The Road Runner Region of the PCA will host a two-day drive out over the weekend of October 11 and 12, 2014. The route includes a number of wonderful mountain roads on both days. I’m calling this the Fahrvergnugen (“driving pleasure”) Tour. The route begins and ends with long sections of interstate, (bummer), but more than half of the tour is over roads guaranteed to produce driving pleasure! This is not a destination drive-out–nearly all the fun will be had while sitting behind the wheel of your Porsche.
Day One, Saturday October 11, 2014: Albuquerque, NM to Safford, AZ
We leave Albuquerque (meet on the I-25/Sunport offramp for an 8am departure) and head south on I-25, stopping in Socorro for a break at the McDonalds if needed. Continuing south on I-25 we stop at Truth or Consequences (Exit 79) to fill the tanks for the next stage. South of TorC we exit to head west on Hwy 152 to Hillsboro. Once past Hillsboro things start getting interesting and we will stop at the Emory Pass pullout for a well deserved stretch and to enjoy the views (group photo op!) The fahrvergnugen continues through Hanover, and ends in Silver City for lunch at the Jalisco Cafe. After lunch we head northwest on Hwy 180 for about 45 miles and turn west onto Hwy 78. This is another wonderful driving road, with a spectacular finish to the twisties as the road runs along the top of a ridge with clear views of the drop-off on either side! Too much fun ends with a drive in to Safford. We will stay at the Comfort Inn and Suites, which offers rooms for about $100. (Use that link to make a booking asap.) It’s not the cheapest hotel in town, but it’s by far the nicest–modern looks, great parking, and a real standout compared to the other hotels in town which all seem stuck in the 70s… We plan to have dinner at the Copper Steer Steakhouse, just down the road from the hotel. Day One is 350 miles of driving, with two sections of fahrvergnugen (152, 78.)
Here’s the route map for Day One, Saturday Oct 11, 2014:
Day Two, Sunday October 12, 2014: Safford, AZ to Albuquerque, NM
Sunday is a longer day of driving, not just because we travel 25 miles further (375 total miles this day,) but because the highlight of the drive-out, Highway 191, is a quite demanding road. We leave Safford at 8am. The hotel provides the usual self serve breakfast.
The section of Hwy 191–formerly known as Highway 666–we drive is 90 miles long, and has countless curves (hundreds!) The beginning is very tight as we pass the Morenci copper mine, and the twisties continue for many miles, with the second half of the 90-mile section opening up to more sweeping curves. We stop four times on this section to stretch and grin from ear to ear! A more detailed map of the Hwy 191 section showing stops is below:
We leave Hwy 191 at Alpine and take a less intense, but still enjoyable drive to Reserve for lunch at Ella’s Cafe. After lunch we begin to head home, taking 12 and then north on 32 to Quemado. After Quemado we again head north on 36 to join 117 which takes us through El Malpais National Monument. There is a ranger station toward the end of this section, but our final stop will be on the north side of I-40 where 117 meets the Interstate–there’s a gas station which provides a good place to say goodbye before we head east on I-40 to Albuquerque and home. Day two’s fahrvergnugen comes from 191, 180, 12, and to a lesser extent 32, 26 and 117.
Here’s the route map for Day Two, Sunday October 12, 2014:
If you combine the two “day maps” our route looks like a very big Nurburgring…
Per a RRR-PCA Board decision earlier in 2014, all driving tours must charge a fee “between $10 and $20 per vehicle.” Participation is limited to 12 vehicles, and the fee will be $15 per vehicle.
Participants (to date)
Phil Ganderton, black Cayman S
James Wilson, yellow Cayman S
Willard and Marsha MenNe, red Boxster S
John and Cindy Burke, blue Boxster
Bob and Patty Blackwell, silver Cayman S
Rick and Lori Woodcock, blue 911
Mike Rothman, blue 911
Michael and Margaret Galaviz, blue 911
Scott Bass and son, silver 911