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Black Mesa Loop - Superstition Mtns
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mini location map2011-01-14
12 by photographer avatarsnakemarks
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Black Mesa Loop - Superstition MtnsPhoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Hiking avatar Jan 14 2011
snakemarks
Hiking12.30 Miles 1,125 AEG
Hiking12.30 Miles
1,125 ft AEG
 no routes
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
I got a late start because I couldn't decide where to go. At least half of my hikes begin like this: I choose a destination and do all the research the night before. In the morning, I get on the computer for any last minute info and end up changing my plans three times. I rush out the door with my revised agenda and start driving, but along the way I get a different idea and drive somewhere else instead. Hiking out on the trail, I second guess my 'new' intended route and take the first turn off to anywhere else. And, so on... The only thing that doesn't change is that I want to eventually wind up back at home.

My feet actually began the day at First Water. It was almost 8:30am and there were hardly any cars in the lot. It doesn't seem very busy out there in general this year like it was last year. Since I hadn't planned on doing this loop, I took off on the Dutchman Trail. After a couple creek crossings, I started feeling the need for a diversion to spice things up a little, so I decided to hike the creek, rather than keep crossing it. Mostly, that just sucked up a lot of time. Then I got the idea that I should try to get up Palomino Mountain to Aylor's Arch. I managed to stay focused on this thought for almost 3 miles.

Coming into Boulder Basin, I stopped to chat with the first people of the day - 3 seniors (two men and a woman) who were backpacking. They had been out hiking around in the Supes for 4 days, camping at night wherever they ended up. Cool folks. Shortly after, I ran into a fellow HAZer, hike monk, who recognized me and introduced himself. Very nice meeting you! We talked for about 5 minutes then I continued on, somewhat less focused on my goal. Closing in on Palomino Mountain, the route to go up did not seem immediately obvious to me, so I dismissed the whole idea and kept walking down East Boulder Canyon, almost to the Peralta intersection. There was more water here than anywhere else I saw that day, so I hung out for a while and had lunch.

Heading back to Boulder Basin, a Sheriff's helicopter was flying very low overhead, searching for someone, I suppose. They are starting to become routine here. They circled right over me a couple times, so close I could see their faces. I watched them for about 10 minutes before they flew off. Not wanting to go back the same way, I took the Black Mesa Trail. Not the best idea of the day. It's a lot less fun from that direction - there's not much to look at and those black rocks get hot up there in the afternoon. This part of the trek seemed to go on forever. I was gonna need a break before hitting Garden Valley and I wanted shade, a nice breeze and maybe a rock that wasn't sharp to sit on. That's asking a lot. But, the Universe smiled on me because just a little ways off the trail were some trees with tall, dense grass all around them that was lying flat, like a thick rug. I dropped everything and laid on my back under a nice tree. This was heaven - shade, breeze, soft grass, cool ground, no rocks... hey, where am I? It was awfully hard to get up and leave this place, but I was in serious danger of falling asleep and not waking up for a long time.

It was about 3:00pm when I got back to the parking lot and there were only two other cars there. Where is everybody? Not that I mind, but it makes me wonder. Maybe the Supes are starting to get a scary reputation with the tourists and snowbirds...
not that I mind.
Culture
Culture
Throwing a Wendy
_____________________
I'm at home in the wilderness... it's civilization I have problems with! ](*,)
HAZ Member
snakemarks'
152 Photosets

  2011-11-20
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