Route 491

Discussion in 'Mountain Bikes' started by Anthony Sloan, Jun 13, 2003.

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  1. Another rant/paean.

    Route 491 is the new name for the highway that runs from Gallup, New Mexico to Monticello, Utah. The
    roads old name was Route 666, logically derived from its origin as the 6th offshoot of route 666.
    But it seems some folks were worried about that number; what, so they fear that it would attract
    someone's attention as they flip through brochures trying to decide where to hold armageddon? The
    next road east is state route 371, which runs through the Bisti Badlands, referred to by local as
    the Bisti Highway. I've always liked the proximity of 666 to the Bisti.

    Regardless, it is a fantastic stretch of highway and I hate to see it tampered with in any fashion.
    Open up your AAA Indian Country map (If you don't have one, get one, or two, right now) and you
    will see it pretty much right in the center. It begins (or ends, these things work two ways...) in
    Gallup and quickly enters the Navajo nation. Chusak mountains to the west, then the imposing form
    of the Shiprock. At the Colorful Colorado! line things begin to green up noticeably. I have always
    been charmed by the way the four corners states display their essential characters within 20 miles
    or so of the border. The road continues north, past McElmo canyon and the myriad possibilities
    there. Never heard of McElmo? John Tomac lives out that way. Oh yes, there is sweet riding. After
    passing through Cortez, 666 continues northwest through Yellowjacket and Dove Creek. This is bean
    country, and quite scenic bean country at that. The San Juans dominate the horizon to the east.
    (Kennebec, mmmm. Telluride, mmmmmmm) After Dove Creek the road angles west into Utah, where, you
    guessed it, within 2o miles the red rocks begin to show up. As a bonus, you can continue straight
    on through Monticello (after visiting the Dinosaur Museum, it's fantastic) and head up into the
    Abajos on forest service roads. There are a number of superlative roadside campsites. And from the
    top you are afforded an amazing view of the red, rumpled canyon country. Possibilities overflow
    here. There is so much to see and do within 100 miles of the Abajos that it would take two weeks
    just to get handle on it.

    I guess by decrying the name change, I am no better than those who lobbied to change it from 666.
    What's in a name, anyway? Or a number. But this slab of asphalt represents a good chunk of my
    personal history. I don't much care to see it bandied about so freely.

    end of another rant.


  2. Jon Bond

    Jon Bond Guest

    "Anthony Sloan" <[email protected]> wrote in message news:[email protected]...
    > Another rant/paean.

    There was just an article about this (front page of the "traveller's" section I think) in the NY
    times. Kinda stupid to change the number now. And you can't tell me there are more religious people
    now than there were 50 years or so ago - there are just a lot more in government ;)

    Jon Bond
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