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Nov 24 2021
AZLumberjack
avatar

 Guides 4
 Routes 17
 Photos 4,076
 Triplogs 488

81 male
 Joined Feb 17 2010
 Apache Junction,
Sunset Arch, AZ 
Sunset Arch, AZ
 
Hiking avatar Nov 24 2021
AZLumberjack
Hiking1.00 Miles 376 AEG
Hiking1.00 Miles   1 Hour      1.00 mph
376 ft AEG
 no routes
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
I rolled out of bed at 05:00 this morning, my usual rise & shine time, and had a desire to get in a hike before the long Thanksgiving weekend. I was following the reports about a nearby arch called Sunset Arch and I had never been there before, so let’s get going.

I parked my truck in a wide spot along the Apache Trail, got my gear on and hit the trail. It was still dark so I’m glad I had the foresight to grab a flashlight on my way out of the house. The narrow trail is well marked with rock piles (cairn’s) and was easy to follow, but some very steep portions were hard to negotiate with loose footing on the rocks and dirt. The destination is only a half mile from where I parked, but because of the darkness, it took me a long time to get to the saddle below the arch.

I was familiar enough with the general area and hoped that I would have some good sunrise views of Weavers Needle back in the Superstitions and wasn’t disappointed. The sun took its sweet time rising which added a lot of color to yesterday’s left-over clouds, while off behind me, the Goldfield Mountains were just coming alive with golden hues from the rising sun.

I stayed in the saddle area, taking several shots of the pre-dawn scenery until the sun had risen enough to provide good lighting for my return. On my way home, I had to make a stop at the Superstition Mountain Museum and get a shot of the Elvis Chapel, soaking up the morning sun.

Hope everyone's having an enjoyable Thanksgiving Day and weekend.
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.
Nov 03 2021
AZLumberjack
avatar

 Guides 4
 Routes 17
 Photos 4,076
 Triplogs 488

81 male
 Joined Feb 17 2010
 Apache Junction,
Picketpost CircumferenceGlobe, AZ
Globe, AZ
Hiking avatar Nov 03 2021
AZLumberjack
Hiking5.97 Miles 504 AEG
Hiking5.97 Miles   3 Hrs   7 Mns   1.98 mph
504 ft AEG      6 Mns Break
 
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
Route Scout Route Recorded  on Route Scout Popup | MapDEX
Wednesday morning (11-03-21), I left home at zero, five : (dark) thirty (that's 05:30am) heading for Picketpost Mountain to check the Arnett Canyon for any signs of Autumn colors. Along the way, I was looking directly into the tiny sliver of the remaining moon, hoping I would make it to the old corral before it go too light out.
Well, I made it with time to spare, so I got some shots of the moon along with the old corral, the still functional, windmill and even caught Picketpost in the background.

The trail that I'm hiking is called L.O.S.T. (Legends Of Superior Trail), which follows the Arnett Creek through a scenic canyon. The Telegraph Fire, earlier this year, has left several burn scars along the way, but as you get closer to Boyce Thompson Arboretum, the fire signs fade away. The trail's fairly easy to follow but can be hidden for short stretches by tall grass, but the canyon's narrow so you won't get L.O.S.T. :)

After a mile and a half, you start getting into the tall Cottonwood trees that line the bottom of the canyon. It's pretty protected down here so the trees are still a 'hard' green and don't show signs of changing for another few weeks (that's quite typical here in the desert). I continued on until my GPS told me I had gone three miles and made my turn around. On my return trip, I was hiking in the bright sun and was now running into other hikers and a couple of horseback riders on their way out.

FYI: On my way into the trailhead, the gate across the road was closed and locked. I've been here early in the mornings in the past, so this was a big surprise. As I was checking it out, a voice called out and said he was going to open the gate and let me in. The man, who was camping inside the trailhead, informed me that he was a FS Volunteer from Idaho and this is the way he spends his winters. He also pointed out a sign that says "Day use only, sunrise to sunset" so his orders are to close & lock the gate. Learning something new all the time.
_____________________
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 01 2021
AZLumberjack
avatar

 Guides 4
 Routes 17
 Photos 4,076
 Triplogs 488

81 male
 Joined Feb 17 2010
 Apache Junction,
Needle Vista Loop, AZ 
Needle Vista Loop, AZ
 
Hiking avatar Oct 01 2021
AZLumberjack
Hiking3.39 Miles 574 AEG
Hiking3.39 Miles   1 Hour   51 Mns   1.83 mph
574 ft AEG
 
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
Dark, Cold & Windy.... That's the way my Friday (10-01-21) hike started out.

