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464 triplogs

Oct 04 2019
AZLumberjack
avatar

 Guides 4
 Routes 15
 Photos 3,906
 Triplogs 464

78 male
 Joined Feb 17 2010
 Apache Junction,
Peralta to Fremont SaddlePhoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Hiking avatar Oct 04 2019
AZLumberjack
Hiking4.90 Miles 1,440 AEG
Hiking4.90 Miles   4 Hrs      1.23 mph
1,440 ft AEG
 no routes
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
Wow! Talk about out of shape, this is one of my all-time favorite hiking trails in the Superstitions but this past hot summer put a big damper on my hiking and it showed.

I arrived at the Peralta Trailhead before 06:00 and I was the only one in the parking lot so in the dim early light, I grabbed my gear, signed the log book and hit the trail at six sharp. Ya should have heard the Coyote's singing, they were howling from all over the place, must have been their welcome back Jack song.... :D

The first half mile was in the twilight but still didn't need a flashlight. By the half way point, the sun was breaking over the ridges above me and lighting up the Hoodoos on the western slopes of the canyon.... who says there's no gold in the Superstitions? Those Hoodoos looked like pure, solid gold in those first rays of sunlight, and that's why I try to get an early start on this trail. At the start of my hike, there was a lot of scattered clouds but the sun was taking care of that in short order and I was hitting the most exposed part of the trail.

The steady pounding from the trail began taking a toll on my knees and I had to stop a couple of times to give em a break but that's just a good excuse to take some photos of the way the sun plays on the desert and highlights the Saguaro. I hit Fremont Saddle after an hour and a half on the trail and found a shaded spot with good views to rest the tired knees, take in some electrolytes, have a couple of trail bars & oranges for snack time.

After a nice quiet half hour, I hit the trail back down and..... yup, here they come, ya could hear em all the way down the trail.... that's another reason to hit the trails early.... solitude. Had to take a couple more breaks on the way down as the sun was now approaching the ten o'clock hour and gotta keep hydrated. Where the heck are those clouds that looked so inviting on the way up? Now that the weather's cooling off, I'll have to get onto this trail more often to see if I can toughen up those high buck knees.
:D
Meteorology
Meteorology
Sunburst

dry Peralta Creek at #102 Crossing Dry Dry
Found some damp sand in places but no puddles.

dry Peralta Spring Dry Dry
Not a drop.....
_____________________
On every trip into the Superstitions, I find another Gold Mine. Today the mine was filled with Memories. I can not wait for the next trip.
Sep 25 2019
AZLumberjack
avatar

 Guides 4
 Routes 15
 Photos 3,906
 Triplogs 464

78 male
 Joined Feb 17 2010
 Apache Junction,
First Water Road, AZ 
First Water Road, AZ
 
Hiking avatar Sep 25 2019
AZLumberjack
Hiking
Hiking
 no routes
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
I drove out to First Water Road for an early morning hike to check out some of my favorite hiking trails, but I wasn't expecting to see the damage that Monday's Monsoon rains did to the Road. This is a view of the first crossing along the road, a bit under a mile from the Trail (SR88) turnoff.

A lot of the trails didn't fare much better, I walked the Crosscut Trail for a couple of miles and it's going to be slow going until the trails get repaired.

The road should be listed as "high clearance" until the Forest Service does its next scheduled (annual) road maintenance.
Meteorology
Meteorology
Sunrise
_____________________
On every trip into the Superstitions, I find another Gold Mine. Today the mine was filled with Memories. I can not wait for the next trip.
Aug 13 2019
AZLumberjack
avatar

 Guides 4
 Routes 15
 Photos 3,906
 Triplogs 464

78 male
 Joined Feb 17 2010
 Apache Junction,
Spearfish Canyon Spearfish SD, SD 
Spearfish Canyon Spearfish SD, SD
 
Scenic Drive avatar Aug 13 2019
AZLumberjack
Scenic Drive17.00 Miles
Scenic Drive17.00 Miles
 no routes
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
On our return trip from Minnesota we came through South Dakota to visit some friends living in the Lead/Deadwood area and spent some time touring the scenic Spearfish Canyon. The Black Hills area has received lots of rain this year so the creek that flows through the canyon had plenty of water to show off the rapids and numerous falls along its course. The highlight of the trip was pulling off the road and viewing the Bridal Veil Falls, really cool as the water tumbled and splashed down the 60 ft course of rocks.

There were several smaller falls along the route, and I had to stop and check them all out as they appeared. Lots of deer, a mixture of White-Tail and Mule deer greeted us as we rounded the numerous sharp corners, but they were bashful and wouldn't pose for a photo.

The road through the canyon is a wide two-lane, blacktop road with lots of pull-off areas for hiking or photo ops and I can only imagine how crowded this place is during the summer tourist season, we were fortunate enough to have the road almost all to ourselves. It's a super scenic yet short drive so if you should find yourself in the area, it's a must-see adventure.
:)
wildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observation
Wildflowers Observation Substantial
Lots of colorful wildflowers dotted the landscape.
_____________________
On every trip into the Superstitions, I find another Gold Mine. Today the mine was filled with Memories. I can not wait for the next trip.
Jul 31 2019
AZLumberjack
avatar

 Guides 4
 Routes 15
 Photos 3,906
 Triplogs 464

78 male
 Joined Feb 17 2010
 Apache Junction,
Lebanon Hills Regional ParkMetro, MN
Metro, MN
Hiking avatar Jul 31 2019
AZLumberjack
Hiking2.50 Miles 308 AEG
Hiking2.50 Miles   1 Hour   30 Mns   1.67 mph
308 ft AEG
 no routes
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
Water, water every and all the boards did shrink.... well, you know the rest. We took some time off to get away from the triple digit Arizona temps and spend some time with family and friends in Minnesota & Wisconsin, but we've been inundated with rain a couple of times a week. When the sun's out, it's serious beautiful weather and, given the presence of the Minnesota state bird (Mosquitoe), it's been a treat to get out and enjoy the out-of-doors again.

