So I charged up the ol’ iPod and headed up to Prescott Valley this morning to do one of the greatest rides in Arizona. Since I was going solo I took the time to stop a few times and snap some pictures, such as this one, looking down from Jerome toward Clarkdale and Cottonwood in the Verde River Valley. The route takes you from Prescott Valley up over Mingus Mountain (7023 ft. asl at the top) then down through the “ghost town” of Jerome, a very quaint little town I confess I could not mind living in, to be honest. From there it is a fast, winding 10km decent down to Clarkdale. Then you just turn around and head back. The climb up from Clarkdale to Jerome isn’t overly remarkable (though quite steep), but it is the climb out of Jerome up to the top of Mingus that is truly challenging. Narrow, with breath taking views.
Early on in the climb out of Jerome you get this view looking back toward the Verde Valley. It really does give you a good sense of how steep and narrow the ascent is. I think that is the only pull out/parking area on the whole ride as I recall (other than the restroom at the very top of Mingus). As you can see, it was a clear day, and the sun started warming things up real fast. I was glad I started before sunrise!
Finally you get back toward the top of Mingus and this is one of the last views you have of the Verde Valley. Remember, I’m afraid of heights, so learning to go flying down these roads on two thin tires took a little, uh, work. Now I love it!
Here is a really cool graphic of the ascent map from today’s ride from Mesmeride, a really neat new website that takes your Strava readout and makes a neat image of it.
So what was I listening to? Started with a lengthy JETS article on problems with Josephus’ chronology relating to the Herodian census; then got about halfway through a new book on homosexuality, and finished up making progress on the new Shaara work, The Smoke at Dawn.