I went out to the Weavers Needle Vista on the Apache Trail for a morning hike but it wasn't very pleasant at the start. The temp was in the mid 60's, the wind was blowing and it was still dark at 06:00 when I left my truck.

As soon as I got down into the wash, the high sides broke up the winds and, before long the sun rose above the mountains and it slowly warmed up. The rising sun made for some colorful moments as it cast a warming glow on the steep cliffs of the Goldfield Mountains, Little Four Peaks, Weavers Needle and Superstition Mountain.

The very wet Monsoon season has left the normally parched desert green once again and this hike is through some unburnt sections of desert that soaked up all that rain. The wash was quite dry and even the random pools of water have all soaked into the ground.

The hike took me all the way over to the large horse trailer parking lot on First Water Road, which, by the way, has just had its seasonal grading and traveling on it almost made it a smooth ride once again.

All types of green plants, with thorns are growing profusely alongside the trails and if you're not careful they'll grab a bit of flesh as you pass. Except for some furry Cotton Tail rabbits and birds, I didn't see any wildlife roaming the hillsides.

By the time I got back to my truck, I had warmed up, the winds had subsided and the sun was beating down through a cloudless Arizona sky, making for a great 3.5 mile hike to start out the day.
_____________________
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 17 2021
AZLumberjack
avatar

 Guides 4
 Routes 17
 Photos 4,076
 Triplogs 488

81 male
 Joined Feb 17 2010
 Apache Junction,
First Water Basin, AZ 
First Water Basin, AZ
 
Hiking avatar Aug 17 2021
AZLumberjack
Hiking2.00 Miles
Hiking2.00 Miles   1 Hour   30 Mns   1.33 mph
 
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
We got another inch of rain last night, this Monsoon season's making up for the last couple of NON-soon seasons and the desert's loving it... and so are the bugs with mosquitoes, gnats & fly's also making up for lost time.

The 3-1/2 mile drive to the trailhead is through a very rough road with fresh wash-outs to dodge. It doesn't require a high clearance vehicle, but it's slow going most of the way. The parking lots along the way were almost deserted at 07:30.

It was another warm and humid morning but I needed to get out and work the legs a bit so I kept it short by just hitting the First Water Basin out of First Water Trailhead. This two-mile hike follows the First Water Creek through the burnt-out basin area.

Even with last night's rain, the ground is still soaking up the rains and the creek only has a trickle of water flowing between the ponds. The new grass growth is fresh and shiny and there's lots of wildflowers scattered throughout the burnt Cholla and Saguaro. I had to take another shot of the "Saguaro-Tarantulas (SagTran)" as long as it's still standing. The dreaded "Catclaw" is showing why it's such a hated plant as it's got fresh new ground to grow in and it's spreading across the trails already.

A good application of bug spray would be recommended to thwart the bloodsucking bugs and bring lots of water, the temp's and high humidity get ya sweating pretty good.
_____________________
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 29 2021
AZLumberjack
avatar

 Guides 4
 Routes 17
 Photos 4,076
 Triplogs 488

81 male
 Joined Feb 17 2010
 Apache Junction,
First Water Tributaries 2947 LoopPhoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Hiking avatar Jul 29 2021
AZLumberjack
Hiking2.50 Miles 441 AEG
Hiking2.50 Miles   2 Hrs      1.25 mph
441 ft AEG
 no routes
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
Every now and then I'm reminded of the reasons that I left Minnesota. Today was one of those days.

I had planned on an early morning hike along First Water Creek to see how it had fared following last weeks rains. I arrived at 05:30 to an empty parking lot at the First Water Trailhead and was soon on the trail.

I hadn't gone far before I felt a mosquito bite, then another and another. The nasty bloodsuckers were everywhere and immediately I thought of Minnesota's state bird and reason #1.

I should have retreated back to my truck and gone back home but I was determined, so I kept on going...... slapping & swatting. The morning was overcast, 84 degrees, 53% humidity and nary a breeze could be felt. Before long, I was sweating like a dog (I know dogs don't actually sweat, but you get the idea), and I recalled reason #2 why I left Minnesota.

