Saturday, 23 September 2017

Day 25: Eagar AZ - Deming NM

Saturday: short on distance but long on scenery, at least once I'd managed to persuade Emily to take me that way.  This involves a lot of picking places on the map and entering them into her tiny head-branes as "Via Points", then repeating the process when it transpires she's never heard of for e.g. Franklin AZ.  This is not any great surprise, in fact, as I'm not entirely sure Franklin AZ has even heard of itself.

This corner of Arizona appears to be largely populated by pickup trucks with no number plates and blokes wearing camouflage.  They probably wear it to church too.  In one wide place in the road there was even a Confederate flag flying next to that of Arizona.  Two things:

  1. The Confederates lost.  Get over it.
  2. Arizona wasn't even a state until 1912.
Anyway, US-191 leaves Eagar at about 2200 metres and climbs to around 2850 before, one would think, plummeting off the Mogollon Rim and down to the flatlands that stretch all the way west to the Mighty Colorado.  And all the way east to the Mighty Rio Grande, since the Continental Divide is around here somewhere (though it's just a tacky "trading post" and a very small rise in I-10).  It doesn't, though because after a while it gets bored with the frankly overrated business of descending and goes up again, and so on.  Still, it is rather scenic in those parts.
US-191, being Scenic
Looking south-east from Blue Vista
It's also the Coronado Trail, named for legendary Conquistaberk Francisco Vasquez de Coronado who came this way in search of the fabled “Seven Cities of Cibola” which, natch, did not exist.  Although The Trashcan Man in Stephen King's "The Stand" did - aptly - apply the name "Cibola" to Las Vegas.  Still, you have to wonder whether some second-rate Spanish idiot was worth building a road like this for - apparently connecting nowhere to nowhere and having an alternative which gets you there quicker.  Then you come round a corner and wonder whether this
might have anything to do with it.  The answer is probably "no", because you've already passed this sign:
Translation: all switches, buttons and levers into ASBO mode
which renders it highly improbable.  The gert big hole in the ground is the Morenci Mine, the end product of which is mostly copper.  And I could quite cheerfully have stayed up there for hours watching the big lorries:
Note full-size pickup at left for indication of Bigness
doing their thing.  They appear to be Caterpillar 793s, which have about 2000 horsepowers and weigh about 375 tonnes when fully-loaded, and if you want one, a 22 year-old used one will set you back about 2.65 million dollars.  Which I doubt includes delivery.
Wheel and tyre approximately two Mr Larrington-heights in diameter
At the other end of the mine lies Morenci, and at the other end of Morenci lies Clifton, where someone in the old railway station was playing "You're The One That I Want", from the "Grease" OST.  Which obviously put me in mind of the hilariously awful dance video featuring Mr & Mrs Crazy P Sagan that emerged around the time of the 2016 Tour de France.  No, I'm not going to link to it.  That's what search engines are for and besides, this laptop has to cross an international border next week and I don't have time fully to disinfect it.

After Clifton you cross in New Mexico and the scenery takes a dramatic turn for the Flat.  Onto I-10 at Lordsburg - which looks so down-at-heel that I think the Lord may actually have forsaken it altogether - and across the Scorching Plains™ of New Mexico.

Scorching Plain™, Mew Mexico, Saturday

Bethany (8)1:So, were they actually Scorching this time?
Mr Larrington:Yes. Yes, they were. I just went out for milk and it was still 30 degrees at seven in the evening.
Bethany (8):About bloody time!
Bethany's Mum:Bef'ny! 'oo you torkin' too?
Bethany (8):No-one, Mum! Just that bloke from P@nd3m1c Pr0duckt10nz™®.
Bethany's Mum:Wot did I tell you abaht torkin' to nutters?
FX: Slap
Bethany (8):Owwwwww! I'm gettin' TV's Super D Millar onto you, you fukn C-O-W!
Bethany's Mum:I 'eard that!

Note for non-readers of YACF: Bethany (7) wrote to the Commissaires requesting that Crazy P Sagan not be thrown off the 2017 Tour after that incident with Cav.  The rest of it is made up.
  1. It was her birthday the other week2
  2. Lie

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