Started out early on Saturday. Rode about 85 miles for a nice breakfast at Judy's Cookhouse.
From there it was out by one of the largest open pit mines you'll ever see. It feels like you are riding right thru it, because you are. The Morenci mine is the largest copper producer in North America (902 million pounds last year).
From there it was a ride up the Devil's Highway (aka US-191 or the Coronado Scenic Byway).
It was sunny at breakfast, but when we stopped for fuel in Morenci we could see what awaited us on the mountain. We chose to get the rain gear on, even though it was quite warm (92º).
Not long after climbing out of the mine it started raining. Lightly, at first. As the road climbed, we rode in & out of rain. The temperature dropped as we climbed. The sky darkened. Thunder & lightning made their presence felt. Fog rolled in. Soon, the temperature was 53º.
Came around a bend & 2 deer were in the road. Got on the binders & they ambled over the hill.
The last 20 miles were pretty miserable. Poor visibility due to rain & patchy fog. Saw a few cars pulled off the road, but that wasn't an option for us. Although we did see a couple bikers holed up in a campground outhouse.
Finally we arrived at our stop for the night - Hannagan Meadow Lodge. Parked the bikes & the rain stopped while we unloaded. The lodge is situated at 9,100', so it was cool outside. Went inside, got changed & had a beer... or two.
Ribeye, baked potato, salad for dinner - then bed.
Sunday morning we continued north on 191, this time under a clear & sunny sky - albeit 52º. Soon we rode thru Alpine & on to Eagar for breakfast at Trailriders. During breakfast a deputy sherrif came over & asked if anyone was interested in trading places for the day.
After breakfast we rode west on 260 to Show Low for a bio stop before cruising on over to Payson & down the Beeline (aggressively).
We literally doubled the mercury today: 52º in Hannagan Meadow and 105º at home.
All told it was 576 miles of fun!