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Black Mesa Loop - Superstition Mtns
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mini location map2012-06-16
20 by photographer avatarCannondaleKid
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Black Mesa Loop - Superstition MtnsPhoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Hiking avatar Jun 16 2012
CannondaleKid
Hiking9.26 Miles 1,111 AEG
Hiking9.26 Miles   3 Hrs   58 Mns   2.58 mph
1,111 ft AEG      23 Mns Break8 LBS Pack
 
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trixiec
We were looking for a hike not too far from home and since we last hiked the Black Mesa Loop 18 months ago we figured it was about time again. With a forecast high to be 105 we were at the trail head before 5 am. We weren't surprised to be the only ones in the parking lot, but it was nice to have the place to ourselves.

The was little air movement when we started but with temps in the mid-70's it was comfortable. Not having been on this side of the Superstitions in so long the scenery felt new again so I probably took photos of scenery I'd taken many times before.

Tracey was worried we might come across a rattlesnake and I was hopeful we would. As it turned out we had to settle for a Common King Snake laying across the trail along the southern descent from Black Mesa. It seemed perfectly content to stay right there so I took a few photos before circling around ahead of it and shooting a video. But with nothing happening there wasn't any action to the video. So I reached out and touched its tail and it finally decided it would move, albeit not in too much of a hurry.

Only a 48-second video of the snake but for those interested it's here:
http://changephoenix.com/jpserver/web/public/file.php?id=137

After the snake encounter Tracey was a bit jumpy but by now I figured the rattlers would be off the trail and we wouldn't be bothered, and of course to my dismay we weren't. I did try a little harder to find one when I went a short distance off the trail to retrieve a liquid cache I placed almost 2 years ago while out searching for the missing gold hunters. The black garbage bag I had it wrapped in had been torn apart by critters but the 32 oz bottle of water, 32 oz Gatorade and 24 oz Propel were all in great shape. Since the cache was just 2.5 miles out from the First Water TH and I probably wouldn't be needing it any time soon, I brought it back with me.

BTW, I have 4 more identical caches spread out between Bull Pass and Peter's Mesa that have been there since October 2010. I may or may not ever end up using them, so if anyone might be going out that way during the hottest time of the year and might want to make use of one or more, PM me and I can provide GPS locations. All I would ask is that if you did use one you'd let me know it is no longer there.
:thanx:

We made it back to the TH before 9 am at a 'cool' 92 degrees. Now light enough to notice the huge Superstition map I went over and took a look. Nice detail for folks who are unfamiliar with the area. Too bad there's already a bullet-hole in it. Oh well, I guess that's human nature... give a boy a gun and he's going to go shoot something. :gun:

I'll probably post 15-20 photos on HAZ, the full set of 34 photos is here:
http://changephoenix.com/jpserver/web/public/album.php?id=136
Fauna
Fauna
Kingsnake
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CannondaleKid
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