In the morning, we would quickly come to appreciate the power, smooth shifting and remarkable maneuverability as both Megan and I took turns piloting through the mountains.
In the parking lot of my favorite eatery, San Tan Flat, the Silverado was already proving it had passed one of the challenges — marquis value. It had drawn a crowd of a dozen or so admirers.
“What is it?” one girl asked. “I know it’s a Silverado, but I’ve never seen one like it before.”
To get these oohs and aahs on the 2011 model, Chevy built on the angular, faceted lines already popular in its half-ton Silverado. It emboldened the hood with an aggressive black air-scoop cowling and trimmed the front in a beefy-looking chrome grill and bumper. Instead of add-on splash guards most duallies have, the one-piece fenders on the new HD curved nicely from the fender edge to the pickup bed. The fender metal folded flat against the well sheeting, leaving no overhanging parts to catch mud, slush or snow. That should improve rust resistance, since moisture trapped against the metal is apt to cause corrosion. I also felt it could improve safety, making it unlikely the truck would collect and dislodge snow chunks or mud balls at highway speeds.
Next morning, we pulled onto eastbound Highway 60 toward Miami, Arizona, where we’d turn west on Arizona 188 toward Roosevelt Lake and the end of the Apache Trail. We were going to film only in the northwestern portion of the trail because the Mesa Ranger District of Tonto National Forest denied our permit. The trail hadn’t been graded in a year, we heard, and when the rangers heard we’d tow a 25-foot boat up a portion of the trail called Fish Creek Hill, they didn’t want our visit. The road there is singlelane, and in spots rocky walls lean over it, further reducing clearance. Should oncoming traffic force a stop, getting started on the steep grade would be a task for any truck.