If ever you visit southern/central AZ, you must drive this route. St Rt. 88 originates in Apache Junction and is roughly 40 miles in length while passing Canyon Lake and then.....
....Tortilla Flat. There is a gift shop, restaurant/bar and be sure to stop for ice cream. The paved portion of the road continues for a couple more miles and then.....
....the cloud of dust above signals the start of the dirt portion of the road, about 25 miles of it. During the ensuing miles, you will pass Apache Lake and Roosevelt Lake, all fed by the Salt River, which passes through Phoenix but is long dry by the time it reaches that city.
The views are magnificent, of course and you will pass a few parking spots where you can stop to walk a bit and take pics.
The dirt road is broad enough for two cars to pass in most, but not all places and then you hit the 1500' descent of Fish Creek Hill. The pucker factor is way up there as other than navigating the turns, you must be cognizant of oncoming traffic coming from on of the lakes because in many places, two cars can not pass.
At last, I reach the bottom of Fish Creek Hill and cross a one lane bridge. Incredibly.....
....I see the above. Rental companies forbid RVs from driving this road for good reason but this is a bus! The driver waves for me to stop and asks how much farther to pavement. I tell him his bigger challenge is navigating that hill. Fortunately, 95% of the traffic is going with him as this is a Sunday but if a Friday,.......the chaos on that climb with all the incoming traffic would be impossible. I thought about turning around to watch but continued on.
Oh my, mile after mile of long range views.
Apache Lake passes to my left and then, an unexpected sight....
....Roosevelt Dam. Here the road is paved and that is a good thing because I'm ready for smoothness. I don't know what was my average speed for the dirt portion but probably 20mph.
Another unexpected sight, a bridge that takes one across the lake via #188 but I continue south and almost immediately.....
....reach a park with a cliff dwelling. From Oro Valley/Tucson, it was a 7 hour drive but the scenery makes it worth the drive and with all my hiking/cycling, only about half of which I have presented here, I needed a day off.
Mark is a long-time cyclist who enjoys poking fun at himself but most especially at his friends. No nicknames or comments are intended to offend, accept them in the humor they are intended.