This morning I ventured out to the local Lebanon Hills Regional Park for a walk around the lakes. Everything is so green here from all the rain that a whole squad of lawnmowers were running up and down the main trails to keep them free of the encroaching weeds. The small lakes are thick with Lily Pads and weeds but there was two guys in a canoe beating the water to a froth in search of Panfish or Bass hiding below.

I started my walk early while the temps were still in the mid 60's, dew points in the 80's and the bugs were still in hiding but it was a cloudless sky and the sun would soon be warming the woods and bringing em out. I was surprised by how few other hikers were out, but as I was finishing my walk, the parking lot was filling up.

Yeah it's nice to experience the low temps again but, I surely miss Arizona.
wildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observation
Wildflowers Observation Substantial
All types of colorful wildflowers are blooming everywhere, it's like a late season "superbloom" all over again.
_____________________
On every trip into the Superstitions, I find another Gold Mine. Today the mine was filled with Memories. I can not wait for the next trip.
May 07 2019
AZLumberjack
avatar

 Guides 4
 Routes 15
 Photos 3,906
 Triplogs 464

78 male
 Joined Feb 17 2010
 Apache Junction,
Hackberry Spring LoopPhoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Hiking avatar May 07 2019
AZLumberjack
Hiking3.70 Miles 710 AEG
Hiking3.70 Miles   2 Hrs   17 Mns   1.62 mph
710 ft AEG
 no routes
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
With most of the Snowbirds gone or leaving, I planned on a trip through the Hackberry Spring area. The morning's weather was predicting rain and possibly storms for the Valley and that usually means clouds, even dramatic clouds, and after looking at solid blue Arizona sky's for the last several days, I was hoping for change.

I parked at the Horse Lot and headed down the old road to the corral as the clouds were already moving in and the sunlit Saguaro could now stand out against the background of ominous dark clouds. First Water Creek still has a small amount of water flowing, it's always such a treat to listen to the sounds of water trickling through the rocks when you're in the middle of the Sonoran Desert. There was a welcome chill to the morning air as I picked up the trail on the other side of the creek and soon I was walking between flowering Staghorn Cholla, Hedgehog, Prickly Pear and even the Giant Saguaro had its white blooms.

The trail splits with one branch going to Garden Valley but I stayed on the branch that would take me down to First Water Creek again where I can follow the trails through the densely shaded areas where the overnight campers usually make camp. The creek was dry down here so the only sounds were from the birds that call this area home. Hackberry Spring still flows from the length of steel pipe, little more than dripping, but enough to keep the ground moist and the lichen green.

Heading into the narrow gorge area, the clouds are still dark as I boulder-hop through the canyon, and then, yup.... drips of rain. Fortunately it didn't amount to much so I kept hiking up the unnamed wash that would lead me back to the parking lot.
:)
wildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observation
Wildflowers Observation Moderate
The Brittlebush are done now but the Saguaro will soon be in full bloom. The Creosote bushes are blooming as are the Staghorn, Hedgehog and Prickly Pear Cactus.

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water less than maxwater less than max Hackberry Spring Quart per minute Quart per minute
A steady, but small stream of water flowing from the end of the pipe.
_____________________
On every trip into the Superstitions, I find another Gold Mine. Today the mine was filled with Memories. I can not wait for the next trip.
May 02 2019
AZLumberjack
avatar

 Guides 4
 Routes 15
 Photos 3,906
 Triplogs 464

78 male
 Joined Feb 17 2010
 Apache Junction,
Crosscut Trail - Superstition Mountain, AZ 
Crosscut Trail - Superstition Mountain, AZ
 
Hiking avatar May 02 2019
AZLumberjack
Hiking2.38 Miles 302 AEG
Hiking2.38 Miles   1 Hour   21 Mns   1.76 mph
302 ft AEG
 no routes
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
Springtime in the Superstitions

The weather was perfect for a morning hike in the Superstition Mountain Foothills so I hit some familiar trails to see what's blooming. The Palo Verde are still wearing a bright yellow coating of springtime flowers that stand out against the green foliage of nearby shrubbery, while the Mesquite has the usual oblong flower that always attracts hundreds of bees. Still holding out is the Ironwood trees that will be covered with thousands of fragile, yet subtle violet blossom.

The Giant Saguaro are sprouting buds and some even changing to the stunning bouquet of white flowers at the ends of their long arms. The Prickly Pear, the Hedgehog and the Stag Horn cacti have flowers in the early stages of blooming and will soon decorate the desert floor with their yellow, red and golden blossoms.

It truly is an amAZing time of year to be out enjoying the desert, but too soon, we're going to be contending with the summer's heat and the potential dangers of the Monsoon storms. But until that time comes, I'll still be out, with my camera, enjoying the beauty that confronts me at every turn in the trails.
:)
wildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observation
Wildflowers Observation Moderate
Giant Saguaro, Prickly Pear, Palo Verde, etc....
_____________________
On every trip into the Superstitions, I find another Gold Mine. Today the mine was filled with Memories. I can not wait for the next trip.
1 archive
Dec 17 2018
AZLumberjack
avatar

 Guides 4
 Routes 15
 Photos 3,906
 Triplogs 464

78 male
 Joined Feb 17 2010
 Apache Junction,
Massacre FallsPhoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Hiking avatar Dec 17 2018
AZLumberjack
Hiking2.50 Miles 458 AEG
Hiking2.50 Miles   2 Hrs   20 Mns   1.07 mph
458 ft AEG
 
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
I wanted to get out and hike a couple of miles this morning and the Massacre Trail fit my demands nicely. I started out a bit before 07:00 while the sun was still behind the mountains but plenty of light to navigate by. Nobody was at the First Water Road Trailhead as I headed out, a bit cool but still comfortable. My hike took me as far as the old original Massacre Falls Trailhead at the Wilderness fence line and then on to the rock outcropping where a small, shallow cave sits on the side of the rocks. I have visited the cave on past hikes but this time I wanted to do some exploring around to see if there was evidence that the cave had been used in the past.

