"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.

Saturday, November 7, 2015

Zanjero Park's burrowing owls and Petroglyphh Trail

In all of my years as a traveling nurse, this is the first time I have returned to the same hospital, other than those in Colorado Springs. I wasn't sure how I would feel going to the same place again but we both are enjoying the desert again. There are so many trails we haven't been on before and places we would like to visit now that the temps are in the 70 and 80s.
Zanjero Park is along the 202 on Lindsey Road in Gilbert. We were on the way to the farmer's marketin Gilbert and decided to stop and check out the burrowing owls here.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hXuJ3zVtUTg is a great video to learn about the burrowing  owls in Arizona. I liked that they make a sound like rattlesnakes while underground when they feel threatened. That would make a predator think twice before reaching in the hole.
The tubes are placed in the ground for the burrowing owls before they are relocated. A multiuse path runs through the park but doesn't seem to bother the owls. Most people riding by don't even notice them even though they keep an eye out just in case.

The roadrunner was darting around so fast, I was surprised I actually got a picture of him.

Some petrified wood along the way.

Got to love a farmer's market on Halloween.

Had to get some Anaheim chiles since we were all out. This little girl was just too cute picking out her pumpkin.

Of course, there are always lots of good treats and samples. I opted for the pie.

The water park under the water tower was a nice place to cool down.

Gold Canyon and has so many trailheads in the Superstition Mountains. I would rather stay in Gold Canyon rather than Mesa except for the drive to the hospitals and we have met so many nice people here. 
We decided to try a short 3 mile hike to see the petroglyphs.

As we were finishing our hike, we ran into some mountain bikers that gave us the low down on the trails to ride on. Guess we will be returning once it gets a bit cooler or get up early for a ride.

During the monsoons, the area has waterfalls through here.

I have a feeling that the ladies would wait until the shade was overhead to do their grinding.

I wonder how long until the rock tumbles.