The rains must have helped the burnt and scorched desert because there were lush growths of green grass and some bushes were showing new leaves growing. Stay away from the patches of green grass cause that's where the mosquitoe's are hiding. Save some blood, go around.

The parched ground must have liked the rain too cause there was only a trickle of flow in the creek and pools were covered with a mossy green growth that may have resulted from the fire retardant that was used to control the fire.

I was happy to finally get back to my truck, bloody from the mosquitoe's (I think I killed a thousand of em) and wet from the sweat. Time go go home and get a cool shower.
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.
Mar 18 2021
AZLumberjack
avatar

 Guides 4
 Routes 17
 Photos 4,076
 Triplogs 488

81 male
 Joined Feb 17 2010
 Apache Junction,
First Water Basin Loop, AZ 
First Water Basin Loop, AZ
 
Hiking avatar Mar 18 2021
AZLumberjack
Hiking3.10 Miles 499 AEG
Hiking3.10 Miles   1 Hour   43 Mns   1.81 mph
499 ft AEG
 no routes
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
The weather's changing again so it's time to knock a little rust of the solid-state knees. I drove to the horse lot on First Water Road and headed out the back side to hit the narrow canyon heading towards First Water Creek. The sand and gravel was damp most of the way, must be leftover from the brief rains we had earlier in the week. Once down at First Water Creek, I headed through the narrow canyon towards the old corral and windmill. The Canyon had pools of water that had filled from the rains and a couple of them were slightly overflowing, but not enough to call it a flow.

Once out of the canyon, it's now into the burnt section and it's still pretty saddening, but there's some life showing as the grasses are growing and offer some green color to the blackened landscape. I did see some Desert Holly sprigs starting to grow but none of the other bushes are showing any life.... not even the Catsclaw :lol:

I did see a couple of hikers as I neared the old ranch site and met a couple more as I was heading up to the First Water Trailhead and the lot had several cars proving that it's a nice day. I followed the extended section of the Dutchmans trail to the horse lot and, once again, several vehicles were parked there.... must be the Spring Break crowds.

This short hike is just about right for that quick outing where there's good scenic views and very few hikers along the way. Only problem is that you're going to get a charcoal pinstriping if you bump into some of the burnt branches lying on the 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.
Feb 03 2021
AZLumberjack
avatar

 Guides 4
 Routes 17
 Photos 4,076
 Triplogs 488

81 male
 Joined Feb 17 2010
 Apache Junction,
Garden Valley LoopPhoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Hiking avatar Feb 03 2021
AZLumberjack
Hiking5.19 Miles 889 AEG
Hiking5.19 Miles   3 Hrs   15 Mns   1.60 mph
889 ft AEG
 no routes
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
Promise Kept.


My younger Brother, Doug and I used to hike the Superstitions regularly throughout the winter months. We became attached to the Superstitions because of its incredible scenery, its ease of access and its historic significance. A favorite destination was a hike to Garden Valley and on around to Hackberry Spring, then back to the First Water Trailhead for a cool after-hike beer while sitting on the tailgate and reliving the details of the hike.


My brother and favorite hiking partner, died of liver cancer in 2013 and at his final services, I made a promise that I would repeat our favorite hike for as long as I am able. Doug's birthday was Feb 3rd, so I set that day as the day I would make our annual hike to Garden Valley. The forecast this year was kinda iffy for the 3rd, so I moved it up a day to the 2nd.


I always carry a vial of Doug's ashes with me in my backpack so no matter where I go hiking, Doug is still with me and today was no exception. This is the eighth year that I've done this memorial hike and I'm now eighty years old but we had a great day of it and it was even a tad warm for February 2nd.


The photoset starts with me and Doug, about to head up the hill to Garden Valley, and ends with the two of us enjoying our traditional cold one after the hike.
wildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observation
Wildflowers Observation None
Still burnt to a crisp. :(
_____________________
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.
Jan 13 2021
AZLumberjack
avatar

 Guides 4
 Routes 17
 Photos 4,076
 Triplogs 488

81 male
 Joined Feb 17 2010
 Apache Junction,
Jacob's Trail #58Phoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Hiking avatar Jan 13 2021
AZLumberjack
Hiking2.86 Miles 410 AEG
Hiking2.86 Miles   1 Hour   16 Mns   2.26 mph
410 ft AEG
 
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
Taking advantage of a nice clear morning to take a short hike through the desert along portions of the Jacob's Crosscut Trail. I parked at the first parking lot at the First Water Road turnoff and headed into the desert. Can't remember when I've seen the trails so wide and packed from all the use by those escaping the confines of the COVID isolation. Lately, I've been bypassing this trail system due to the crowds but this morning was kinda cool and must have kept the numbers down.

