Superstition Mountain BLM, Apache Junction, AZ
I was awake this morning right around 6 am after a fantastic night's sleep. I didn't hear a thing after I fell asleep somewhere around 11 pm. I hauled myself out of bed as my view out the bedroom window showed the sun wasn't up and looked to be an interesting sunrise.
|The most colour other than yellow in the sunrise this morning in the eastern part of the sky....|
It was 44F/6.6C when I checked just before stepping outside. Not a bad temperature at all. Not too cold and with a soft gentle breeze that felt warm my stumbling around among the cacti was actually pleasant. Except for the few stickers that managed to find their way to the bottoms and sides of my shoes. Nothing too much, just annoying.
|Can you see the hints of pink along the top of the blue haze?|
I wandered around for about 20 -25 minutes snapping pictures of things and watching the sun slowly starting to make it's way up in to the big empty sky. Looking to the south I could see a large mass of dark blue haze with small streaks of pink drifting haphazardly across the top edges. It was peaceful looking, showing a warmth despite the dark blue, and it looked to me as if given it's choice, the dark blue would happily turn to varying hues of pink to match the dreamy steaks.
|It sure is pretty over there toward the south.....|
Turning my attention to Superstition Mountain my thoughts were actually quite bland. I didn't have a reaction of any kind. They appeared to be simply stone, unmoving, unfeeling, unimaginative, stone. What caught my eye was the cacti, their tough spines looked almost fuzzy, or snow covered with a light airy dusting. They seemed to sparkle and dance as the light changed in the eastern sky. The whiteness showing just on the heads or tips, like a tree covered with a light fluffy snow. The nearer to actual sunrise the more amazing they looked. Almost downy, a ball of fluff. The southern sky continued to display it's varying streaks of pinks, here and there....but soon no pink was to be seen. Just the dark blue mass that hovered off over the desert.
|That line of pink is fading...see the white tops of the cacti?|
Once again I turned my attention to the mountain, disappointed by the uninspiring view. However as the sun continued to climb closer to it's dawning moment the mountain transformed almost before my eyes. The mundane look of the stone changed to varying shades of darkness, lighter greys, fuller blacks, while the top edges, the spires and spikes were now almost glowing as if surrounded by a yellow fire that was threatening to consume and envelope the entire north side of the mountain. As I watched the giant yellow ball ascend the mountain once again changed and was bathed with long sweeping shadows that continued to creep and crawl along as the sun rose higher and higher. That once stark unfriendly mountain now looked totally different. Softer greys, browns, blacks and finally greens were showing and with each minute the sun continued to rise the colours shifted to lighter, welcoming hues nearer to the bottom and the dark recessed areas near the top were also beginning to lighten and brighten. Showing me crevices, and valleys, nooks and crannies that from afar look like mere hints of themselves. I can't wait to get closer to see if there are indeed nooks and crannies, trails and paths, wending their way upwards to a place I can stop, turn around and survey the area below me. I am quite certain I will be mesmerized by what will lay before me.
The back up beeper of a truck off somewhere in the distance broke my fascination with the mountain scene and I wandered back toward home and slipped inside again. The clock read 7:23 am. I turned on the heater, and the water, went upstairs to do my morning things before coming back down to enjoy my hot cuppa. Riley also rolled out about the time I entered the Igloo and we chatted about the fact that we weren't going to do anything today except take it easy.
|Behind me to the west the sun is splashing off the mountain...|
I'm not sure of the time but I had a few things I wanted to do, a couple of quick little chores that wouldn't take much time or effort and so I started by bringing in all the tools I thought I would need. Of course I didn't bring everything I needed and had to send Riley outside for a quick grab. However I did manage within about 30 minutes to have the little chore completed. We had purchased two smaller cords for inside the Igloo and I had them installed quickly and in use before very long.
|Before me you can see the small hint of yellow on the very edges of the peak....|
I noticed Doug (Miss Adventure Travels )outside and slipped over to chat for a few minutes. We discussed his booster pack and how it worked, etc. He even put it all together to show me, which I appreciate so much. Now I know what I want and how to set it up so we'll be able to get better reception in those out of the way places. Thanks Doug.
|And soon it starts to chase away the darkness of the mountain....|
Back home I quickly finished putting things away, did a quick 15 minutes clean up of the side cubbie, as well as pulling out the table and the Weber. We've opted not to put the mat out as I think it will just become covered in prickly little bunches which I will then have to pick off and I have no desire to do THAT job.