I climbed up the rocks to the cave entrance and looked inside, nope, no one's home. The cave is natural occurring and typically volcanic in nature, about seven feet deep, three feet high and eight to ten feet across. I laid on my back and did kind of a butt-walk to get further inside. The ceiling has a fairly thick layer of creosote from past fires that indicated more usage than from recreational fires or someone using the cave to get out of the weather for a short period. and then I noticed it.... there, right next to my foot was a Metate (a flat stone with a recessed area commonly used by early Native Americans for grinding grains and/or seeds). The stone (metate) was a naturally occurring part of the floor of the cave, not one that had been carried in and showed that it had seen a fair amount of usage.

I looked around the inside of the cave for tools or pottery sherds but found none then went outside and searched the immediate area for any signs of early habitation but again, found none. Since this cave is not large enough for more than a temporary seasonal usage, questions come to mind if this cave was used by the Apache during the Perlata Massacre as this is adjacent to the Massacre Grounds. Gotta love this kind of hiking.
:)
wildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observation
Wildflowers Observation Isolated
I saw a few Brittlebush flowers, one Mexican Poppy and lots of red, ripe Wolf Berries on the bush.
_____________________
On every trip into the Superstitions, I find another Gold Mine. Today the mine was filled with Memories. I can not wait for the next trip.
Nov 23 2018
AZLumberjack
avatar

 Guides 4
 Routes 15
 Photos 3,906
 Triplogs 464

78 male
 Joined Feb 17 2010
 Apache Junction,
Peralta to Fremont SaddlePhoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Hiking avatar Nov 23 2018
AZLumberjack
Hiking4.90 Miles 1,440 AEG
Hiking4.90 Miles   4 Hrs      1.23 mph
1,440 ft AEG
 no routes
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
After eating, maybe a little too much, on Thanksgiving, I needed to get out and walk off some of those excess calories. I was supposed to take my Niece out on Saturday but I had a scheduled photo shoot at Tortilla Flat so Miah agreed that Friday would be a good choice. Miah is from Wisconsin but is going to school in Albuquerque and visits with us here in Arizona for the holiday.
I recommended that we hike to Fremont Saddle and we should get an early start, both for the sunrise scenes and also to avoid the expected crowds that always show up for the holiday weekend.

The early start got delayed a bit (someone kinda slept in) but we signed in at the trailhead at 08:05 and the parking lot was almost full by now. The weather was comfortable so layers were quickly shed even though there were high clouds to block the majority of the sun. It was a scenic hike up the trail and layers of haze still hung around the distant ridges behind us to highlight the hills and valleys.

I chose to wear my heavy backpack containing first aid, survival stuff, flashlights, etc which may have been too heavy for my new knees and by the time we reached the Saddle, I was feeling the stiffness from the additional weight. Miah and I sat on some rocks and took in the scenery around us as we consumed some snacks and enjoyed the beauty of it all. The crowds were already filtering in and milling around breaking the spell that had been cast so it was time to gear-up and hit the trail back to the parking lot.

The hike down was like a traffic jam... there were small groups and large groups, kids and old folks (like me) and numerous dogs, all heading up to claim a piece of the quickly fading sights & serenity that Fremont Saddle has to offer. My legs were really getting to feel like rubber bands coming down so the parking lot was looking pretty good and we signed out almost four hours from our sign-in time. The upper lot was, by now, full as well as the lower lot and the horse trailer parking areas :o Down the road, at the Carney Spring lot, there was another parking fiasco... as hikers were fighting for parking space so they could hike to an overly crowded Wave Cave and the Peralta Road was a steady stream of cars heading in... :? Note to self: Don't do this again on a holiday weekend... ](*,)
:)
Culture
Culture
Military Aircraft
wildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observation
Wildflowers Observation Isolated
Noted a few red Fairy Dusters alongside the trail.

dry Peralta Canyon Dry Dry
Nada!!!!!

dry Peralta Creek at #102 Crossing Dry Dry
No water, no pools.

dry Peralta Spring Dry Dry
Not even a patch of moist ground.
_____________________
On every trip into the Superstitions, I find another Gold Mine. Today the mine was filled with Memories. I can not wait for the next trip.
2 archives
Nov 03 2018
AZLumberjack
avatar

 Guides 4
 Routes 15
 Photos 3,906
 Triplogs 464

78 male
 Joined Feb 17 2010
 Apache Junction,
Peralta to Fremont SaddlePhoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Hiking avatar Nov 03 2018
AZLumberjack
Hiking4.90 Miles 1,440 AEG
Hiking4.90 Miles   4 Hrs      1.23 mph
1,440 ft AEG
 no routes
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
I had several hot items on my "to do" list for Saturday but I went hiking with my Therapist instead.... Yeah, I can hear what you're saying now, "I knew that guy wasn't right"... :) Well, the Therapist I'm referring to is Julia, a Physical Therapist who helped me get back on my feet following my knee replacement surgeries. Julia showed me how to properly exercise my new knees so that the knees and muscles all came together and would function as well as they did before the surgery but without the pain. I found out that Julia was a hiker and enjoyed the outdoors as much as I do so we agreed that as soon as my knees and legs were ready for it, I would take her hiking up the Peralta Trail to Fremont Saddle where she can enjoy the unobstructed views of Weavers Needle.

