At long last it is time for a long road trip. This trip will take 16 days, and go as far north as Montana, always taking the scenic route, providing interesting views for a series of blog postings.
We started out by leaving Tucson on a sunny Friday morning.
Our route took us up Arizona Highway 77 north towards Globe. The route follows the Gila River for a few miles.
Anywhere there is water there is vegetation in the desert, with this view showing an interesting mix of the desert landscape of the saguaros next to the riparian landscape of the riverbank.
As we made our way through Pinal Pass, just south of Globe, we came across a burn area. Nature however is resilient, and the spring flowers are in bloom next to the burnt trees.
At Globe, Arizona 77 merges and runs along with U.S. 60 towards Show Low. About 40 miles northeast of Globe you descend down 2000′ vertical feet into the Salt River Canyon. The drive, and views, are spectacular.
Once the river is reached there are two bridges – the original bridge is an Art Deco masterpiece built in 1934, built as part of the New Deal initiative. It is built in a design known as steel two hinged girder ribbed deck arch.
Today it is a pedestrian only bridge.
The newer bridge, built in 1993 carries the traffic. While not nearly as interesting, they at least added some native symbolism incorporated into it.
Two more views on the north side of the canyon show the dramatic walls, and the river below.
North of Holbrook you go through areas of the Painted Desert. While not as colorful as the areas near the Petrified Forest National Park, it still added interesting views to the drive that lead us to the next posting stop – Canyon De Chelly National Monument.