Tuesday, October 9, 2018

Show Low Snow Switchbacking Salt River Canyon To Home In Arizona

Well. We made it to our destination. The roadtrip to that destination was far more adventurous than anticipated.

As in driving through some of the most torrential rain in memory.

And then, soon upon reaching Arizona, nearing the mountain town of Show Low.


Snow was something I did not anticipate. Hence totally underdressed. And cold during the multiple vehicle exits.

Being cold soon abated as the elevation dropped the closer we got to the Valley of the Sun. Where for the first time since leaving Texas we saw the sun.

The biggest surprise of this roadtrip happened soon upon leaving Show Low, via Highway 60. I knew via the map that this was considered to be a scenic route. I had assumed it would be the Painted Desert type of scenic.

Again I was wrong. Instead it was the Grand Canyon type of Arizona scenic.

A few miles west of Show Low we saw we were following along a canyon. At that point the canyon did not seem too deep or big. That soon changed. A road sign advised scenic overlook ahead, so I stopped to look over the overlook. That is the view you see at the top. This was to be the first of many scenic overlooks.

Several miles later a series of long switchbacks took us to a bridge across what I then learned was Salt River Canyon. Or, what I later learned my sister referred to as Grand Canyon-lite.

That bottom of Salt River Canyon location had a rest area on steroids visitor center. I decided this was a good location for a crackers and cheese break. Til I stepped outside and decided it was too cold to sit at a picnic table.

From the rest area I look down from the over look to see what you see below.

A group at the edge of the Salt River. After a walk across the old highway bridge which had been turned into a pedestrian bridge I decided to go down the stairs you see below to join the group above for a closer look at the river.

It had been years since I had had the opportunity to run up and down stairs such as those above. Wait. Just remembered I ran up stairs summer of 2017 when I was in Arizona, in downtown Phoenix. Arizona has a lot more vertical opportunities than mostly horizontal Texas.

Above I am at the Salt River Canyon bottom, and those are those people we saw from the overlook, posing for photos. They were taking a lot of photos. Above them, on the canyon wall, that brown streak slicing diagonal is the road we had been rolling on a few minutes prior. The route from the canyon bottom up the other side looked real treacherous with multiple switchbacks.

When I was on the pedestrian bridge a guy asked me to take a photo of him and his family. I told the guy that this canyon was a total surprise to me, that I wondered why I had never heard of it. Told him it was far more impressive to me than the famous Million Dollar Highway one drives when heading north from Silverton, Colorado. Or the Highway to the Sun in Glacier National Park.

The only road I recollect driving on which was more adventurous than this Salt River Canyon drive is the Moki Dugway in Utah.

The Moki Dugway is a relatively short one way, unpaved descent. The Salt River Canyon descent and ascent was many miles long.

Above is a look from the Salt River Canyon bottom up at those aforementioned bridges. The closest one is the old bridge turned to pedestrian bridge.

Both bridges were built over water. And I suspect the construction took way less than four years. People in Fort Worth know to what I refer.

I am sort of in recovery mode now that I am settled in my new abode. Figuring out how to operate the kitchen last night was a different type of adventure from treacherous driving.

I have no clue what we are doing today. Might go see Spencer Jack and Hank F's grandpa, also known as my little brother...

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