There's room for hiking the trails in parts of the desert that escaped the fires, but my journey this morning toured both the burnt and unburnt areas. The wildlife has been avoiding the burnt areas and inhabiting these unburnt areas, but this morning, all that was spotted was a rabbit and numerous birds. I only encountered four hikers this morning but more were filtering in and the large parking lot at the Crosscut Trailhead was quickly filling up with horse trailers.

Nice to get out for a walk but it's back to isolation again.... ](*,)
Fauna
Fauna
Harris Hawk
_____________________
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.
Jan 09 2021
AZLumberjack
avatar

 Guides 4
 Routes 17
 Photos 4,076
 Triplogs 488

81 male
 Joined Feb 17 2010
 Apache Junction,
Picketpost CircumferenceGlobe, AZ
Globe, AZ
Hiking avatar Jan 09 2021
AZLumberjack
Hiking8.56 Miles 1,249 AEG
Hiking8.56 Miles   5 Hrs      1.71 mph
1,249 ft AEG
 
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners partners
rayhuston
rwstorm
Saturday was a beautiful day for a hike--so what the h.ll went wrong? I met up with Randy (@rwstorm) and Ray (@rayhuston) on Saturday morning around 08:30 at the Picketpost Trailhead for a planned CCW Circumference hike.... everything going normal so far. Randy and Ray hit it off talking about their past injuries and I think that's where Randy talked himself out of going on the hike with us, but he did want to meet Ray for the first time, so there's hope for another get-together at some later time.

The parking lot was quickly filling up with cars and horse trailers as Ray and I hit the trail. I haven't hiked this area for quite a while so I was really surprised to see all the new trail signs and the improvements to the trails. I made a decision to change our circumference plans and start going CW going through the scenic Arnett Canyon. Boy, this ain't anything like it used to be, the trails are wide, soft and well marked. The canyon was as scenic as I remembered but the creek was dry and most of the trees had lost their leaves. We hit some damp areas where there was some left-over color in the giant Cottonwoods though.

Somewhere about the three-mile mark, there's a canyon intersecting from our left, we found a trail and followed it and soon I recognized the the mine tailings from the old Pearlite mines where we used to search for Apache Tears. I convinced Ray that we continue on into the area, since he had never been to the old Pinal Ghost Town area. Lots of pickup trucks in the area and lots of people out enjoying the January weather. We walked through Pinal and I wanted to show Ray the old wagon-wheel tracks in the bedrock. That whole area is so beat-up from the ATV/UTV/Jeep crowds that I couldn't recognize anything but finally we found them right where they should have been. Yup, so far, everything's still going good.

Then the crap hit the flywheel. We crossed over US Hwy 60 looking for the trail that would take us back to the trailhead but only found the RR tracks and a road under the powerlines. We ended up going under or through about eight barbwire fences, walking the tracks and the road and going under the 60 again through a culvert to low to stand erect, bushwhacking through dry washes and the foothills until we came insight of the parking lot. Through it all, Ray kept mumbling that we should have continued on with the circumference trail and I finally had to agree with him.

CONCLUSION: Far too crowded, but that's probably due to COVID and those seeking to get out of quarantine and a nice weekend day. If you haven't hiked the area within a few years, you're in for a whole new learning experience. And Randy didn't miss so much afterall.
:)
_____________________
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.
Jan 05 2021
AZLumberjack
avatar

 Guides 4
 Routes 17
 Photos 4,076
 Triplogs 488

81 male
 Joined Feb 17 2010
 Apache Junction,
Little Four PeaksPhoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Hiking avatar Jan 05 2021
AZLumberjack
Hiking1.40 Miles 540 AEG
Hiking1.40 Miles   1 Hour   23 Mns   1.01 mph
540 ft AEG
 no routes
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
Just over a week ago, Ray (@rayhuston) and I went up to Little Four Peaks. I wanted to show Ray a collection of heart-shaped stones in a hollowed out portion of a large rock, sitting on the ridge line. I had located this spot about five years ago and, wouldn't you believe it, I was unable to locate them :? Ray went back at a later date and found the collection, in a saddle, right where they should have been. It's just that I had led us to the wrong saddle.

