There’s a fairly direct route from Payson to Phoenix: just take AZ Route 87 the entire way. I wanted to spend a little more time driving on the final day of my trip, and poke my head inside some of the antique stores in Globe and Miami, Arizona, so I took a less direct route. Instead of following Route 87, I turned onto Route 188, which cuts southeast (instead of southwest, as does 87), passing by Roosevelt Dam and Lake.
This scenic drive was blanketed by clouds on my trip through the area, but after awhile, some sunny breaks appeared on the horizon — enough to make Roosevelt Lake sparkle. There are plenty of places to turn off Route 188, allowing you to admire the water, and of course, the Saguaro cactus which are plentiful in the area.
Roosevelt Lake Bridge…
… and the Roosevelt Dam both look about the same as they did in 2005, when I made my previous visit to the area. The bridge carries Route 188 across the lake’s outlet, just upstream from the dam. For several good spots to view the dam, turn up AZ Route 88 — the one-lane, curvy, and at times downright scary Apache Trail, which I traveled in 2005. Fortunately, Route 88 doesn’t narrow down to one lane until after the last dam viewpoint.
I would have loved to have driven the Apache Trail again, but I didn’t have time. So, I continued down Route 188.
The clouds hid a lot of the beauty of this drive…
… but it’s still magical.
Jagged mountains in the distance caused me to reminisce about visiting another nearby spot, Salt River Canyon, on US 60 northeast of Globe — another place I didn’t have time to go today.
[tmt_info =””]I visited Salt River Canyon in 2006, during my 5 Days, 4 Corners trip. I also spent some time in the town of Miami, Arizona, which is just a few miles from Globe. Both Miami and Globe are loaded with great antique stores, and would be worth a day-trip from Phoenix.[/tmt_info]
Since I had arrived in town around 9 a.m. — an hour before most stores opened — I decided to spend some time walking around Globe’s historic downtown.
The sidewalks in Globe provide a history lesson. Every major event that’s happened in the area, from the construction of pueblos 800 years ago to the discovery of silver at Alice Gulch in 1873, is lined up in chronological order.
Globe has a lot of neon signs along Broad Street (the main street through downtown, two blocks from US Hwy. 60).
I’d love to see these lit up at night.
Follow this sign down a side street…
… and you’ll find the Globe Antique Mall. It had not yet opened when I walked by, but I was impressed by its claim to fame. A sign proclaims this building to be the “Tallest 3-story Building in the World”.
As graffiti goes, this is some of the most flattering I’ve ever seen.
I don’t have an explanation for one of Globe’s most noticeable buildings, a tee-pee shaped structure that looks as if it has wandered off from the Wigwam Motel up the road in Holbrook. I believe this building used to be home to a pizza restaurant, but now it appears to be empty.
Some wandering around will also lead you to a few ghost signs, which are still in great condition… including this one for M&O Cigars (“Every Puff A Pleasure”)…
… and the Dominion Hotel, featuring the Cactus Room, Cocktails, and Live Music.
When the stores finally opened, I checked out the Pickle Barrel Trading Post, which is packed with weird stuff, as well as minerals from local mines. Then I moved on to Miami, where unfortunately, almost everything was closed.
[tmt_info =””]In Miami, Arizona, your best bet for antiquing comes on the weekends. Some stores are only open on Saturday and Sunday, while others are open Wednesday through Sunday. I only found one open on the Tuesday on which I visited.[/tmt_info]
I left Miami with just enough time to get back to Phoenix, eat lunch at Garduño’s (a New Mexican restaurant that provides a celebratory end to many of my vacations), then check in at the airport.
[tmt_info =””]From Miami/Globe, take US Hwy. 60. It’s scenic, but congested, and you will almost certainly end up behind a long line of cars and trucks, all of which are going about 10 miles per hour slower than you’d like. Once US 60 drops out of the hills and into the Phoenix basin, it continues to move slowly, thanks to speed limits and traffic lights. Update: Todd Schroeder from Gilbert, AZ writes: Since this was written, US 60 is now divided highway from Superior to Phoenix. You should no longer be stuck behind a motor home towing a boat.[/tmt_info]
Note: This page was first published in 2008.