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towtruck

Shot the canyon tonight and I feel alive!

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There is a highway up to my home town that climbs from 500 feet to 4200 feet in 45 miles. The road follows a couple small rivers and is called the canyon by locals. I have driven this road for forty years and drove logging and fuel trucks on it. There are a couple times a day when it’s possible to “shoot” the canyon. No traffic and what there is knows how to drive it. The 45 mile section is all curves and zero straights. From 30 mph up to 50 mph marked corners. “Shooting” the canyon is driving between 65 and 70 and never dropping below 65 and never stepping on the brakes. The first corner dropping into the canyon is an off banked 40 to the left. That is your starting corner and that corner demands respect. Even more than the tightest 30 mph corner. Tonight I made the run in My Blazer and man do I feel alive after running that stretch. I had the tires howling only once. I never dropped below 65. Way too much fun. Sports cars could tear this road up but traffic usually gets you slowed down. Years ago I smoked a Corvette while in an empty log truck. He could not hang. Tonight I had a newer Ram pickup that kept up with me. She was a great driver. 
 

forgot to mention I had AC/DC back in black screaming into my ears the whole way too. 

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That’s cool! I love doing roads like that in my Audi TT roadster, basically a luxury go cart. I think they put super glue on the tires, I found it difficult to squeal the tires in a corner, I would start sliding out of the seat before the tires would squeak. 

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Posted (edited)

This thread brought back fond memories of one of my favorite adrenaline rushes from my teenage years. I grew up near one of Arizona's Sky Islands, Mount Graham. The valley floor is 3,000ft. The mountain's peak is 10,700ft. It's so tall it makes it's own weather. As a teen in the summer It might be hot and dry at the desert floor and yet the mountain would have a wild raging thunder storm going. Soooo, at night in the dark if it looked thunderously wild enough I would head up there in my 55 Chevy Belair. The goal was to advance up the road until the storm made it impassable or the lightning flashes were just too blinding. My safety gear consisted of a custom chrome steering wheel with thick rubber grip(non conducting:laugh:). My most memorable, was one night the blinding flash and thunder clap were simultaneous as I rounded a turn and slammed on the brakes due to a blazing Century Plant in the middle of my lane. The lightning strike had ignited it, blown it free from it's roots and launched it into the roadway. Woohoo. At that point I turned around and headed for home . . . victorious! :yesss:

Edited by MnP4me
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Sounds like a blast. I've always liked those challenges. There is a lake raid in Ponca City, Oklahoma we would take our turns at tearing it up. Flat but treacherous.  We also had a lake in OKC that had a perimeter. I loved hauling butt on in my MGB or Corvette around that. I'd love the challenge you just ran TT.

 

Greg

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You should hear the wife SCREAM when nobody is on the Loveland to Estes Park twisty road and we are in the Charger.....:hysterical3::hysterical3:

 

Even manages to drift a 25mph corner at 60+mph tires screaming and smoking.......:anim_coffee:

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43 minutes ago, Rampy said:

You should hear the wife SCREAM when nobody is on the Loveland to Estes Park twisty road and we are in the Charger.....:hysterical3::hysterical3:

 

Even manages to drift a 25mph corner at 60+mph tires screaming and smoking.......:anim_coffee:

When we had our 1975 911s there was a mountain road that just called to that car. Taking 20 mph corners at 55 and exiting at 65 was a rush.....13 miles to the top of the mountain and the wife would cry uncle about a third the way up. :yukyuk:

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5 hours ago, GLShooter said:

Sounds like a blast. I've always liked those challenges. There is a lake raid in Ponca City, Oklahoma we would take our turns at tearing it up. Flat but treacherous.  We also had a lake in OKC that had a perimeter. I loved hauling butt on in my MGB or Corvette around that. I'd love the challenge you just ran TT.

 

Greg

I went to jr. high in Ponca City! First car I ever drove was out by the lake, my uncle was sgt on the PD there.

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32 minutes ago, sw9mm said:

I went to jr. high in Ponca City! First car I ever drove was out by the lake, my uncle was sgt on the PD there.

