Skip to main content

2016 Cross-Country Road Trip Part 4; Snow, Arizona, and the odd alignment history of AZ 72

After waking up somewhat early in Las Cruces I packed every back into the car and noticed there was a change of a snow storm to the west near the Arizona State Line.  I had planned on following US 70 into Arizona to see the Old Queen Creek Tunnel on US 60 but my path ahead was uncertain given the weather.  Either way, I was in familiar territory the rest of my trip west to California.



US 70 and US 180 multiplex I-10 west of Las Cruces but are generally silent in terms of signage.  US 180 cuts away from I-10 in Deming while US 70 stays multiplexed west to Lordsburg.  All seemed fine until I was west of Deming where I encountered the snow storm I was warned about on the news earlier in the morning.  The storm was surprisingly heavy but I was able to settle in behind a line of trucks which were clearing the right lane.  My Sonic was a Florida car which was very apparent by the complete lack of anti-freeze in my windshield wiper fluid.  The storm cleared approaching Lordsburg but I pulled off at a travel center to purchase proper windshield wiper fluid.  US 70 west closed west of Lordsburg due to the snow storm which required my continuing on I-10 west into Arizona.





I-10 in Arizona is generally an uneventful affair.  When I used to travel to New Mexico on business I would take I-10 from Phoenix probably about 75% of the time.  The only thing that I found note worth enough to stop for was in Pichaco north of Tucson.  When I lived in Phoenix there was talk about razing Camino Adelante Road which was a old alignment of AZ 84 to make way for an expanded I-10.  The project seemed to be a non-starter before I left Arizona 2013 but upon my return almost all the buildings along Camino Adelante Road were long gone.


This February I encountered an ADOT Youtube Channel update on the I-10 widening project at the AZ 87 junction in Pichaco.

ADOT on I-10/AZ 87 junction project

After crossing the Gila River Reservation I made my way up the Phoenix area.  My ultimate destination for the night was at a family member's house in Scottsdale which I reached by using AZ Loop 202 and AZ Loop 101.






I stayed in Scottsdale for a day to pick up my Challenger which I was keeping at my family's house due to my home in California not being ready.  The Challenger would partake in it's own road trip of note in February.  Considering how bad the weather was in New Mexico and even western Texas I'm glad in retrospect that I shipped the Challenger.  The bad weather coupled with 245 tires on a car with 485 pound feet of torque would have not gone well.


The following morning I left the Phoenix Area on I-10 towards the California State Line.  I had something special in mind for my return to California which required my turning off I-10 on Vicksburg Road.  I took Vicksburg Road north to AZ 72 and continued westward.






I used to take AZ 72 and CA 62 frequently as a quiet backdoor route from Phoenix to the Los Angeles area.  AZ 72 is an approximately 37 mile state highway located in La Paz County between US 60 west to AZ 95 near Parker.  AZ 72 for the most part is straight as an arrow but the roadway for whatever reason has always been badly worn every time I've ever driven it.  The only community of note along AZ 72 is Bouse which is mostly known for the Desert Tank Training ground located Butler Valley in World War II.  Bouse was founded in 1908 as a mining camp and was originally where AZ 95 met AZ 72 at Plomosa Road.  AZ 72 was apparently adopted in 1930 but the earliest state highway map I can find showing it is from 1935.  AZ 72 originally ended near the California State Line in Parker.

1935 Arizona Highway Map Sectional

By the 1938 state highway AZ 95 can be seen running from Yuma to AZ 72 in Bouse.  In addition the state highway map shows an obvious crossing over the California state line from Parker which I assume was terminus of AZ 72.  US 95 wouldn't be extended into Arizona until 1961 according to USends but it appears that Arizona wanted the route much earlier.

1938 State Highway Map Sectional 

USends on US 95

Sometime between 1951 and 1956 AZ 95 was realigned directly north from Quartzsite to AZ 72.

1951 Arizona Highway Map

1956 Arizona Highway Map

Sometime between 1961 (US 95 can be seen extended to the Mexican border on the 1961 map) and 1971 AZ 95 was extended all the way north to AZ 68, AZ 72 was truncated to AZ 72 outside of Parker.  I find this move odd considering a Spur AZ 95 is technically what crosses the Colorado River to reach CA 62.  It would to make more sense to multiplex AZ 72 into Parker and have it end at the state line.

1961 State Highway Map

1971 Arizona Highway Map

Speaking of AZ 95 I took it to Parker and used the Spur Route I mentioned above over the Colorado River to meet CA 62 in rural Riverside County.








Comments

Popular posts from this blog

California State Route 232

This past month I drove the entirety of California State Route 232 in Ventura County. CA 232 is an approximately 4 miles State Highway aligned on Vineland Avenye which begins near Saticoy at CA 118 and traverses southwest to US Route 101 in Oxnard.  The alignment of CA 232 was first adopted into the State Highway System in 1933 as Legislative Route Number 154 according to CAhighways.org. CAhighways.org on LRN 154 As originally defined LRN 154 was aligned from LRN 9 (future CA 118) southwest to LRN 2/US 101 in El Rio.  This configuration of LRN 154 between CA 118/LRN 9 and US 101/LRN 2 can be seen on the 1935 California Division of Highways Map of Ventura County. 1935 Ventura County Highway Map According to CAhighways.org the route of LRN 154 was extended west from US 101/LRN 2 to US 101A/LRN 60 in 1951.  Unfortunately State Highway Maps do not show this extension due to it being extremely small. During the 1964 State Highway Renumbering LRN 154 was assigned CA 232.  Of n

Former US Route 50 and the South Lincoln Highway from Folsom east to Placerville

The corridor of Folsom of Sacramento County east to Placerville of El Dorado County has been a long established corridor of overland travel dating back to the California Gold Rush.  The Folsom-Placerville corridor was once part of the path of the Lake Tahoe Wagon Road which became the first California State Highway and later the South Lincoln Highway.  In time the South Lincoln Highway's surface alignment was inherited by US Route 50.  The Folsom-Placerville corridor also includes the communities of; Clarksville, Shingle Springs and El Dorado. Part 1; the history of the Lake Tahoe Wagon Road, South Lincoln Highway and US Route 50 through Folsom-Placerville Folsom is located on the American River/Lake Natoma of eastern Sacramento County.  That lands now occupied by the City of Folsom were part of Rancho Rio de los Americanos prior to the finding of gold at Sutter's Mill during 1848.  During the California Gold Rush the lands of Rancho Rio de los Americanos were purchased by Jose

US Route 101 through Gaviota Pass

US Route 101 in the Santa Ynez Mountains of Santa Barbara County, California passes through Gaviota Pass.  Gaviota Pass is most well known for being part of El Camino Real and the namesake Gaviota Tunnel which opened during 1953.  Since 1964 Gaviota Pass and US Route 101 have also carried a multiplex of California State Route 1.   Part 1; the history of the Gaviota Pass corridor Gaviota Pass is historic path of travel through the Santa Ynez Mountains of Santa Barbara County.  Gavoita Pass was a known route through the Santa Ynez Mountains which was utilized by the Chumash tribes before the arrival of Europeans.  Gaviota Pass was first explored by Spanish during the 1769 Portola Expedition of Las Californias.  The Portola Expedition opted to follow the coastline northward fearing that the established Chumash path through Gaviota Pass was too narrow to traverse.  In time Gaviota Pass became a favored established path of Spanish travel which bypassed the hazardous coastline as part of El