Saturday was predicted to be a beautiful Arizona day with bright sun and slight cloud cover, cool in the morning and a high around mid 80's... yup, lets do it. We signed in at the Peralta Trailhead at 09:06, normally much later than my usual start time, so the cool of the morning had already past and the sun was shining directly onto the trail. We proceeded up the narrow trail and at one turn I ran into Rick Vincent... we had a short conversation and introduction and then it was back on the trail to the Saddle.

It was a busy day on the Peralta, with lots of hiking groups heading up and some already on their way back down. When shade was available, Julia and I stopped for a short break, had a few sips of water and continued on our way up. Eventually we made it the 2.3 miles and 1,400 ft elevation difference to the Saddle, removed our backpacks and sat down to enjoy the scenic views that lay in front of us. Weavers Needle was bathed in sunlight and stood out against the cloudless blue Arizona sky. It was a crazy zoo up there, I often refer to it as a trip to Disneyland for the crowds milling around. We rested for several minutes, drank some water and snacked on a couple of oranges then if was back into the gear and begin our trek back down the mountain.

The trip down was slowed by the number of hikers heading up, it was like small traffic jams on the narrow trails with a vertical wall on one side and a steep dropoff on the other. By the time we got back to the trailhead, almost four hours after signing in, I had worked up a pretty good sweat and my hatband was dripping down my forehead. We got back to my truck, shed our gear and I grabbed a couple of cold beers that had been waiting for our return. Julia and I sat on the tailgate and enjoyed the cool refreshment... Ahhhh!!! And none the worst for wear. Thank you Julia for accompanying me on the hike, I hope you enjoyed it as much as I did.
_____________________
On every trip into the Superstitions, I find another Gold Mine. Today the mine was filled with Memories. I can not wait for the next trip.
Oct 08 2018
AZLumberjack
avatar

 Guides 4
 Routes 15
 Photos 3,906
 Triplogs 464

78 male
 Joined Feb 17 2010
 Apache Junction,
Peralta to Fremont SaddlePhoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Hiking avatar Oct 08 2018
AZLumberjack
Hiking4.66 Miles 1,440 AEG
Hiking4.66 Miles   3 Hrs   48 Mns   1.23 mph
1,440 ft AEG
 no routes
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
I stuck my nose out the door this morning, sniffed once and said hell yessss. It's going on six months since my left knee got its replacement and three months since the right one was replaced and all this healing/recovery time, my goal has been to hike the Peralta Trail to Fremont Saddle again.

The seven-mile stretch of graveled Peralta Road was in good condition following yesterday's rains so I wasted no time on the dark road and soon found myself at the trailhead.... first and only vehicle there. I signed the log at 0600 and hit the semi-light trail without the need of a flashlight. Its been almost a year since I was last hiking this trail and it was encouraging to find some improvements since then.

As the sun lit up the rugged western side of the canyon, I got the camera out and began snapping shots of the golden Hoodoo's eating away the dark shadows, exposing the canyon for another day. I looked up at the cliffs behind me and high on the edge of a giant boulder stood a male Bighorn sizing me up. He was a long way off but I could tell that he was watching me and muttering about the onslaught of hikers about to descend on his stomping grounds for another season.

I wasn't sure if I could make it all the way to the saddle but I was constantly distracted by the pleasant sounds of water running and thrashing between the rocks not too far below me, and I think this distraction kept me plodding on and on. I had to cross a couple of water-filled washes, tip-toeing on rocks so I didn't get my feet wet and side-step running water on the trail itself. It was so pleasant to see and hear the water again that I think I got lost in the moment and just kept on going up the quiet trail. A steady breeze kept blowing in my face but, along with the water and the views, it was just another pleasant distraction propelling me onward.

When I finally hit Fremont Saddle, I gazed at Weavers Needle as it dominated the landscape in front of me and looked at the time on my cell phone, it was now 0800 and I had just spent two hours on a hike that normally took me an hour to complete. But this time I'm on steel and plastic when I used to be on two badly worn out arthritic knees and there was no pain, tired muscles, but the old familiar knee pain was gone.

I was all alone on the Saddle so I took a needed break, chugging down a bottle of Gatoraid and took in the early morning scenery once again. After about fifteen minutes I began my descent, knowing that the downhill portion could take almost as long as the trip up because I'm so concerned about slipping and falling. I hadn't gone far and the quiet of the morning was shattered by the sounds of hikers coming up the trail, yup, peace & quiet was now gone. On the way down I met 54 hikers, lots of them kids... isn't this a school day? Uhhh, nope.

Got back to my little red truck at 1000 to an almost full parking lot, legs were a bit sore but not bad so I left Peralta. On the way back, the parking lot for Carney Spring was full, guess it's going to be a busy day at Wave Cave too.
:)
foliage observationfoliage observationfoliage observationfoliage observationfoliage observation
Autumn Foliage Observation None
No seasonal color but it's nice to see so much green again.

