Ride to Hannagan Meadows
November 18th and 19th
I learned many years ago to take advantage of riding opportunities when they present themselves if at all possible. Well, the ride up to Hannagan Meadow Lodge was one of those opportunities. The weather forecast for record AZ heat near the end of November made me think that it would be an opportune time to ride up Rte 191 (formerly Rte 666, or "The Devil's Highway"). I've ridden this road several times in the past and it was always very cold, windy and on one occasion snowing up at the near 10,000 ft. summit, but still I truly enjoyed the rides. This time: the lowest temp was 60 degrees (at the summit) with very little wind. The temps ranged between mid 60's and low 70's during the entire 300 mile ride up to the Lodge. Perfect!
This was the first time I've actually stayed the night at the Lodge and was very impressed. It's a beautiful, unique, historical, well maintained Lodge with very nice rooms, a friendly staff, great lobby areas to hang out in and a restaurant with fantastic dinner options. I purchased and thoroughly enjoyed a couple beers sitting on a rocking chair out on the front porch of the Lodge overlooking the beautiful meadow upon check in.
One of the things I most enjoy about riding Rte 191, aside from the awesome twisties, challenging switchbacks and stunning scenery, is the solitude. I saw a total of 4 other vehicles along the entire stretch of road between the mine and the Lodge. Upon check in at the Lodge I was informed that I was the only guest staying at the Lodge that evening. More solitude on a tremendous solo ride.
This ride was simply "good for the soul" and I'm SO glad I took advantage of the opportunity!