Today was a beautiful day and I wanted to get out for some fresh air and exercise, so I challenged that darn collection of heart-shaped stones again. I followed Ray's instructions (kinda) and once again I got to the wrong saddle, but I could see, what looked like the right one about a hundred yards off. I headed cross country :scared: to that next saddle..... and there it was, the rock pocket full of heart-shaped stones. On my way to the parking area, I had stopped and picked up some polished black stones that I left as a token for future searchers.

There are no regularly traveled trails in this area, and "karens" are abundant but don't seem to lead anywhere special so getting from here to there is a bit of dumb luck and persistence.
_____________________
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 19 2020
AZLumberjack
avatar

 Guides 4
 Routes 17
 Photos 4,076
 Triplogs 488

81 male
 Joined Feb 17 2010
 Apache Junction,
Little Four PeaksPhoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Hiking avatar Dec 19 2020
AZLumberjack
Hiking2.10 Miles 1,000 AEG
Hiking2.10 Miles   3 Hrs      0.70 mph
1,000 ft AEG
 no routes
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners partners
rayhuston
For starters, I gotta thank Ray ( @rayhuston ) for accompanying me on this scenic hike. The Little Four Peaks hike is relatively short but the lack of well defined trails make it a tough one to figure out. We were all over the place hiking along slippery side hills, avoiding Catsclaw, Cholla and rock outcroppings, but finally made it to the saddle between two of the peaks. The views from here are non-stop and amAZing.

This was my third trip up here and one of our goals was to locate the natural rock "Pocket" that contained an assortment of heart-shaped stones, but although we thoroughly searched the saddle area, we were unable to find them, so a little more research is in order. The day had a bit of distant haze and the wind blew across the summit areas but temps were comfortable and the sun was warm.

Ray and I had lots to talk about on the trails and when we finished, we hit the Bluebird restaurant/gift shop across from the Goldfield Ghost Town, for a hamburger and cold beer. Sitting in the sun and more BS'ing. There's a wire fence line up top of the Little Four Peaks and I mentioned it to Louie at the store. That brought some long lost memories back to him and he recalled when he and rancher, John Cox, put that fence in to isolate the cattle from the Superstition Mountain Wilderness Area.

Thanks Ray for another fun, albeit tough, hiking outing. I'm a bit sore today but it was worth the effort to get out with you again..... :y:
wildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observation
Wildflowers Observation None
Everything's dry and crisp, needing rain.
_____________________
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 12 2020
AZLumberjack
avatar

 Guides 4
 Routes 17
 Photos 4,076
 Triplogs 488

81 male
 Joined Feb 17 2010
 Apache Junction,
Silly Mountain Trail SystemPhoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Hiking avatar Nov 12 2020
AZLumberjack
Hiking
Hiking
 
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
Well, I had good intentions of heading over to Silly Mountain this morning but I was interrupted by an amAZing sunrise taking place right outside my kitchen window. I was in the process of fixing a breakfast snack but had to drop everything, grab my camera and tripod and get outside quick.

I took a series of shots as the colors and lights shifted from bright to even brighter. The sunrises don't last very long around here so I had to jump around from one position to another before it was all gone, and after a couple of minutes the display was fading fast.

When it was all over, I finished my breakfast snack and, by now, it would be all crowded over at Silly Mountain so, instead, I took a couple of laps around the park. Maybe I'll make it over to Silly Mtn tomorrow.

Disclaimer: The scenery is real. The clouds are real. The colors are real but enhanced to provide visual appeal.
:?
_____________________
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
Nov 05 2020
AZLumberjack
avatar

 Guides 4
 Routes 17
 Photos 4,076
 Triplogs 488

81 male
 Joined Feb 17 2010
 Apache Junction,
Peralta to Fremont SaddlePhoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Hiking avatar Nov 05 2020
AZLumberjack
Hiking4.90 Miles 1,440 AEG
Hiking4.90 Miles   3 Hrs   30 Mns   1.40 mph
1,440 ft AEG
 no routes
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
I've been thinking about the Peralta hike for some time now, I wanted to go and see for myself, the damage done by the fires. I hit the trail by 07:00 on a typical cloudless day with a light breeze blowing from the upper ridges and It felt good to get out on the Peralta again, since it's been a year since my last time here.