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water less than maxwater less than max Peralta Canyon Light flow Light flow
Intermittent stretches of light flow.

water 1 out of 5water less than maxwater less than maxwater less than max Peralta Creek at #102 Crossing Pools to trickle Pools to trickle
No deep holes, just a pleasant sound/
_____________________
On every trip into the Superstitions, I find another Gold Mine. Today the mine was filled with Memories. I can not wait for the next trip.
Sep 12 2018
AZLumberjack
avatar

 Guides 4
 Routes 15
 Photos 3,906
 Triplogs 464

78 male
 Joined Feb 17 2010
 Apache Junction,
Goldfield Road, AZ 
Goldfield Road, AZ
 
Road Biking avatar Sep 12 2018
AZLumberjack
Road Biking4.00 Miles
Road Biking4.00 Miles      25 Mns   9.60 mph
 no routes
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
I wanted to go hiking in the Superstition Foothills off First Water Road this morning, but I got caught by construction crews about to continue with their blacktopping project on the Apache Trail. The delay was more than I wanted to put up with so I drove back home, got my bike out and went for a ride along Goldfield Road.

Along the way, some movement on the road caught my eye so I turned around and stopped to check it out. In front of me was a Scorpion stumbling along the blacktop and a caterpillar riding on it's back :o We're having a minor infestation of black and yellow caterpillars in the area and somehow, one of these guys managed to get onto the scorpion's back and was getting a free ride. I think the caterpillar was partially blocking the scorpion's vision because it was walking a highly erratic course down the road and I'm sure a car will be ending the journey before too long.

FYI: The Apache Trail is being re-surfaced from the new roundabout to mile 203. This is expected to continue on until 9-21 from 4:00 am to 5:00 pm weekdays only. Expect delays.
_____________________
On every trip into the Superstitions, I find another Gold Mine. Today the mine was filled with Memories. I can not wait for the next trip.
Sep 03 2018
AZLumberjack
avatar

 Guides 4
 Routes 15
 Photos 3,906
 Triplogs 464

78 male
 Joined Feb 17 2010
 Apache Junction,
Canyon Lake - Point Campground OverlookPhoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Boating avatar Sep 03 2018
AZLumberjack
Boating12.00 Miles
Boating12.00 Miles   2 Hrs      6.00 mph
 no routes
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners partners
suzaz
Sure hope everyone had a safe and enjoyable Labor Day weekend. I was out hiking in the morning and didn't have any plans for the rest of the day, until my hiking friend Susan invited Pat and I to come boating with them on Canyon Lake. Pat and I got to the lake early so we could get a hamburger & beer and spend some time with Shawn and Sophia at the newly remodeled Well Done Grill at the Marina. When Eric and Susan pulled up in the boat, we met them on the dock and climbed aboard for a relaxing afternoon on the lake.

Off in the distance, the clouds were building up over the Rim Country and added lots of drama to the sky that really enhanced the water trip through the canyons. There was lots of boats, jet ski's and kayaks out on the water with us but still lots of room to see the spectacular scenery. We kept looking for Big Horn Sheep that frequent the steep cliffs and finally we spotted some movement in a large alcove high above us. There was a large family group of about ten consisting of little ones to adults, even one dominant male sporting a large set of curled horns. We drifted on the water while watching the family easily negotiate the narrow rocky paths etched into the vertical cliff walls.

We kept an eye on the clouds as they built higher and higher, then well off in the distance we heard the rumble of thunder, with that, we began a slow return to the marina just as the wind kicked up a bit but, fortunately, no rain. It was a great way to spend the final day of the long weekend, with good friends, awesome weather and even the clouds to round out the day. Thanks again Susan and Eric for a fun day.


dry Canyon Lake Dry Dry
Water levels are holding at a normal level.
_____________________
On every trip into the Superstitions, I find another Gold Mine. Today the mine was filled with Memories. I can not wait for the next trip.
Aug 09 2018
AZLumberjack
avatar

 Guides 4
 Routes 15
 Photos 3,906
 Triplogs 464

78 male
 Joined Feb 17 2010
 Apache Junction,
Praying Hands - Crosscut THPhoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Hiking avatar Aug 09 2018
AZLumberjack
Hiking2.04 Miles 304 AEG
Hiking2.04 Miles   1 Hour   2 Mns   1.97 mph
304 ft AEG
 no routes
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
I've been waiting a long time to get out hiking in the Superstition Foothills again but this morning it finally all came together and I was able to hit the trails for the first time in almost two months. We had a Monsoon storm pass through the area yesterday evening, and although the storm missed this area, it was able to drop the morning temp into the low 80's, whip up a hat grabbing breeze and clear some of the dust out of the atmosphere.

My knee replacement surgery on both knees has finally gotten to the point where I can move beyond a morning one-mile walk around the park to a short, low impact hike in the foothills of Superstition Mountain. It felt good to put on my hiking boots again and hit some uneven ground with short up/down segments to make the knees flex and the muscles work as the trail alternated from sand to rock-strewn to hard pack and back again.

My goal this morning was to walk a mile out while gaining a bit of elevation, turn around and return to my truck for a two-mile hike. My knees and legs felt tight at first, but seemed to loosen up once I got going. By the time I got back to my truck, my legs were getting tight again and even a bit sore, but if the morning temps begin to moderate, I'll soon be extending my range and altitude. Although the knees and legs are sore, I can already tell that the arthritic knee pain that I suffered through for such a long time is now gone.

The seasonal drought has been cruel to the desert's plants and animals and so far, our Monsoon has done very little to offer relief. Some of the deserts trees, bushes and plants are showing some growth but the wildflowers are little more than leafless crispy critters lying alongside the trails.
_____________________
On every trip into the Superstitions, I find another Gold Mine. Today the mine was filled with Memories. I can not wait for the next trip.
May 05 2018
AZLumberjack
avatar

 Guides 4
 Routes 15
 Photos 3,906
 Triplogs 464

78 male
 Joined Feb 17 2010
 Apache Junction,
Mogollon Rim Vista LoopPayson, AZ
Payson, AZ
Hiking avatar May 05 2018
AZLumberjack
Hiking2.00 Miles 300 AEG
Hiking2.00 Miles
300 ft AEG
 no routes
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners partners
rayhuston
Since Ray and I are both in injured recovery mode and wanting to get out for a little hiking excitement, Ray decided that we could head up into Mogollon Rim Country and escape the heat of the Valley for at least a day. Having only been hiking up there a couple of times, this sounded like a good opportunity to become familiar with a few more portions of it.

