again but worse was the bad feeling a #2 needed to be taken care of very soon.  Luckily I found a rest area with the proper facilities.  Business taken care of there along with snack and water which meant I was good to go.  Feeling good.

Next stop would be the east side of Albuquerque at a station I had used before.  Same routine RR, snack, water, fuel was followed.  Now a straight shot to OKC with a fuel stop in Tucumcari, NM then another in Shamrock, TX.  I almost didn't make Shamrock as I was fighting a cross wind all the way.  I had 4 tenths of a gallon of fuel left when I stopped. 

Heading off to OKC then south to make a fuel stop in Norman, OK.  All was still going well but it was getting dark.  I do not care to ride after dark but I do it anyway at times.  I changed into my night time glasses, traded out my gloves for some warmer ones, and twisted the throttle, homeward bound on a very familiar highway, I-35.

My final fuel stop is 1.7 miles from my house.  I made the 1050 miles in 16.5 hours.  A very good Saddle Sore 1000 in reasonable time.  This not bad for an old man 66 years old riding a cruiser style motorcycle.  Now all I must do is submit the paper work and wait on my latest Iron Butt Association certificate to join my others.


« Last Edit: May 04, 2015, 08:35:17 PM by leroys73 »
'73 Vette, '72 Monte Carlo, ;11 Green with Envy Challenger R/T,Ram, RoyalStarVenture S,USA Honda VTX1300R ridden 49states &11provinces,Driven cars in50 states+DC&21countries,OverseasBrats;IronButt:MileEatersilver,SS1000Gold,SS3000,3xSS2000,18xSS1000, 3TX1000,6BB1500,NPT,LakeSuperiorCircleTour


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