Life, Technology, and Meteorology

Pine River Road

I never thought I would say this, but one thing I miss about Tucson is driving. Not driving in the city…no driving in town is absolutely horrible. Driving on mountain roads is what I’m referring to. In Tucson, there were a couple of good twisty roads, like going out past Gates Pass, or Catalina Highway up to Mount Lemmon. Catalina Highway was especially fun to drive as long as you drove it at an off time when you wouldn’t get stuck behind other cars. It’s about a 45 minute drive of pure twisties, as you ascend from the Tucson valley at 2500 feet all the way up to the top of Mt. Lemmon at 9800 feet. Needless to say, you waste a ton of gas flying up that hill, because it is quite steep. But it’s a heck of a good time and you have some beautiful views along the way. Not to mention that it’s a great place to escape the heat of Tucson summers…when it’s 105 degrees in the valley, it will only be in the upper 70s up on Mt. Lemmon.

Until today, I thought that twisty roads were non-existent in Mt. Pleasant. Country roads are almost always straight, except when moving from one township to another. Townships were new to me…but the basic gist is that Michigan is broken up into 6×6 mile blocks of land called townships. This was how they sold the land back in the 1800s before Michigan became a state, and I want to say that it cost less than $1000 to buy your own township at the time. Nowadays, when a road borders two townships, there will usually be a quick S turn in the road, so the two townships split the road maintenance cost. It’s pretty amusing sometimes when you cross from one township into another and the road switches from a horrible gravelly mess to a nice blacktop. Anyway, I digress. Earlier today, I found a pretty decent twisty road. It’s a little bit outside of town, but it’s fun to drive and there isn’t a whole lot of traffic. The street is called Pine River Road, and it’s southeast of town about halfway between Mt. Pleasant and Midland. It takes about 15-20 minutes to drive from one end to another, and along the way you have some good sweeper turns and a few nice sharp corners.

I doubt I’ll get much of a chance to drive there, but it’s definitely cool to have a nice road to take when I’m just itching for some zoom-zoom.


  1. logtar

    Pine River Road is my shortcut from Midland to Alma when I go to Chicago… it is not excellent but it is some fun… there are other twisty roads up north, I need a motorcycle to have fun up there some time.

  2. mike

    Yeah, I’ve definitely had some fun driving up near Traverse City, but it’s hard to justify the trip since it’s so far from here. 🙂 The search continues…

  3. Cielo

    I had a very dear friend of mine die on this road. He took a turn too sharply his corvette convertible was wedged between two trees just a couple of feet from the river. There is now a guard rail there. Just be carefull!

  4. mike

    Wow, I’m sorry to hear about your friend. I’ll definitely keep that in mind the next time I drive on Pine River.

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