We headed to Payson then followed Hwy 87 on up to Pine, with some plans of taking a short hike on the Highline Trail. The trailhead area was packed (literally) and we had to find alternate parking space, then we found out that this was the finish line for a trail run that was already in progress, but as long as we were here, and the temps were comfortable, we took off into the tall pines. Soon we ran head-long into some of the early racers and had to get off the trail to let them by. It didn't take us long to figure out that this ain't going to work so we turned around and headed back. As we approached the trailhead, the crowds were clapping and high-fiving us, humorously, like we were competitors in the race... :sweat:

We drove back to Payson then turned North on 260 heading up into the Rim Country. Made a quick stop at the lookout for some photos then took a scenic tour of the Rim Road, stopping to take in the awesome scenic views and walk short sections of the trail. When lunch time approached, we found a deserted camping area, got out the camp chairs, had a sandwich and a refreshing cold brew. This drive-til-we-found-something-interesting, then get out and walk a bit, worked perfectly until it was time to call it a day.

Had a good time getting out and exercising my new knee while enjoying the company of Ray who is working the kinks out of his arm, we didn't have any serious hiking plans in order so this worked out perfectly. Once back in Mesa, we had an early Mexican dinner at a place along Main St, just off Ellsworth called Asi Es Mi Tierra. Nice place, clean, excellent food & service and cold beer.. :D Thanks for a fun day Ray, the knee's a bit sore today but that just means that it got a good workout.
_____________________
On every trip into the Superstitions, I find another Gold Mine. Today the mine was filled with Memories. I can not wait for the next trip.
1 archive
Apr 28 2018
AZLumberjack
avatar

 Guides 4
 Routes 15
 Photos 3,906
 Triplogs 464

78 male
 Joined Feb 17 2010
 Apache Junction,
Desert spaces along Goldfield Rd., AZ 
Desert spaces along Goldfield Rd., AZ
 
Hiking avatar Apr 28 2018
AZLumberjack
Hiking1.30 Miles 145 AEG
Hiking1.30 Miles      46 Mns   1.70 mph
145 ft AEG
 no routes
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
It was a perfect morning to get out for a short walk in the desert as I continue to get acclimated with my new knee. The street walking from the past couple of weeks have left me wanting something a bit more challenging but the doctor's office said, "not till after six weeks". Well, the doctor was impressed with my progress at six weeks and the X-rays showed that the bones were adhering well to the metal knee parts so the restrictions were lifted and it was now time to test em out.

I'm surprised at how much I have to re-learn during this healing process, like balance or going up a flight of steps or lifting my foot as I walk. After 77 years, I thought I knew all the basics but each outing brings about a new challenge. Today's walk was through a relatively flat desert area that parallels Goldfield Road and offers nice views of the Superstition Ridgeline. The first lesson learned is that I have to lift my foot higher than the stumble-stones that litter the desert floor so I don't trip, and to watch out crossing even a shallow wash as the sides can be short but steeper than the streets I've become accustomed to walking.

This walk walk was only a mile and a quarter following mostly horse trails but already I'm aware that there's a lot less pain in the knee joint than the bone-on-bone gnawing that I was experiencing before the surgery. I've got to get this knee working satisfactorily and able to carry me cause I go in for the other knee replacement on June 19th and I get to do this all over again.
:)
Flora
Flora
Saguaro
Meteorology
Meteorology
Sunrise
wildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observation
Wildflowers Observation Isolated
No wildflowers to speak of, but the Saguaro are blooming nicely.
_____________________
On every trip into the Superstitions, I find another Gold Mine. Today the mine was filled with Memories. I can not wait for the next trip.
Apr 21 2018
AZLumberjack
avatar

 Guides 4
 Routes 15
 Photos 3,906
 Triplogs 464

78 male
 Joined Feb 17 2010
 Apache Junction,
Biking in the Hood, AZ 
Biking in the Hood, AZ
 
Hiking avatar Apr 21 2018
AZLumberjack
Hiking5.70 Miles
Hiking5.70 Miles      43 Mns   7.95 mph
 no routesno photosets
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
It will be six weeks on Monday since my left knee went under the surgical knife and I'm finally getting beyond the therapy workouts. I've been adjusting the height of my bike seat so that my knee makes the full revolution without the painful pinch at the top of the stroke and I'm adding to the distance a little more each day. Today's ride took me 5.7 miles around the neighborhood and 43 minutes to complete so I'm slowly making progress.

