Early on the morning of November 28th 10 drivers and 5 brave ladies gathered at the staging site to prepare for our trip to Jerome. The temperature was a little unpleasant, however, as hearty members of the Arizona ATV riders we were not deterred from the task before us.
The group proceeded along FS 96 to Cherry Rd., then to FS 132 direct to the top of Mingus Mountain. On the way, we took a side trip to the hang glider jump off site. When questioned, no one in the group wanted to try the gliding thing, maybe next time.
At 89A the group turned northerly, downhill toward Jerome. At an undisclosed turn off the group traveled along a narrow, seldom traveled trail. We eventually ended up high above Jerome overlooking the Verde Valley. Re-joining 89A the brave group headed for Jerome for lunch and a well-deserved rest.
The majority of the group had NOT been on this ride previously and expressed an interest in the trail along the North face of Mingus Mountain. Having said that, we proceeded to the trail head on the hillside outside of Jerome, that’s where the wheels came off of the otherwise good ride.
Several of the members missed the turn off from 89A at Gulch road and continued downhill toward Cottonwood. It took us about 45 minutes to gather up the entire group. Venturing along FS 413, we had to go through the canyon of rocks which had a very deep mud hole at the old mine site. (Nasty)
All went well until we got to the intersection of FS 413 and 132. Somehow the group lost our trail vehicle. It took about a ½ hour to regroup again.
By now the sun was going down. As it disappeared in the Western sky the temperature also began to drop. We completed the ride in the dark. Opting not to take FS 96 to staging, we used SR 169 to save time.
All returned safe, and had a good time, I think.