Only a few cars in the parking lot so I had the trails all to myself.... almost. I soon got passed by a young couple heading up to the saddle and out to Pinon Point. Before long, the breeze quit and the sun beat down so it didn't take long to work up a sweat. My replacement knees haven't been doing such a great job lately, so I might have to have a talk with my therapist to see if it's just the summers high temps or something else.

The trail was in great shape and lots of green along the way was nice, since I've lately been doing so much hiking in burn areas. I didn't come across any signs of the fire until I hit the upper stretches of the trail, then it increased until I reached the saddle and it became real. Such a shame that the normal beauty of the canyon before me was now a tangled mess of burnt, leafless shrubs and burnt cacti. Thinking with the positive side of my brain, sure, it's going to come back, but the negative side says, not in my lifetime. The Pinon Pine tree out on the point survived the blazes, but only thanks to some firefighters who went out there to protect the iconic tree. My hat's off to all of those firefighters who spent so many days out there fighting the fires and protecting what remains.

My trip from trailhead to saddle was two hours, pretty bad time for someone who used to get there in an hour, but the sweat factor and another birthday all figure in. After a short break, I made it back down in an hour and a half.
Geology
Geology
HooDoo
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.
Nov 03 2020
AZLumberjack
avatar

 Guides 4
 Routes 17
 Photos 4,076
 Triplogs 488

81 male
 Joined Feb 17 2010
 Apache Junction,
Superstition Mtn Burn Area, AZ 
Superstition Mtn Burn Area, AZ
 
Hiking avatar Nov 03 2020
AZLumberjack
Hiking2.00 Miles 377 AEG
Hiking2.00 Miles   1 Hour   30 Mns   1.33 mph
377 ft AEG
 no routes
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
My vote was submitted last week, so while everyone's standing in a voting line, I'm going hiking. I drove out on First Water Road to the horse trailer parking lot and headed into the burn areas across the road. Many times I've wandered around this area when the plants were healthy and in full bloom, so it's pretty traumatic to wander the same areas, now that everything's burnt.

So many Giant Saguaro have been distressed by the long draught and don't have the moisture content inside to fight off the heat of the fire so there's a lot that won't last much longer. The low growing Hedgehog cactus didn't have a chance and are barely recognizable among the soot and ashes.

It was a nice shirt sleeve and shorts morning with only a light breeze blowing but I could see that rain was in the sky further to the south. As I kept wandering the hills and washes, the clouds kept moving my way and the air felt like it might rain, even though none was predicted. Before long, I thought it prudent to start heading back to the parking lot and, sure enough, there was light drops falling on my dusty truck. As I drove home, I had to turn on the wipers to keep the windshield clear, but it was short lived and most likely only served to irritate anyone waiting in a voting line somewhere.
_____________________
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 22 2020
AZLumberjack
avatar

 Guides 4
 Routes 17
 Photos 4,076
 Triplogs 488

81 male
 Joined Feb 17 2010
 Apache Junction,
First Water Basin, AZ 
First Water Basin, AZ
 
Hiking avatar Oct 22 2020
AZLumberjack
Hiking3.22 Miles 625 AEG
Hiking3.22 Miles   1 Hour   50 Mns   1.81 mph
625 ft AEG      3 Mns Break
 
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
Route Scout Route Recorded  on Route Scout Popup | MapDEX
The morning temps are dropping so it's becoming a bit more comfortable to get out hiking again So this morning I hiked some more of the Superstition Mountain's burn area.

I drove out First Water Road to the horse trailer parking lot and followed a favorite trail through a narrow canyon down to First Water Creek. The first part of my hike was through some un-burnt desert, but once at the dry creek in the basin, almost everything was torched. Such a shame to see such devastation in this normally beautiful part of the Superstitions.

Along my trails, I did find a deep pool of water that didn't look like anything I wanted to taste. I don't think it was spring fed because there was no water flowing from the pool and the fly's were buzzing but none were landing by the water.