Physical Therapy has been one hour/day for two days a week of pure painful bending and stretching, but on Friday they booted me out :D so now I'm on my own. Biking and walking are my two best sources of exercise and I keep testing my limits on both. The knee still protests if I'm using it too much but it's improving and the Tylenol usage is is decreasing at the same time. My constant reminder is that this knee has to carry me when I go in for the replacement of the right knee in June and I get do this all over again... ](*,)
_____________________
On every trip into the Superstitions, I find another Gold Mine. Today the mine was filled with Memories. I can not wait for the next trip.
Dec 02 2017
AZLumberjack
avatar

 Guides 4
 Routes 15
 Photos 3,906
 Triplogs 464

78 male
 Joined Feb 17 2010
 Apache Junction,
Fish Creek HillPhoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Scenic Drive avatar Dec 02 2017
AZLumberjack
Scenic Drive2.20 Miles 100 AEG
Scenic Drive2.20 Miles   1 Hour      2.20 mph
100 ft AEG
 no routes
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
I have company visiting us from Minnesota in a couple of weeks so this morning, I drove out to Fish Creek Hill, to check out the condition of the road (SR 88). I pulled over in Tortilla Flat as a Maricopa Sheriff's car sped past, followed by a flat-bed wrecker, so I followed em. As I began descending Fish Creek Hill, I found the vehicles were parked close to a curve in the road, so I got out my cameras and approached them. There was a State Trooper and the wrecker operator peering over the hill and as I got closer, I could see a car balanced on the precipice of a steep cliff about ten feet below me.

I talked with the Trooper and found out that the incident had occurred around 0300 this morning (it was now going on 10:00) and the vehicle operator had swerved to avoid a deer in the middle of the single-land road and lost control of the vehicle. The car plunged down the initial ten feet onto a shelf where he "bailed out" of the car which continued on for the short distance before getting hung-up by its undercarriage. The vehicle operator had left the scene and called the police but was unhurt.

https://www.facebook.com/Images.in.the.Wilderness/
_____________________
On every trip into the Superstitions, I find another Gold Mine. Today the mine was filled with Memories. I can not wait for the next trip.
Nov 02 2017
AZLumberjack
avatar

 Guides 4
 Routes 15
 Photos 3,906
 Triplogs 464

78 male
 Joined Feb 17 2010
 Apache Junction,
Peralta to Fremont SaddlePhoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Hiking avatar Nov 02 2017
AZLumberjack
Hiking4.71 Miles 1,494 AEG
Hiking4.71 Miles   3 Hrs   16 Mns   1.44 mph
1,494 ft AEG
 no routes
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
This has long been a favorite hiking trail of mine for a number of reasons but, due to assorted foot & leg problems, I haven’t done it in over a year, but I changed all that today. I arrived to an unusually empty parking lot at around 0600 under a light cloud cover, a light breeze and temps in the low 60’s. The sun was just a faint glow, still behind the mountains in the Eastern horizon as I donned my gear and signed in on the log at the trailhead kiosk. It was still a bit dark out and the only sound was a lone owl hooting from somewhere high in the Dacite Cliffs. The pre-dawn was just light enough that I didn’t need a flashlight to see the trail so away I went.

From my many previous hikes along this famous trail, I have established several landmarks that I use to indicate my progress, the first is what I call the Needles Eye at the half-mile mark. This rock can provide some special photos of sunstars as the sun just breaks over the ridgeline and peeks through the eye, but you gotta get the timing down to the minute. From there it’s on up the trail but watching the Hoodoos on the East (west facing) side of the steep canyon. As soon as the sun first breaks over the ridgeline, those Hoodoos light up with a fantastic light. The experts all claim that there’s no gold in the Superstitions, but those Hoodoos are, for a few minutes, pure and solid gold, alive and gleaming in the morning sun.

As the trail weaves its way up, crossing a wash and through the trees, the next landmark is a giant boulder in a wash, a nice shady spot for a downhill break, but I know it as the one mile mark. A short distance further, there’s a large rock in the middle of the trail with the initials “RD” carved into its surface. I can’t find any historians that know the name associated with the initials, so it remains one of those Superstition Mountain mysteries, but it’s at almost the exact half-way mark…. Hmmmm.

It’s along this stretch of trail that you’re right below the cave known as “Geronimo’s Cave”, I don’t know if Chief Geronimo ever visited the Superstitions but at least he has a cave named after him. The rocks below the caves are unlike the rest of the canyon in that the ancient molten volcanic flows appear to have oozed out of the rocks at the top of the mountain, covering all of the lower rocks with a layer of yellow crust that gave the near-vertical slopes a smoothe, consistent covering that continues on for quite a distance.

Soon the Balancing Rock of Peralta comes into sight, it’s easy to recognize as it’s a single boulder balancing on the top of a tall Hoodoo along the East side of the canyon. As you get alongside the rock, you now have one half mile to go to the saddle. A short distance further, you will pass through a small area of blackened dirt, I have been told by the locals, familiar with the area, that this is the reminants of an Agave burn pit. The Agave burn pits are not unusual in this area as the early Indians roasted the abundant Agave hearts as a source of food and fibers for weaving.

Along about now, you begin walking on the smooth, slick-rock surface, it can be steep in places and there are switch-backs to avoid the steepest parts of the trail. If you keep an eye on the ground, you can notice several two-inch diameter round drill holes scattered throughout the surface. I have been told by my, usually reliable, sources that several years ago, a prospector hauled a gas-powered drill all the way up here to drill through the smooth layer to see if there was gold bearing rock beneath. Apparently the prospector didn’t find anything valuable cause there are no diggings in the area…. Whew!

My next landmark is the extremely low entrance to a natural cave. No one seems to know how far back it goes because it’s such a tight fit and it’s a good cool place for “Rattlers” to hide out in. Past the cave is another rock formation with a hole in it, this one is the Dragon’s Head, so named cause the shape is that of a prehistoric dragon and the hole is the eye.

Finally, the trail flattens out and as you round the next rock outcropping, there in front of you is Weavers Needle, surrounded by protective Hoodoos and, seemingly, growing out of Peralta Canyon… Congratulations, you are now at Fremont Saddle. Just a bit off to the right of the Needle sits a lone Pine tree that I refer to as Pinion Point, where I can almost always get away from the crowds, noise and bustle of the Saddle. I usually find a smooth rock to sit on, remove my gear, have a snack bar to replace the burnt calories and take a few photos of the “Needle”. By now, the sun was getting higher in the sky and its rays were hitting home, so after about fifteen minutes, it was time to begin the return trek.

