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Black Mesa Loop - Superstition Mtns
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mini location map2014-05-07
23 by photographer avataroutdoor_lover
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Black Mesa Loop - Superstition MtnsPhoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Hiking avatar May 07 2014
Hiking10.00 Miles 1,300 AEG
Hiking10.00 Miles
1,300 ft AEG15 LBS Pack
Partners none no partners
Paying it Forward....

I have a Friend that I've never met. (From that Internet Site that shall not be named on here, lol) He just moved to AZ although he's driven through it a ton. This Friend is a Birder and this last Weekend he drove to Big Bend National Park in Texas for an Overnight, and Hiked 10 Miles in Quest of one Warbling Bird that he never found.... :o :doh: :-s :-k [-( :sweat: But it gave him the Hiking Bug...He wanted to start Hiking...Birding and Hiking I asked? No, Hiking...And he wanted to see the Supes...He tells me this on a Day when it's 102 Degrees out...I tell him he's nuts and we plan a Water Hike instead... :lol:

Then, the Weather is forecasted to break the Day before our Planned Outing and I tell him that I would now consider the Supes...He wants to do around 8 Miles, but doesn't want anything too hard.... Ok, fairly New to Hiking, but can handle Distance and some Elevation, but has never before seen the Superstitions...

It doesn't actually seem like that long ago, that I was this Person...New to any kind of real Hiking, was fairly fit, and had only seen a small part of the Superstitions once before that. Then, a Friend that I had never met, who was on HAZ, offered to take me on a Hike and show me the Interior of the Superstitions...This exceptional Man showed me a wonderful Hike and filled my Head with Peak Names and Canyons, History and Stories, of the Range he loved...That Man was John Scott... :) How fitting would it be to choose the Black Mesa Loop for my Friend...It was a No-Brainer and Perfect...
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And so, on a gorgeous Morning we went...You could not have asked for better Weather in May. Unfortunately, with all of the Wind from the Day before, and no Rain, the Air was pretty dirty, but it wasn't enough to stop all of the Scenery, so it was good...

After a small snafu with Directions, we got there and headed out on the Second Water Trail. We were doing the Loop Clockwise as John and I had done, a couple plus years before... There were some great Clouds around still making for some Good Light...My Friend opted to not bring a Camera at all, determined to concentrate on the Hiking, but the Birder in him was constantly pointing out and identifying Species along the way and he didn't mind my Photographic Stops occasionally...Luckily, since I've done this Loop before, I was a little more Discretionary in my Stops... :sweat:

We made good time to the Black Mesa Turnoff and I pointed out a few things before we headed up towards the Mesa...When we got to the Cholla Forest, we dropped the Packs and I took him on up to the Mesa to take in the Views. If it wasn't for John, I may not have known what a Treasure of a View it was up there! I did what John had done for me, pointing out and naming the Prominent Peaks...Geronimo Head, Malapais, Battleship, Yellow Peak, Black Top Mesa, Palomino Mountain, and of course, Weaver's Needle... I was so happy to share it and see "The Look" when someone who has not seen it before tops out...It was pretty hazy, but he still got a pretty good look. It was kind of Priceless actually. I almost felt like I was looking at myself, 2 1/2 Years ago... 8)

Then we were off and soon began descending down to Boulder Canyon. I was on a Mission and decided that we were going to do this Hike exactly as John and I had done it, so when we got down to the Dutchman Junction, I hung a Left instead of a Right and we went to Aylor's Camp for our Lunch Break...It was Good! Said hello to my "Break Rock" and also to a stark Pile of Rocks that held a Memory... :) Then it was off to do the last Half of the Hike...The Clouds had disappeared entirely, but the Wind was blowing a bit, keeping things really nice...I would have never expected a Day like this, this time of Year!

We made really good time up to Parker's Pass with me actually setting the Pace and staying ahead... :o :sweat: I was actually feeling really good Physically all the way to the End which was a nice Surprise... :D We ran into some Horseback Riders at Parker Pass, chatted for a few while I took some Photos for them and then we started up again for the final leg. Suddenly, there were Clouds again and the Light was once again nice for a few Photos as well...Got back to the Car with both of us feeling like we'd done something, but feeling really good still. :y: It was pretty apparent that my Friend had a good time...(He's already wanting more Hikes... :sweat: ) And as is my Tradition, there was a Mexican Food Debriefing in AJ on the way home.

I ended up not actually going home right away, as the Clouds were looking to promise a fantastic Sunset, so I headed out to the Salt River for awhile...Apparently, because I did so, the Clouds dispersed and disappeared completely about 1/2 hour before Sunset, so it was a total Bust... :sweat:

Didn't matter, it was a Perfect Day...Perfect Weather, Perfect Hike, Perfect Company and...Perfect Memories...A Day Well Spent Paying it all Forward..... :)
Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty & well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, totally worn out & proclaiming, "Wow What a Ride!"
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