A visit to Susan & Tom, and the Lost Dutchman? Jan 12, 2013
On our way Southeast, Jimmy and I stopped for a weekend visit with our friends, Susan and Tom in Scottsdale, Arizona (near Phoenix). We last saw them when they spent a weekend with us in Nevada City last fall ("our turn!"). People think of this area as hot -- but both morning temperatures read 30 degrees, which is cold! Nevertheless, we elected to go hiking in the Superstition Mountains east of Phoenix, near Apache Junction -- you know, the place of legends: The Lost Dutchman Mine and all that. I mentioned maybe we could look for the Lost Dutchman gold. Tom said that any one who went into the Superstitions looking for the Lost Dutchman GOLD never came out. Lost forever. "Oh," I cried, "I'm not looking.I'm not looking.I'm not looking!"
43 chilly degrees at 11 am when we started out on our hike after breakfast @ Coco's. But clear and sunny!
And this cute little feller was on hand to greet us!
Susan and me getting close - but not too close! - to jumping (or chainfruit) cholla, which was everywhere.
Me and my Saguaro friend.
Our three-hour "Garden Valley" loop trail hike thru the foothills of the western Superstitions was rated moderate, and we figured we covered between five and six miles.
The desert scenery was dramatic and beautiful... and somewhat treacherous. By that I mean, grabbing a handhold of something while on the trial might net you a handful of nasty thorns or spikes! Nearly everything out there had thorns or spikes. We did quite a bit of up and down on this trail.
"Is this a hold-up?" Cute, you guys!
Saguaro, cholla, prickly pear, pincushion, fishhook, hedgehog, mesquite, ocotillo - all types of sharp and fascinating desert flora were represented here. The afternoon colors on the rocks were astounding.
Jimmy and Tom at a gate of sorts on the trail. We finally warmed up enough to shed our jackets, but the temp didn't climb above 51.
An oasis in the desert!
This area is in the Tonto National Forest. We encountered several groups of hikers, but we didn't see any critters. The cold probably had every creature holed up in a warm den!
After hiking, we "enjoyed a two-hour" lunch in Apache Junction, but that's a whole different story! Anyway, we had a grand time trekking in the wilderness. Thanx, Susan and Tom - we really did enjoy our stay with you guys! Hope to see you in Livingston, Montana next.