The three-day Devil’s Highway Rally started about noon on Friday October 9 at Pioneer Park in Las Cruces. Bridgette handed out Diablo goodie bags and water bottles and the RallyMeister distributed the route instructions and conducted the mandatory drivers’ meeting. The following Diablos were in attendance for the start: Ron and Lynn in a ’74 TR6, Mike and Liz in a ’74 TR6, King David and Veronica in a ’79 MGB, Walt and Cheryl in a ’78 MGB, Nathan in a ’07 Lotus Elise, Jules and Roberto in a ’66 Morgan, Bridgette and the RallyMeister in a ’72 MGB GT, and Ray and Vi in a …………..Chrysler Crossfire. Good heavens Ray, we need to talk. Better yet we need to schedule you for a therapy session. Perhaps we could even do group therapy — you know, group therapy for MotorHeads. We could do it at Walter’s extreme garage — he always supplies lots of coffee and donuts. Missing from the rally start but not missing in action were two fine geologists — John and Debbie Kipp in a ’69 MGC. John and Debbie could not make the 12:00 start due to work conflicts so the plan was to have the RallyMeister’s good friend, Howard, meet them at the start circa 12:45 and give them goodie bags, water, and rally instructions. Thanks Howard.
First stop was in Hatch for petrol and potty. All reports indicate that everything worked smoothly here so we continued on through Nutt, Lake Valley, Hillsboro, Kingston, and then stopped at the top of Emory Pass for a rest. The weather was perfect — cloudy and cool.
Very soon after departing Emory Pass toward Silver City we came up behind John and Debbie! Perhaps they decided to bypass Emory Pass in hopes of catching up to us. Or maybe John’s co-pilot missed the route instruction — which of course does happen occasionally on rallies. Perhaps Debbie was too busy observing geologic structural features on the way up the mountain.
We continued on to the Murray Hotel in Silver City where Bridgette and the RallyMeister hosted an appetizer seminar in their suite. And they were astonished to see what the other Diablos all brought — an amazing assortment of cheeses, bread, crackers, chips, dips, vino, beer, spirits, and other goodies. After that, who needs dinner? But we had 6:30 reservations at Diane’s so we walked over to the restaurant and again proceeded to completely ignore recommended dietary guidelines.
The planned start time for stage two of the rally was 10:00 on Saturday morning. This gave folks time to eat breakfast, get a sack lunch at Diane’s Deli, check that their cars will indeed start, get questioned by the police, and be rescued from stuck elevators. Yes indeed, Walter and the RallyMeister were interrogated by a City Policeman who threatened to impound one of our cars…..because he really liked them. Walter pointed to Roberto and Jules’ Morgan and said “that’s the one you want to impound.” Not sure if Walter was implying that their Morgan was a mighty fine car or if he just want to give Roberto some grief. Meanwhile, after the nice officer decided not to put us all in jail, it appears that one of the hotel elevators was stuck. And who was in this elevator — Lynn, Jules, Bridgette, and Rio Rancho Man and his daughter. Can you imagine being stuck in an elevator with these three women? I bet Rio Rancho Man was hoping to be rescued sooner than later! The hotel staff called the stuck-elevator officials for help but all the RallyMeister could think about was getting the rally started on time. Thankfully help soon arrived, all was fine, and it was time to elevate the rally to the next notch.
We then proceeded north on Hwy 180 and turned west on the Mule Creek highway. This section of the rally is really scenic. Another rest stop was convened at a Forest Service campground where rallyists were seen dashing for the toilettes or the woods, whichever came first. After everyone felt relieved, the rally proceeded westward to Clifton where the Diablos ate their sack lunches at the historic train station.
After lunch, the rally proceeded through the historic main street of Clifton before stopping for petrol in Morenci. Then came the final leg of stage two — Morenci to Alpine on the old Route 666 — the Devil’s Highway. This is a spectacular drive which requires drivers’ attention — the curves can catch one off guard if one is not careful. However this did not phase Nathan. Reports from the field indicate that he was doing 105 mph on one of the few short straight sections of road — drive it like you stole it — which he did — the Lotus Elise is Kathleen’s car!
The rallyists all made it to Alpine with no casualties. Bridgette and the RallyMeister hosted another pre-dining reconnaissance affair with a spectacular assortment of food and beverages provided by fellow Diablos — magnifico, gracias!. Following this fine pre-dinner party, the bunch then walked over to the Foxfire for dinner where everyone consumed …….more vino.
Sunday was the last day of the rally. After breakfast everyone headed east on Hwy 180 toward Glenwood where we stopped for a potty break. Then we continued south to Leopold Vista for a photo shoot. This was the last official stop on the rally and folks could continue on to Cruces at their own pace.
Bridgette and the RallyMeister wish to thank all of the Diablos for their support and generosity. The camaraderie was great and the food and beverages for the appetizer seminars were over the top!
Bon appetit and drive it like you stole it!