"Of all the paths you take in life make sure a few of them are dirt" US Forest Sevice

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Lost Dutchman, Siphon Draw and doppelgangers

You have probably heard the saying that everyone has a twin. As I travel around the country, working in different hospitals, I truly  believe this. I see Sara here who was Jane somewhere else. Same look and mannerisms. We ride our bikes down the road and are sure Sid just rode past us.

When my kids were young, I was told that I had a twin that brought her kids to the same gymnastics place that I did. I had forgotten about the comment until one day I was heading out of the gym with Krista and Michael and in walked my doppelganger. We looked at each other and had a good laugh.

After working my two shifts, I always feel the need to be outdoors. Even though the temps were a chilly 45 degrees, we headed out to Lost Dutchman State Park.

My Favorite Martian?

The Peralta Family from Mexico developed a rich gold mine (supposedly) in the Superstition Mountains. Legend has it that the Peraltas died at the hands of Apache Indians and had never told anyone of the location of their gold mine.


As the story evolves, in the 1870s, Jacob Waltz, "the Dutchman" supposedly rediscovered the mine with the aid of a Peralta descendant. Waltz died in 1891 and he too never disclosed the mine's location. Supposedly he left hidden maps that several claimed to have found although to this day there has been no evidence the mine has ever been located. I wonder if this was where his cabin was.

Over the years, thousands and thousands have tried to find these lost riches. Many have mysteriously died or disappeared during the hunt fueling even more mystery and superstition. Today the legend lives on at "Lost Dutchman State Park" in the shadows of the Superstition Mountains.

This may not be gold but a real treasure.

It doesn't matter how many times we hike here. I have to take lots of pictures and just sit a while once we get there and soak it up. Maybe, I just don't want to climb over the boulders going back down. 

I pass on trying to get to the Flat Irons. I could crawl up the side of the mountain but not sure how getting back down would go.

A few days later, Mike had Mohs skin cancer surgery and was having some trouble seeing since his left eye was pretty swollen. We wanted to take an easy walk without boulders to watch for and chose the  Butcher Jones Trail.

Saguaro Lake requires a Tonto Pass but the National Parks Pass was also good and has saved so much money getting into national parks with it. Many of Arizona's state parks also accept it.

Have a great Thanksgiving!!

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Bulldog canyon and parrots

There are so many hikes that we enjoy in the Superstitions. This is one that is a short drive for us and pretty quiet. Often we get home after wandering and wonder where the day went. Then we stretch out in our chairs and take a nap.
Taking a rest in the shade of the saddle.
Anyone else see the scary parrot? It was Friday the 13th.

It turned out to be a pretty nice 6 mile hike with the sun behind the hills.
Riding along the canal paths is a nice change from riding on the roads. We only rode about three of the 22 miles to get to and from the Gilbert farmer's market and art show.
We ran into a flock of peach faced "lovebird" parrots along the consolidated path and was able to get some pretty good pictures with my new camera. They were speedy little buggers jumping all around.

Peach faced parrots from south Africa were "naturalized" in the Phoenix area when they escaped an aviary and thrived quite well in the warm dry climate.

  Gilbert's coffee shop on Main, Berge's with it's cowboy musician that plays some pretty good  James Taylor and Willie Nelson. There seems to be music everywhere we go.

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Sonoran Preserve and Old Scottsdale

We had not been to this part of the Sonoran Preserve and decided to get out early since it was the weekend and the trails can get busy here.
The Gateway Trail was a nice new one for us with so many options and looks like we will be returning to check out Bell Pass in the future.

Heading down after reaching the saddle.
We had originally planned to visit old Scottsdale in the morning but put it off after the hike and found this mission from the early 1900s.
A Boy Scout had preserved the confessionals for his Eagle badge and were pretty small.

We had lunch at this restaurant that was built by the same family that built the mission. The prices reminded us that we were in Scottsdale of our time.
 The nights get chilly and make for good sleeping. Our neighbors like to put notes on our door and let us know that they are barbecuing and what time to be there. Several couples show up with side dishes and we all dig in and tell out stories for the evening. This is working out pretty well for us.