Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Apache Trail Scenic Byway

We have driven to the touristy Tortilla Flats several times.  It is paved and scenic.  But the road beyond has always been a mystery.  We heard it should only be driven with 4-wheel drive and was single lane.

When Bob & Terry invited us to ride with them on the Trail, they told us there were driving their street car, not their Jeep.  The road from Roosevelt Dam to Tortilla Flats is not paved, but was well maintain.  And, we appreciated the car because it handled the washboard areas smooothly. It would not be a good idea to take a vehicle like our camper van on the ride—just too narrow and rough.   

Roosevelt Dan is nearly 60 miles from Mesa and 40 from the mining town of Globe.  Before construction began, a road was constructed.  As it turned out, the best and most skilled workers in laying the dry laid stone retaining walls that were required to make a road along the sheer sides of the mountians were Apache men living nearby.  Many of these walls are still holding the road today.


This picture was taken near the top of Fish Creek Hill.  At the bottom of this steep and narrow hill is a high bridge over Fish Creek.  The road approaching the hill is in the picture to the left.

The story is that it became a challenge to see how fast the early 1900 cars could manage this portion of the Trail.  The Federal Government finally put a 15 mph speed limit on the hill.  It was not because a car had shot off the side of the mountain killing the driver, but rather to protect the mule teams from the speeding cars.


A forest of Saguaro. 



Along this retaining fence was a small plaque that stated a name, birth and death date.  We specualated that someone requested ashing thrown off the top of the maintain.


Canyon Lake is beautiful in the setting sun at the end of our day long tour


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