 

Small world for sure. I haven't driven that road in 53 years..lol

 

Greg

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LOL, You just described me almost every time I go outside the house these days.  Covid, my wife does the shopping and I run the mountains.

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7 hours ago, towtruck said:

When we had our 1975 911s there was a mountain road that just called to that car. Taking 20 mph corners at 55 and exiting at 65 was a rush.....13 miles to the top of the mountain and the wife would cry uncle about a third the way up. :yukyuk:

 

That wuld be funnnnnnnnnnnnnnnn

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You folks are Wild Ones . When I saw the byline , I was prepared to learn TT had gotten extra ammo and was letting off steam  :segrin:

 

When I was Younger a couple of My Buddies and I took a ride up into the mountains  in SoCal  and had a day of drinking  and hiking and practical joking  .

It then became late afternoon and time to head on down the mountain , in Doug's 54 Buick Roadmaster . All started well until the 9% grade with mostly all left hand corners and we're in the outside or Right cliff side lane !.

After two corners we're booking it pretty good and I'm in the backseat with another guy , right behind Doug ,so I don't see he's got a DEATH GRIP on the wheel but I hear the engine rpm's higher than normal . My Buddy says hey Doug slow down  and Doug replies  a choice expletive with  I wish I could ;  we've got NO brakes :ohmy: . Doug's a practical joker  but I look over the seat and he's pumping that damn brake pedal to the floor and it's near dark and I think I actually saw sparks . Maybe it was that image

of John Candy as the Devil  in Planes Trains and Automobiles ?. That ride scared the SHAT out of all of us and two of the guys were 1/4 mile racers 10.5 seconds !.

If any of You  remember those old Buick Roadmasters , they had bumpers which were half the weight of the car , well Doug purposely kissed the inside bank #5 #15 times don't recall  exact number but each and every time it sent a JOLT through the entire car like we had a wreck . Then it was the Driver side front fender and door which caught a sizable granite boulder . THAT MADE A HUGE DENT !. Also slowed us down enough to make one of the only right hand   turns prior to the straightaway .

End of the straightaway was a Tee left or right and  straight was a 50 Ft. deep flood canal complete with concrete and fencing .

We made the  90 Deg. Left at 42 mph on two wheels in second gear screaming .

Now many of You are gonna say why didn't he just put it in low gear ,  because 2 Nd. gear is where it got STUCK with the engine rpm's screaming and IF he had pulled it out of gear ,it Might Not have gone back in and I guarantee I wouldn't have been here today if it hadn't . The shortest drop over the cliff is 1800 ft. and we passed that on turn two :mouthtaped: 

 

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4 minutes ago, BushXM15 said:

You folks are Wild Ones . When I saw the byline , I was prepared to learn TT had gotten extra ammo and was letting off steam  :segrin:

 

When I was Younger a couple of My Buddies and I took a ride up into the mountains  in SoCal  and had a day of drinking  and hiking and practical joking  .

It then became late afternoon and time to head on down the mountain , in Doug's 54 Buick Roadmaster . All started well until the 9% grade with mostly all left hand corners and we're in the outside or Right cliff side lane !.

After two corners we're booking it pretty good and I'm in the backseat with another guy , right behind Doug ,so I don't see he's got a DEATH GRIP on the wheel but I hear the engine rpm's higher than normal . My Buddy says hey Doug slow down  and Doug replies  a choice expletive with  I wish I could ;  we've got NO brakes :ohmy: . Doug's a practical joker  but I look over the seat and he's pumping that damn brake pedal to the floor and it's near dark and I think I actually saw sparks . Maybe it was that image

of John Candy as the Devil  in Planes Trains and Automobiles ?. That ride scared the SHAT out of all of us and two of the guys were 1/4 mile racers 10.5 seconds !.