I had a chilly start to my hike, even wearing a long sleeve shirt, but once the sun came out, it didn't take me long to stuff that shirt in the backpack. Only met a few hikers on the trails this morning.
_____________________
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
Oct 13 2020
AZLumberjack
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 Guides 4
 Routes 17
 Photos 4,076
 Triplogs 488

81 male
 Joined Feb 17 2010
 Apache Junction,
Garden Valley LoopPhoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Hiking avatar Oct 13 2020
AZLumberjack
Hiking3.97 Miles 896 AEG
Hiking3.97 Miles   2 Hrs   12 Mns   1.80 mph
896 ft AEG
 no routes
Linked none no linked trail guides
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Drove out to a burnt-out First Water Trailhead before sunrise and headed for Garden Valley. I put on my Weed Gators as they help keep my shoes and sox clean from all the soot covered brush. The trailhead area is almost completely burnt, except for the outhouses and the signs and as you head down the trail, it's completely burnt on both sides. Once across the second dry wash (ain't they all) on Second Water Trail, heading up the hill to the Garden, the trail is untouched by the fire and it's a relief to see it. Then, as soon as you reach the top of the hill, entering the Garden, once again, everything's burnt.

The brush in Garden Valley is spaced such the fire never gained enough strength to burn everything completely so a lot of the brush is still standing but almost leafless. I left the trail and headed straight for the saddle where you have a good overlook view of the First Water Basin with the old tin corral and windmill on the far side of First Water Creek. From this vantage point you can see where the Slurry Tankers had dumped some of the red fire retardant to protect the old corral area. The Garden Valley Arch is still intact so thanks to the fire crews for protecting it.

From the saddle overlook, I headed down the steep drop into the basin and across the basin to the corral and windmill. There's a lot of the red fire retardant all over the rocks and brush, but it's dried and doesn't stick to clothing. Glad they were able to save the corral area from the fire, then it's up the old rutted road and back to the trailhead.

The weed gators are a lifesaver for my boots and sox and will be a part of my hiking gear whenever I head into the burn areas. At this time, it's not a good idea to bring a dog along as it would soon be soot covered. There are some horse riders out but they too are sure to need a good bathing when they get back home. Need some rain.... BAD.
_____________________
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 07 2020
AZLumberjack
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 Guides 4
 Routes 17
 Photos 4,076
 Triplogs 488

81 male
 Joined Feb 17 2010
 Apache Junction,
Massacre FallsPhoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Hiking avatar Oct 07 2020
AZLumberjack
Hiking2.20 Miles 484 AEG
Hiking2.20 Miles   2 Hrs      1.10 mph
484 ft AEG
 
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The Forest Service has finally opened Superstition Mountain for hiking and they have removed the barricades from the entrance to First Water Road. Of course, the fire's been out for going on three weeks now.

So for the first time in, what seems like forever, I was able to go out and tour some of my favorite hiking trails through a burnt out desert. It's a very saddening thing to walk among the soot covered cacti, sticks and twigs poking up through the ashes along trails that were once covered with grass, brush and leaves. There's no real danger of being surprised by a hidden Rattle Snake though, cause there's no place for em to hide.... if there's any still alive.

The photos show a leafless tree that could be late autumn in the north country, but now is a stark skeleton in the desert foothills. Another photo shows several Saguaro that have been burnt around the base, I can only hope they will survive and live on. A third photo shows where the burn area comes up against the un-burnt off in the distance, this line is the First Water Road, where the fire crews made their stand against the encroaching fire. The final photo shows the Superstition Mountain sign at the First Water Trailhead. Everything around the trailhead is burnt to a crisp, except for this sign.

If you should plan on taking a hike through the burn, be sure to wear dark clothes as it's almost impossible to get through some of the areas without rubbing against the soot covered brush, and it doesn't readily brush off your clothes and shoes.


:)
_____________________
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 24 2020
AZLumberjack
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 Guides 4
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81 male
 Joined Feb 17 2010
 Apache Junction,
Needle Vista Loop, AZ 
Needle Vista Loop, AZ
 
Hiking avatar Sep 24 2020
AZLumberjack
Hiking3.31 Miles 186 AEG
Hiking3.31 Miles   1 Hour   30 Mns   2.23 mph
186 ft AEG      1 Min Break
 
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Route Scout Route Recorded  on Route Scout Popup | MapDEX
Needle Vista is a nice paved parking area along the Apache Trail offering a good view of Weavers Needle in the distance.

