How I spent my spring vacation:
Part Five: Monday's Mingus memories
I figured I would finish hiking the North Mingus Trail before heading home to Safford. More snow flurries were encountered on the drive over Mingus, with lots of ragged clouds blowing over. After filling in the dips at the beginning of forest road 338 with shovel-fulls of rock (the road's been getting steadily worse over the years), I drove down and parked at Mescal Spring. Hiked up the road, checked out the old cemetery, then came to the end of forest road 338, without finding the North Mingus Trail. Disappointed, I back tracked a few hundred feet, and saw the 105 sign right next to the road. How did I miss that?! Now I headed south on the North Mingus Trail, stopping to enjoy the tall pines in the bottom of a canyon along the way. I passed some maple trees, spooked some sort of large animal, then headed up the switchbacks. It was getting late, so I turned around at the saddle where the trail meets trail 105A (I'd hiked the upper section of the North Mingus Trail 5 days earlier on the View Point-North Mingus Loop). Made record time coming back down, until I tripped on a razor sharp limestone rock, and tore a hole in my boot
Got back to my truck, and drove towards 89A. Got to the nasty stretch of 338 just before it meets 89A, and broke out the shovel again, fixing my rock pilings from earlier. Made a run at the slope, but no luck
So I loaded a bunch of rocks into the bed of my 2wd truck, and tried again. Success! Thank God! Never again! I need a 4wd...
It was a great hike to end a wonderful vacation.