Monday, March 12, 2018

From Apache Junction AZ to Deming, NM......

Our Location: 
Walmart Supercenter, Deming, NM
(1021 E Pine St)

The morning dawned to the sound of wind, steady wind and a beautiful day came into being. I was awake long before the sun showed it's wonderful self over the edge of Superstition Mountain but I didn't get up. Although it would be a travel day I still wasn't in any hurry to roll out. A text from  my sister around 7 am (Arizona time) finally told me I should get out of bed.

As promised, yesterday's para glider at Superstition Mountain.
Queen Creek Tunnel once again....

Riley was up by then too and we chatted about what time we hoped to be on the road and where we were heading, and you know the drill. We had a quick sandwich for breakfast and before long were busy doing those 'travel day things'. We skipped our hot drinks though as we tend to linger over those and it wasn't that kind of day. We were totally hooked up and ready to pull out by 8:10 am (Arizona Time). We took our time and managed to avoid most of the death wish holes in the road and before long we were on the hard top of N. Hackamore Road. 

Praying hands, and a face or two, do you see them?

Appears a bit skinny here due to the high sides......

It took us no time to make our way to Tomahawk Road, Old West Highway, and then onto US 60. We followed US 60 for a long way, all the way to Globe, from there we climbed onto US 70 East and stayed on it all the way to Lordsburg, NM. 

I love the colour of the rock here.....
Yes that is snow on the mountain top, isn't it beautiful?

For those that are interested, I'm going to write the next little piece of information for myself and anyone thinking of taking this route (again). Tomahawk Road, Old West Highway and the beginning of US 60 is not fast, it is city driving with 2 way, 4 way stops, along with numerous stop lights. I find the stop lights more concerning as the speed limit is anywhere from 45 to 55 mph and I take longer than a car to stop so some advanced warning would be nice. The road is good with a few bumps and humps but nothing major. When the stop lights cease to be an issue (about Gold Canyon) the road is good with double lanes, speeds are higher around 65 mph. The route to Superior is good, not difficult at all. I believe from around Superior it becomes a two lane road with passing lanes. IT IS ON THIS PORTION OF THE ROUTE THAT I WISH TO MAKE NOTE. The grades are very steep, sharp, twisty, turning, and appear to be narrow. I know they are regular width but to be honest when the  side of the mountain is standing mere feet from the roadway on both sides it appears narrow. The views are scenic and wonderful to behold but as a driver concentration is extremely important with no time to sight. A few pull offs were available but they weren't on top of the mountains, on the up bound it would have required a standing stop to immediate grades (steep or pretty steep, not gradual grades). The few passing lanes were helpful but still they weren't quite long enough in some places and appeared to stop at the very top of the mountains, not after you crested the top but just as you are cresting, meaning you had to get back into traffic before you actually managed to get to the top of the climb. The curves and twists were sharper than I would like but not bad or difficult but again one had to really concentrate while driving. This portion of the drive for me was  stressful and not the most comfortable drive I've ever accomplished, but it is very doable, although I would caution myself and anyone else going to do this drive to be aware of ice warnings as well. The downgrades are steep as well but usually pretty short. The city of Globe is much larger than I thought and I would like to return for a visit some time when I'm not hauling my home behind me. Historic downtown would be fascinating I'm sure.  US70 from Globe to Lordsburg, NM was fantastic, wonderful, leisurely, scenic and pleasant and made the stressful drive earlier seem worth the effort. Did I mention it was scenic? It was a beautiful, relaxing couple of hours on a 2 lane highway with not a lot of traffic, or at least we didn't seem to have much. A stop in at Taylor Freeze in Pima, AZ right on the roadside of US 70 is a good stop, great milkshakes there. My only complaint about this portion of the road is there is no warning of pull offs available and you are past them before you realize they are there. Signage for historical markers would also be nice as I noted a number of  markers but I didn't notice any advance warning of them. As I said before unlike 'non towing vehicles' I can't just stop quickly and safely so these were pretty much all bypassed due to being unaware of their locations.
Left picture we could see in someone's yard when we stopped at a wide spot in the road for a stretch. Top right picture is a fixer upper we noticed on our drive. Bottom right, for any folks that read many western books, Globe was a well mentioned place and as we can see from it's founding, it's been around a long time.

