Originally Posted by HDrider
Curious, any of you with taller rigs run Highway from Globe Arizona up towards Show Low?
The Queen Creek Tunnel is on US Hwy 60, but itís on the west side of Globe, not between Globe and Show Low. And it is indeed 13í 6Ē high. So is my rig. Had I known about it in advance, I never would have taken that route, but on that day, a series of events forced me to change our planned route on the fly. Consequently, I was unaware of the tunnel and the first time I saw it was quite a shock.
We were going westbound with the flow of traffic, probably about 50 mph, when I looked up and saw the tunnel opening just a couple hundred yards ahead. A second or two later I saw the big, yellow low clearance sign. Holy crap! I had just seconds to make a decision. Take a look at the attached photo.
I probably could have stopped had I chosen to do so. But it would have caused a heck of a traffic jam, and I would have had a bear of a time backing out to find a safe place to turn around.
They say when you know youíre about to die that you see your whole life flash before your eyes. Well, I didnít see all that but I do recall analyzing every little factor related to what was about to happen. I credit my training as a pilot and 25 years in Naval aviation for helping to keep me (somewhat) calm as we approached the tunnel. I do believe, however, that numerous expletives emanated from my mouth.
Typically, I donít assume anything. I deal with facts, not assumptions. But there was no time for fact-checking here. I thought I read somewhere that those low clearance signs depicted the height of the obstruction directly above the fog line. So, if the tunnel was 13í 6Ē at the edge of the road, it was definitely higher near the center of the arch. And the highest point on the roof of our RV was on the centerline where the air conditioners were mounted. So I made the decision to go for it. Whatís the worst that could happen? (Donít answer that.)
As we entered the tunnel I could see there was no traffic coming from the opposite direction, so I cheated. I aligned the steering wheel on the centerline and kept it there until we exited the tunnel, several hundred yards down the road. We were lucky!
Next time, Iíll take a different route. I wonít be towing our rig through that tunnel ever again.