A not very visible trail begins in the wash at the end of the concrete walk. Follow the wash/trail for a bit more than a mile until you arrive at the large horse-trailer parking lot beside First Water Road. From the Northeast corner of the lot, take the Hackberry Spring Trail, continue on for about a mile until the trail splits. Take the branch to the left and follow it back to the parking lot.
_____________________
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
Sep 17 2020
AZLumberjack
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 Guides 4
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 Triplogs 488

81 male
 Joined Feb 17 2010
 Apache Junction,
Massacre FallsPhoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Hiking avatar Sep 17 2020
AZLumberjack
Hiking3.86 Miles 715 AEG
Hiking3.86 Miles   2 Hrs   8 Mns   1.81 mph
715 ft AEG
 
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I left home early this morning with the intent of hiking parts of the Massacre Grounds to see what damage the Superstition Fire had done to the area. The Barricades are still blocking access to First Water Road with a sign that warns against road usage, so I parked my pickup outside the road closure and headed down the road, on foot.

I walked to the Crosscut Trailhead, empty of vehicles, and headed up the Massacre Trail where I was scolded by a hawk who didn't appreciate my presence. Everything along both sides of the trail is burnt to a crisp. With the lack of brush, the desert looks surreal now that everything is visible. At one point, as I was looking down into the dry wash, I thought I was looking at a man-made stone wall. I've been on this trail a hundred times and never noticed a wall down there, so I had to get closer to check it out. Nope, it ain't a wall, only a rocky hump close to the wash (see the attached photos), but it sure had me going for a while though. Also visible is prospects that I had never seen before and a scattering of tin cans where they had lay covered by grass and brush. Before long, I came across a melted plastic water bottle.... well, that explains why I haven't seen any of them lying around (a small benefit of the fire?).

I made a loop that took me to the old Massacre Trailhead and returned, off trail, through the burnt area. Now that I don't have to avoid the Cholla and Catclaw, the walking was much easier than it had been in the past. I kept looking for Rattlers thinking they might look like a diamondback shish-k-bob, but with their ambush cover burnt, they're either dead or taking an early hibernation. I saw a couple of Rabbits, several small birds and a few lizards, it's amazing how well they stand out now that their protective cover has been destroyed. Now I know why that Hawk was scolding me, he had the best hunting grounds ever.

On my return, I was making the last turn on First Water Road as I noticed a pickup parked at the road closure, sure enough, it was the Forest Service. We talked as I was removing my gear and stowing it in my truck, when he mentioned that I shouldn't be hiking in there. Well, that changed the tone of the conversation. I quickly realized that I was arguing a point that I wasn't going to win and perhaps, I was even due a violation for my morning's trek, so I made my point and left.
_____________________
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 10 2020
AZLumberjack
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 Guides 4
 Routes 17
 Photos 4,076
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81 male
 Joined Feb 17 2010
 Apache Junction,
Praying Hands - Crosscut THPhoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Hiking avatar Sep 10 2020
AZLumberjack
Hiking2.60 Miles 313 AEG
Hiking2.60 Miles   1 Hour   25 Mns   1.84 mph
313 ft AEG
 no routes
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I've been making regular trips to First Water Road to see if I can get in to see what damage the fire has done, but the road is still blocked. So I parked along the Apache Trail and went for a walk.

I headed for the trail that goes from a small parking area along the FW Road up to the Fins. This trail runs north & South and was a boundary that the firefighters used to draw their line in the desert. One side of the trail is just like it always has been, the other side, towards the Massacre Grounds, is toast.

The fire must have been very hot around there because the Saguaro are burnt all the way to the tops. All brush and grass is gone although some sticks still exist without leaves. I still want to get further back into the Massacre Grounds to check that area out. I still can't imagine how that fire made the leap from the Massacre Grounds all the way to Black Mesa and Garden Valley, unless it had some help. :o
_____________________
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 1.57 mph
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WARNING! Hiking and outdoor related sports can be dangerous. Be responsible and prepare for the trip. Study the area you are entering and plan accordingly. Dress for the current and unexpected weather changes. Take plenty of water. Never go alone. Make an itinerary with your plan(s), route(s), destination(s) and expected return time. Give your itinerary to trusted family and/or friends.

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