Best Kind of Coffee Break

Our Favorite Coffee Shoppe

Ah what a beautiful day. This morning I met with four of my cycling friends at 6 AM at our local favorite coffee shop for our Thursday ride up Mingus mountain. Mingus sets to the west of Cottonwood, AZ. About 11 miles into our climb we reach the famous old ghost town of Jerome, AZ. Jerome is now quite a tourist trap but for us it makes a great rest stop before heading on up to the summit.

Main Steet Jerome


Three of the riders had climbed enough by the time they hit the fire station in Jerome so they decided to only ride about three quarters of a mile further up to a lookout point. My friend Kevin and I continued onto the summit. It had been really hot and muggy on our way up because we are in the midst of our monsoon season, but as we continued our ascent the air became much cooler. The summit of Mingus is about seven miles beyond Jerome on a narrow winding two lane road that is in need of a resurfacing project. Still it is really nice to be able to ride from the desert below up into the cool pines in such a short distance. Once at the top Kevin and I took a few minutes to rest and take in the luscious mountain air. Then back onto the bicycles for a really fast and thrilling ride back down the mountain. On the way down Kevin suddenly signaled that some thing was in the road. A startled javelina was trapped between us and the bank and he looked as if he might bolt out into our path. At these high speeds hitting a creature of this size could be deadly. Fortunately for us the peccary kept his cool and we passed without incident. Below Jerome the road is in great shape and it is not to difficult to hit 50 mph on this section. In minutes you have descended from 7000 feet back to 3200 feet. Kevin and I headed back to the coffee shop where we were met by our wives. Wow what a great feeling to have conquered the mountain and then to just sit around and enjoy iced organic dark roast coffee and friends.

The four of us probably spent an hour just visiting and talking about the poor scared javelina before heading for home.

My Wife Glenda

Relaxing After Our Ride.

Elevation Chart of our Ride

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Replies to This Discussion

What can I say? Wow, boy did you deserve a coffee break after a ride like that. No picture from the summit? Any women riders in your group, only guys? Dennis, I'm in awe of your cycling adventures.
I did't even think about taking a picture at the top. I will next time and send it to you. We have several women that ride with us but they generally only ride on our Friday and Saturday rides. Mingus because of its narrow road and traffic scares a lot of cyclists away from riding it. Also there are a couple of 14% grades right in Jerome that seem to intimidate a lot of riders.
Dennis, I was wondering how you deal with the intense heat during the summer in Arizona? Doesn't it get to you when you're cycling? Long ago, I drove cross country with a friend in a VW Bug, (no A/C) during the summer. We camped out most of the way. Finally, in Las Vegas I demanded we spend the night in a cheap motel with the A/C cranked up. Hot is hot, even if it's dry heat. It was intense....
You are right the heat here in Arizona can be a killer. It is a misnomer that it is aways a dry heat. Yesterday we had 92% humidity because of our monsoon season. Arizona does have some higher altitude areas where it stays relatively cooler like Flagstaff, the White Mountains and the North Rim of the Grand Canyon. Great places to excape to in the warmer months.

In the summer I get up very early and get outside at day break, while the air is cool. It often cools down into the 70's at night where I live. This gives me several hours to hike, bike or work. By ten or eleven I am once again seeking refuge to get back into an air conditioned environment. I tend to want to hide out away from the heat during the mid-day hours. When I was younger I worked in the construction field and I often had to endure working outside in the summer heat. After a while the body seems to adjust but I can honestly say I never got to the point where I liked the heat.

Still Arizona has great falls, winters and springs. We have a very large number of days when the weather is perfect for outdoor activities.
Usually, my favorite time for a coffee break is in the later part of the day when I hit that slump time around 4 pm. I make a strong pot to help me perk up, and of course it's also time for a snack! A little cheese and crackers, some grapes perhaps, sometimes I go for some hummus with sliced tomatoes, and once in a while a couple of chocolate chip cookies to dunk in my coffee is a special treat!
It's not so bad. Really it is a lot of fun with a little practice. Here is a picture of a few javelinas in our yard. I have never felt that they are dangerous. They just give each other a bad time. They have never bothered me or shown any agression.

Ah! You found me out. LOL
They generally never bother humans but they may invite your cat or small dog out for lunch. Yea they have quite a set chompers.
I count six Dennis, was there more? I do believe if I saw this many in my backyard and they were creating a fuss with each other, that I'd be scared, for them and for me... I'd never be able to let my little dog out unsupervised even for a minute, they'd love him for lunch, and he would run right up to them barking and wagging his tail. He would never know what grabbed and ate him. Oh my... Better make sure that my new backyard doesn't get any meat eating wildlife making themselves at home before I ever allow sweet dog to roam out there on his own.
They are hunted I am afraid. Poor things. Everyone says their meat is really gamey and smells really bad. Most don't eat them just hunt them for sport. Javelina are very smart and for the most part eat plant matter although they are omnivores. Our out door cat has no problem avoiding them. Their natural habitat in our area has been destroyed by developers. They have been forced to try and survive by living in town now.
We often have 10 or 12 move through in a group. They hang around for a couple of days and them move on. Their are two that seem to be outcasts that have made them selves at home in the yard. They like to hang out under the bird feeder. I am rather fond of them. I have actually had one come up an smell my hand. He only seem curious. The young ones are very cute. I away stay away from them so as not to alarm the mothers.
Knowing me, they would become my outdoor pets and I would be feeding them everyday. It's so hard for animals to survive in the wild to begin with, and then to have their natural habitat taken away by human development, just increases the problems they must overcome and risks they must take in order to find enough food and protect their young. It takes a pity on them.


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