Spirits & Gold In The Superstition Mountains
So the past few days have sped past as usual. I managed to pack-up, dump and move the beast by myself without any major miss-haps (yes, I ROCK!), Paul is finally back home from his trip to Miami, and we’ve even passed Valentine’s Day. The latter actually ended up being a rather epic night with our buddies Sue&Dave who brought Beluga down to join us at Usery. They spent the previous week fiddling and perfecting a margarita recipe that would (and I quote) “make you giggle like little children”. Given how hilarious the evening turned out and (subsequently) how long it took me to recover yesterday I can assure you the recipe was a mixers masterpiece worth a Nobel Prize. Oh my…..
But before I finish up our time here in Usery, I wanted to take you on a quick trip east to the Superstition Mountains. These mysterious rocks rise like red-brown sentinels just east of Usery. They are intriguing by sight, but even more so by legend. The ~40mile driving trail (the Apache Trail) though the range is one of the most scenic in the area following an old indian trail (subsequently a stagecoach trail) that runs through the mountains. It is also the site of the Goldfield Mine as well as the famous Lost Dutchman Mine, named for a German immigrant Jacob Waltz (yeah, a little geography mix-up here methinks) who apparently discovered the incredibly rich mother lode around the 1880’s but kept the location a secret. Hmmm…..intriguing stuff.
But gold is not the only draw here. There’s spiritual history in these mountains that pulls you in like no other. The Apache Indians believed the wild wilderness contained a hole leading into the underworld, while more modern legends center around ‘Tuar-Tums’ (little men), evil spirits and time portals. This area is a hot-bed of lost and mysterious stories and everyone (I mean everyone) tells you that you should never, ever hike alone out here. I mean ever….
Which is goodness to gracious so very, very tempting is it not?
Doggie and I decided to drive a short portion of the Apache Trail a few days before Paul’s return. After a quick stop at the very cool Superstition Mountain Museum we meandered out to the lovely waters of Canyon Lake for a lounge and a swim. Heading back home I had a sudden and completely irresistable urge to get off the side of the road and go hiking.
Being a woman with a sense of direction only marginally better than that of an amoeba, and having thoroughly and most definitely been told this is a stupid idea I have no idea why I even entertained the thought. Was it the call of the wild? The draw of the evil spirits? The pitter-patter of little green men? Who knows, really. Suddenly I saw a random pull-off, a completely unmarked hiking trail heading off into the wilderness….and before I knew it I was hiking happily into the wilds. Waaay, waaay too tempting.
Which makes the conclusion of this blog post rather boring. Pooch and I ended up hiking in a fabulously remote canyon, communing with nature’s spirits and making it back to the RV without time porting or other incident. Despite the lack of drama the route is a thoroughly recommended visit if you’re in the area. We only ventured a mere 15 miles down the Apache Trail so when we come back I’ll endeavor to drive more of it…and perhaps even go hiking again.
P.S. If you want to stay closer to the Supersition Mountains I definitely recommend Lost Dutchman State Park. Took a drive through the park on the way to the Apache Trail and it’s on our list to stay in the future when we come back to the area.