|These spines are everywhere on the desert floor around us....|
After that I was inside prepping lunch. We had planned on Fajitas and salad but since it was such a nice day outside I changed the menu. Green salad, wedge potatoes, orange zest mixed fresh veggies (green beans, asparagus, carrots, peppers, sweet onion, mushrooms), along with JD Hickory Smoked chicken breast. Riley made Thousand Island Dressing for the salad.
|That's the sun behind there causing the spines to show so well....|
Riley was off for a quick walk and I grabbed my book to sit outside reading for a bit in the wonderful sunshine. I noticed a silver jeep coming along up the road, Doug & Yuma were back, I also noticed Riley coming up the path, since everyone was now back around I started lunch. Within about 40 minutes or so everything was ready, and I called Doug over to join us. Well actually Riley and Doug had lunch, I wasn't hungry. It must have been okay as there were no left overs, except a bit of salad. Yeah. Always nice when that happens. I'm not a great cook but it's usually edible and I figure they either eat it all for one of three reasons: either they were very hungry or it was good, or they were afraid I'd serve it again tomorrow as leftovers. Which ever it was, I don't really care.
After we finished, we sat around chatting for a while before Doug and Yuma headed off home, Riley and I came inside to clean up but before that we actually started making tomorrow's lunch, a soup medley. It started off being hamburger soup (made with ground turkey) but ended up being more like a veggie/burger soup. Anyway, whatever you want to call it, it smells good and looks good. Hopefully it tastes good. Tomorrow will tell. After we had the soup going in the crock pot we did dishes, and tidied up a bit. Spent some time reading and just relaxing.
The wind picked up steadily from about the time I started to BBQ and soon was causing great amounts of dust to become airborne. At one point I looked out toward the west, and across the road was completely obliterated by a wall of dust. The sun was still shining sort of through the dust but the wind was still gusting mightily.
|We could hear this horse coming along the road for a long time before we could actually see him. He was very vocal all the way along the road.|
Doug popped over when Riley and I slipped outside to tie the living room slider topper down in these high winds. We discussed plans for tomorrow and kind of a maybe plan. We'll see how it goes tomorrow.
|Can you see what I mean about shadows, colours, nooks, crannies, paths and trails?|
Back inside we shut the doors and windows as the dust was now starting to seep in and a fine layer was evident on the counter. I sat and read for a while before grabbing the camera and heading outside. I will tell you I didn't wait for the sunset as I'm not sure we really had one anyway. Too much stuff in the air but not nice colours. The wind was still whipping around, cold, dust particles floating everywhere. I gave up, came inside and read some more.
|Almost all of the cacti here have these bells or fruits hanging on them ....|
I started this post about 7:30 pm, much later than usual but I truly didn't feel like doing it any earlier. I was enjoying my book and hopefully I'll finish it tomorrow sometime. It's a James Patterson book, a real page turner.
|Can you see all the little arms starting on this cactus?|
When we were first heading this way Riley asked me about the name of the mountains and why they were called Superstition. All things being what they are, I figured rightly so, that it was based on Apache belief that the mountain name was in some way related to something in their past many hundreds of years ago. The name Apache Junction also added more credence to that way of thinking. Sure enough my research today it is explained it this way: Some Apaches believe that the hole leading down into the lower world, or hell, is located in the Superstition Mountains. Winds blowing from the hole is supposed to be the cause of severe dust storms in the metropolitan region.
|I actually had to turn this picture around to make the face appear right side up...|
Added to this set of already named mountains is of course the story of a German immigrant Jacob Waltz who found a huge vein of gold but died before he could excavate it. I'm still trying to figure out why it's the Lost Dutchman's Gold Mine as the man was GERMAN. Oh well, it's one of those things. Researching the area has been interesting and I'll share more of what I learn as the days go by.
So that was our day. Thanks for stopping by, I hope you had an excellent day doing whatever it is that helps get you through your day. I hope you enjoyed your visit to On a long and lonesome highway. Feel free to drop a comment if you like.
As I write this post at 8:29 pm it has been raining off and on for the better part of 30 minutes. Not hard, but not just a few sprinkles either. The wind seems to have calmed considerably and hopefully stays calm.
Until next time.... take care, be safe,