Overland Adventure 2020 Day 4: Concluding the Expedition
Mining towns, challenging trails, and a banquet!
Waking up amongst pieces of derelict mining equipment, alongside the tailings of an old mine, might not have been on anyone's bucket list—but the crew of Overland Adventure 2020 checked it off this morning. The roosters crowed as the sun brightened the town of Jerome, Arizona, and the Gold King mine above it. Following the morning health and safety checks, the group departed the mine for another day on the trails.
We convoyed through Jerome and paused to gawk at the historic structures and the distinct lack of deciduous trees. Turns out, during its boom times, all the timber in the area was felled to build the town leaving few trees standing to this day.
With Jerome in the rear view, we turned to the dirt. Suddenly, the trails that were once graded gravel became hilly and eroded with the scrub brush reaching inward to touch each rig as it passed. Drivers' skills were tested climbing and descending rocky and rutted sections of trail where one misplaced tire could be enough to create a tippy situation.
We passed through the historic mining town of Cherry, Arizona on our way to a lunch stop shrouded in tall pines. Leaving the pit stop, the views widened as the parade of 4x4s snaked around the road that was carved into the hillside.
Gravel crunched as the convoy traversed a scenic ridge looking down into rangelands and up into distant mountains with sights trained on camp. Saguaro cactus once again began to line the trail and we descended into Bumble Bee Ranch, a working ranch on the Bumble Bee Creek in Bumble Bee, Arizona. Here, tents blossomed from the tops of the 4x4s and trailers and when the sun fell below the horizon, the dinner bell sounded.
To conclude Overland Adventure 2020, participants were treated to a hearty banquet where stories were shared and friendships were made under the twinkling lights. Following the banquet, the adventurers were free to further explore Arizona or continue their journeys home or to other parts unknown.
Overland Adventure 2020 Overview!
DAY 3: Journey to Gold King Mine