Scenes from our drive today, including the passing over of the Continental Divide.

From US 70 we continued onto I-10 East at Lordsburg, NM and made our way to the Walmart at Deming, NM. We crossed into a new state and therefore a different time because Arizona doesn't do DLS but New Mexico does, we therefore had to move the clocks ONE hour ahead even though we are still in Mountain Standard Time. We are actually parked in the vacant Home Depot lot next door to Walmart as are at least 10 other rigs. The big rigs are parked on our side of the Walmart parking lot of course just across the fence.  

Along US 70, absolutely stunning...

Still warm temps although I put on long pants as I find the wind a bit cool but Riley likes the temperature. We arrived around 2:30 pm NM time, parked, put out the slides and dropped the front feet to give us a bit more stability, and headed to Wally's for a few items on the grocery list. We had to make a second trip after we'd had lunch because we'd forgotten to take our drinking water jugs to fill and both were empty. Between the two of us we managed to consume 4.5 gallons of water in about 3 days. Must have been pretty thirst these last few days as 5 gallons usually last us about 5 days. 
A massive open pit mine, we could see it for a long ways but didn't know what it was until we were closer.

I called my dad when we arrived but left a message telling him where we are and that we arrived safely. I'll call him again tomorrow night when we land at our next destination. So we've settled in for the night and are tucked comfortably at the outside of the parking lot and will enjoy our night here. Some facts for the day, we reached elevations of about 4600 feet, the temperature ranged from 54F/12C to 69F/20C, we battled a pretty strong head wind all day used about 3/4 of a tank of fuel which is approx 30 gallons travelling 243 miles/391 km. It took us about 5 hours travel time. We are currently sitting at 4335 feet in elevation.
I can see a bear skin rug, can you?

Thanks for stopping by, hope you enjoyed your visit. Feel free to drop a line if you like. 

Don't you think this should be on a postcard?

Until next time... take care, be safe, 

On a long and lonesome highway bids you all a good night.



  1. Glad to see you made it to Deming safely. I'll be there in a week or so.

    I could see the bear skin rug after a second look.

    Yuma was looking for you two this morning.

    Have a safe trip tomorrow.

    1. We'll be gone in the morning, heading toward Carlsbad, NM.

      We miss seeing him looking in the door. It was odd having an empty spot across the road yesterday.

      Thanks Doug, enjoy your time there!!

      Take care, be safe,

  2. Good advice on the highways you encountered. Thanks for sharing.
    I saw your fog photos from your last blog, Stunning!
    Safe travels!

    1. Thanks Dave. It's nice to know what to expect when you drive a certain roadway and this way I'll be able to remember and hopefully it will help someone else make an informed decision.

      I love the Superstition Mountains and the fog just made it that much more incredible.

      Take care, be safe,

  3. That is one interesting drive, glad you made it safely to to your destination, the Deming Walmart Is a great place to overnight , we have seen as many as 30 rigs there a few nights.
    Nice to get stocked up again and a good nights sleep.
    Enjoy your travels today.

    1. It was an interesting drive and at the time I was sorry we took it, but as we continued that became a more tempered thought, as the rest of the road was fantastic.

      The Walmart next door was full as well, the empty Home Depot lot where we stayed had a large number of guests as well. I guess it is the season.

      It was pretty quiet there I will say, everything settled down about 11 pm and I didn't hear anything until it was time to be getting up anyway.

      Thanks George.

      Take care, be safe,

  4. Nice that you got on the road and had a safe drive.
    Travel safely!

    1. Thanks Patsy. Most of the drive was excellent, a few hair raising moments in the mountains, nothing dangerous just a bit stressful for me as I'm not used to driving in the mountains while towing but as I get more experience I'm sure I'll feel less stressed by it.

      Take care, be safe,