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I stopped to take a couple of pictures and take a look around. Given a few more feet of snow, this trail could pass for being in Northern Minnesota, where I grew up. However, given all the Jeepin' opportunities that we have here in the Southwest, I'll keep what I got and go TO the snow when I want to see it (rather than live in it 4~5 months out of the year!)
We followed a variety of animal tracks as we got close to the top of the mountain. There were deer for sure and something that had paws.
We finally made it to Crown King. After parking, we headed into the Crown King saloon to grab some lunch. If you haven't tried it, they make a pretty good BBQ sandwich in the little restaranut (in the back of the saloon). Phil and Scott treated us to lunch and we had chocolate chip cookies for dessert to boot! After a stop at the Crown King General Store, we called the trip a success and headed back to Phoenix via the graded road that takes you out to the freeway (after 40 minutes of wash boards and switchbacks).
It was an uneventful trip back to town except for our brief stop to air the tires back up. We had parked at the end of the S-curve (where the gravel road turns into asphalt) and were getting started on the task at hand when there was a tremendous squealing of tires. I looked up in time to see the smoke (from the tires) and then a car go shooting off of the road. The person had hit the S turn too fast and jumped his car about 15 feet into the ditch (if you can call it a ditch....more like a chunk of desert). We all ran over to the car, which was now about 25 yards from us, to check on the driver. As we approached, he indicated he was OK and then got out of the car. He was shaken (not stirred) but was OK. Phil dropped him off at Black Canyon City (on the way back to Phoenix) to make arrangements to recover his vehicle. The suspension looked pretty flattened and for the most part, it was sitting on the body. I am thinking that jumping a mid-sized car off the road is not a good thing. Luckily, no one was hurt, and that is the important part.
Well, that was the trip. I got home and cleaned up a bit (I still haven't scraped the mud off the TJ yet). My oldest daughter flew in from Minneapolis and the rest of the kids came to celebrate our family Christmas. I hope you and yours enjoyed the holidays and that next year's trails are good ones. Happy New Year!
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