Today was a short day, so we didn't leave Prescott until 9:15. The later start made for a more relaxed morning, eating a leisurely breakfast and packing up our bags. We were warned that the hotel in Cottonwood was notorious for not making the rooms available until 3:00, so no rush to get there. I left the parking lot a little after everyone and rode at an easy pace out of town. At fifteen miles, we turned onto Route 89A and headed north into the climb in earnest. I spotted Jack R stopped beside the road; he was taking a breather and drinking some water. He asked me, if I had seen the antelope. WHAT? WHERE? There were two small herds of antelope grazing in the distance! Unfortunately, too far to get a picture with my "happy snappy." I'm so glad Jack pointed them out, I hadn't see them until then. Really cool!
As I passed the Yavapai Fair Grounds, I saw a sign saying the Jumping Cholos were having a dog agility meet this weekend. [explanatory note: My daughter, Pamela, and my good friend, Bob, run their dogs in agility contests.]
I was taking it easy, no rush to hurry into Cottonwood. I stopped to photograph some flowers and slowly ground my way up the mountain to Mingus Pass - elevation 7,023 feet. Oh, yes - I wore my St. Peter's Bicycle Club jersey today. The Palos Verdes Bike Club jersey saw daylight, yesterday.
After leaving Mingus Pass, it was all downhill into Cottonwood, seventeen miles of steep downhill and hairpin turns. It was too bad the pavement wasn't in better shape. Afraid of potholes and rough pavement, I alternately braked, left and right, to slow my descent. Part of the way off the mountain, I passed trough the picturesque town of Jerome, an old mining town that is now a tourist attraction. I had meant to stop in Jerome for lunch, but never saw any of my bike buddies, so I rolled through town and on into Cottonwood. On the left was a Sonic drive in, so I stopped for a double cheeseburger and large, chocolate shake before going on the hotel.
To answer a couple of questions: yes, we get a rest day in Flagstaff on Sunday. When someone gets a fl*t, we have a fl*t party. Unfortunately, the time it takes to change a flat is directly proportional to the number of people trying to help.
The last picture is of "rumble strips" cut into the asphalt to warn motorists if they start to run off the road. Strange the things you notice at fifteen miles per hour.