If any of You  remember those old Buick Roadmasters , they had bumpers which were half the weight of the car , well Doug purposely kissed the inside bank #5 #15 times don't recall  exact number but each and every time it sent a JOLT through the entire car like we had a wreck . Then it was the Driver side front fender and door which caught a sizable granite boulder . THAT MADE A HUGE DENT !. Also slowed us down enough to make one of the only right hand   turns prior to the straightaway .

End of the straightaway was a Tee left or right and  straight was a 50 Ft. deep flood canal complete with concrete and fencing .

We made the  90 Deg. Left at 42 mph on two wheels in second gear screaming .

Now many of You are gonna say why didn't he just put it in low gear ,  because 2 Nd. gear is where it got STUCK with the engine rpm's screaming and IF he had pulled it out of gear ,it Might Not have gone back in and I guarantee I wouldn't have been here today if it hadn't . The shortest drop over the cliff is 1800 ft. and we passed that on turn two :mouthtaped: 

 

I have never fully lost brakes but I did pop over a hill in a logging truck to find the backside was black ice. I put it in the ditch in order to ball up some dirt under the tires to slow down. It worked but it was a puckered up few seconds. 

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This is why I love living in the hills, every commute is like that, albeit a little shorter. Every day I hop into my Mustang to go home, I have a blasting stereo and an even louder song in my heart. It's man and machine vs. the road, and there's something almost magical about how it can transform your entire mood. I'd gotten so serious over the last several years I'd forgotten that was one of life's simple pleasures. 

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I guess I got old. I used to like pushing the envelope in my tractor trailer,  but the last time I was on a corkscrew with no shoulders or guard rails I found myself feeling uncomfortable and driving 30 to 45 mph.

 

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I would probably be accused of being out of my mind for how I would drive the old logging and access roads around Devils Kitchen Lake, and most every road down here.  The hilly, curvy roads and seldom traveled roads around  here are one of the many reasons I like living here, and have always kept a good handling manual shifting car as my daily driver. It is a great feeling when the car can communicate the road, and man and machine becomes one.  It does not take a massive engine to derive such pleasure, but the thrill comes from pushing the limits of the car's chassis, steering, and tires. I have had some larger more powerful cars, but I prefer the smaller ones. 

The Mazda MX5 is a testament that the connection between man and machine is more important than raw horsepower for these kind of thrills. Wish I had one.  For such a humble car, it is one of the best driver's cars, and mazda has sold more of these "roadsters" than anyone in history. The thrill of pushing a great handling vehicle to 99 one hundredths of it's limits thru the curves and switchbacks never gets old.

 

BTW: I was always amazed at how well my 2002 Chevy extended cab handled. I don't know what they did, but it is still the best handling pickup I personally have driven. Before the wife totaled it, I was constantly being asked if I wanted to sell it. There was nothing special about it, I just took care of it. (And bought good tires.)  I'm sure the Rams with the independent rear suspension can put on quite a show with the right driver.  Speaking of tires, the right tires can turn an OK handling car into something that can thrill you. Agin, this is not about raw HP, but driving at the car's limits on challenging roads.

So many people don't appear to be concerned with driving well. A vehicle seems to them to be a box with which to travel from point A to B while they take care of other things while inside the box. It is sad to me to see people no longer interested in the driving experience, and so many manufacturers who put out cars numb and souless sterring and chassis for the masses. Even my old VW bug handled better than some of the crap they are putting out tody.

 

Save the manuals !

Don't buy vehicles without fully defeatable nanny systems. If you have a favorite nameplate or two, call them and tell them these syms must shut off. Completely. They are not safe and are hackable. 

Do not allow your car to have the technology that tracks where you drive, or communicate with other cars as we move toward driving boxes. 

Save the combustion engine !

Reject autonomous driving systems.  If you don't like to drive, take a plane, train, or bus. 

To put computers and sensors in charge of an automobile is insane, and a huge waste of money, on the cars

and on the  roads. People who want the car to drive itself are mentally ill. 

Stop your phone conversations, applying make-up, drink, cigarettes, etc., and effing driving drive the car !

Go to driving school.

Save the manuals ! 

Outlaw "autonomous" vehicles !

 

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