The 77 year-old leg muscles and the arthritic knees are protesting as I extend the hiking stick and begin working my way back down the trail. It’s after 0800 and by now I’m meeting the occasional hikers on their way up. By the time I get back to the trailhead, the parking lot’s about half full and more are streaming in and the Volunteer Ranger is telling everyone about the trail systems in this area. As I remove my gear and stash it in the truck, I reflect on my morning’s adventure and feel a sense of renewal. For the past few hours, I have been freed of the problems that dominate today’s headlines…. Wish it could last forever.
Named place
Named place
Weavers Needle
_____________________
On every trip into the Superstitions, I find another Gold Mine. Today the mine was filled with Memories. I can not wait for the next trip.
Sep 20 2017
AZLumberjack
avatar

 Guides 4
 Routes 15
 Photos 3,906
 Triplogs 464

78 male
 Joined Feb 17 2010
 Apache Junction,
Window Rock and Indian Route 12Northeast, AZ
Northeast, AZ
Scenic Drive avatar Sep 20 2017
AZLumberjack
Scenic Drive2.00 Miles 330 AEG
Scenic Drive2.00 Miles
330 ft AEG
 no routes
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
Having departed Chama, NM and on my way home, I kept seeing signs pointing to Window Rock. I had read bits and pieces about the area so I decided to take a scenic detour and visit the place.

It was a beautiful, albeit short, drive from NM 491 up and over the mountain to AZ 191, from there just following the road south past those exciting sandstone cliffs and unusually shaped rock formations was a real treat for my tired eyes. I kept following the signs and my GPS until I was on the grounds of the Navajo Indian College, then drove around until I was on the Memorial Grounds. Window Rock is part of a memorial to the WW ll Navajo "Code Talkers" and does not appear to offer any hiking around the immediate area. Unmarked trails do exist but, at the time, I was unaware of them.

The Memorial Park is very well done and maintained and I spent several minutes walking around, reading some of the plaques and taking some photos of the large hole in the rock. This is a kinda nice place to visit if you should already find yourself in the vicinity, but it's a long drive for the limited access to the surrounding area. Access to any of the local areas is severely limited and posted as this is Navajo tribal lands.
:?
foliage observationfoliage observationfoliage observationfoliage observationfoliage observation
Autumn Foliage Observation Isolated
Gotta be on the lookout for patches of colorful trees.
_____________________
On every trip into the Superstitions, I find another Gold Mine. Today the mine was filled with Memories. I can not wait for the next trip.
Sep 18 2017
AZLumberjack
avatar

 Guides 4
 Routes 15
 Photos 3,906
 Triplogs 464

78 male
 Joined Feb 17 2010
 Apache Junction,
Cumbres & Toltec Railroad, NM 
Cumbres & Toltec Railroad, NM
 
Scenic Drive avatar Sep 18 2017
AZLumberjack
Scenic Drive
Scenic Drive
 no routes
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners partners
rwstorm
Roadtrip Randy (rwstorm) and I traveled to Chama, NM for a day's worth of riding the rails and taking in the scenic views of northern New Mexico and Southern Colorado. I left in the weee hours of Monday so that I might have enough time to chase the old coal burner through the mountains while Randy, whose done this several times before, slept in and showed up later.

I got into Chama around noon and checked into the RR depot to find out where the train was, I was told that if I hurried I could catch it as it was crossing the 10,022 foot Cumbres Pass. I wanted to get photos of the train really working hard on the uphill stretch and blowing black smoke so I kicked the little red truck into low range and beat the train to the pass. I hustled down the tracks and caught the Westbound train as it was giving it's boiler a good workout. Clouds of black smoke mixed with more clouds of white steam trailed behind the chuffing monster as it pulled several cars full of riders up the four percent grade on its way up to the pass.

The next day, Randy and I were roaming around the depot area taking pictures of the trains as we awaited the 10:00 am boarding call. Then after boarding the coaches and finding our seats, we were heading east out of the rail yard and up into the mountains. An open Gondola car was provided for those who wanted to be out in the fresh air (cough, cough) taking pictures of the awesome scenery. We were about a week to ten days ahead of peak color but there were a lot of Aspen groves dotting the canyons that were dressed in their autumn season's best color, something I hadn't expected.

After two scenic hours of weaving our way back and forth across the CO/NM boarder, the train pulled into Osier, Colorado which is the half-way point where a suburb lunch was waiting for us. As we were being served, the westbound train out of Antonito, CO pulled in on a siding beside our train and everybody headed in before we cleaned out the lunch lines. After lunch the Engineer and Boiler Feed Man fired up the boiler, and soon we were back listening to the car's iron wheels clicking and clacking rhythmically as we proceeded down the line.

The next couple of hours were as scenic as the first part of the trip as we crossed high trestles and looked straight down into deep rocky gorges, rounded sharp bends and admired the color of the encroaching seasonal changes. We pulled into Antonito, CO a bit after four pm where we quickly boarded tour buses for the return to Chama and the end of an exciting day of riding the rails. Once back at our lodging, Randy and I said our farewells as I would be up before sunrise and on the road as, once again, Roadtrip Randy slept in.
:lol:
foliage observationfoliage observationfoliage observationfoliage observationfoliage observation
Autumn Foliage Observation Moderate
Several patches of very colorful Aspen dotted the hillsides.
_____________________
On every trip into the Superstitions, I find another Gold Mine. Today the mine was filled with Memories. I can not wait for the next trip.
average hiking speed 1.53 mph
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