April 27 
 Wickenburg, AZ  to Cottonwood, AZ
 
  
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Today's 4th day of the Tour across America was quite a bit more difficult than the previous three days. Some real climbing entered the picture--three mountain passes for a total of ascent of 8,645 feet. Mileage was moderate at 103.7 miles, from Wickenberg, AZ to Cottonwood, AZ, via Prescott. Calories used up were 8,305, therefore justifying my 28oz Jamocha shake from Arbys after dinner!

 

As soon as we left Wickenburg, we started a slow but gradual climb into a blustery headwind. As we trundled up the long straight  false front to Yarnell Pass, the winds became gale force. As we started into the curvy sections on the mostly-deserted four lane road, the winds were thankfully blocked somewhat. After cresting the pass, we passed through the hamlet of Yarnell, where we had a brief but welcome SAG wagon stop. We descended some, then started a long climb into a stout wind up to Prescott. Calvin Smith, an anesthiologist from Reno and I traded places breaking the headwinds a bit for each other.We had our lunch stop about half-way up.  I rode the rest of the way up with UK Steve (Bailey). He and I then rode through the tourist mecca of Prescott, and then over to the final SAG on the outskirts of Prescott. We were joined by my roommate Ohio Bob (Doerschuk), and we all went over the last big climb of the day, over Mingus Mountain to 7,023 feet. At the top we were rewarded with a wickedly fast descent and gorgeous vistas of the Verde Valley.

 

Coming down the backside of Mingus Mountain, we passed through the old mining town, now Bohemian outpost, of Jerome. Since the remaining 12 miles into Cottonwood were all downhill, we stopped to eat at the funky Jerome Palace, and enjoyed Haunted Burgers while enjoying the view of the red hills of Sedona off in the distance. Thursday we go through Sedona, then Flagstaff, and then end up at Winslow. I think I'll stand on the corner there (evidently that's about all there is to do in Winslow, BTW)

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The ride up Yarnell Pass went on and on, but there were beautiful vistas off to the south.
The courthouse (background) and gazebo out front in Prescott for Yavapai County
At a traffic light stop  in Prescott with riding companion UK Steve (Bailey). Steve and Daryl Taylor always go out at night for dessert (sometimes I've joined them) on the "dessert across America tour".
Climbing up the last mountain today, Mingus Mountain. The grade going across the face of the mountain in the background is where the photo below was taken a few minutes later.
At the top! The descent was long, fast, technical, and very bumpy. Part way down we stopped in Jerome, a former mining town turned ghost town turned artsy-fartsy tourist spot. We ate at the Jerome Palace, home of the Haunted Burger. It had spectacular vistas off the deck and indoor dining rooms, which were worth the price of admission alone.
For more April 27 Pictures....