Thursday, March 1, 2018

Short hike, great weather, and wow, what a moon....

Our Location: 
Superstition Mountain BLM, Apache Junction, Az

I was awake but wasn't out of bed when my phone buzzed with a text from my sister around 6:35 am. Which would be just after 8:35 am Ontario time. I should have been up anyway. I scrambled up and out the door to chat but she needed about 45 minutes before she would ready to do so. Hmmmmmm...she is special, isn't she? 

Not much of a sunrise....
Camera in hand I started walking hoping to make some of the low rises in the distance before the sunrise. I made the top of one but thought I could make the other which would offer a different angle and view. I was about 2 minutes too slow. Oh well, it was a nice view, and I managed to get some pictures of the general area. I was almost back home before I called my sister to chat. We caught up on the news and gossip, chatted about our upcoming summer time trip to the Canadian East Coast. About 40 minutes later we were caught up and I said my goodbyes. We miss Jan and look forward to seeing her in early May. 

This is what I caught about 2 minutes too late .....

I prepped lunch which today will be pretty much the same as the other day, salad, chicken, veggies and potatoes. I'm not very creative and it's pretty easy fare to make, we like it and add variety with different spices, herbs and sauces. 

On our morning hike we crossed this ATV/Jeep/Horse area, obviously well used and while it doesn't look it, often rutted rolling small sandy-gravel type dirt.

I was starting to read blogs I missed last night, comment, etc when Doug (Miss Adventure Travels )sent a text message asking about coming over. Yep, come on over. So the three of us sat down and chatted about yesterday's adventure for a few minutes, then about what we wanted to do today. I think we're all ready for a short hike or two. So that is the plan. We plan to head out around 11:30 am which will give us all time to have some breakfast, and get ready. 

It doesn't look like much down in that pit does it?

Breakfast for Riley was a couple of sandwiches, I didn't see her make them but I noticed her eating them. I made myself a breakfast burrito of sorts but added Miracle Whip to the outside of the wrap like I would to a grill cheese, gives it a bit of a tang and it also makes oil/butter unnecessary. 

We came walking down this road.....

Soon we were ready to go and outside Yuma came over before Doug and when Riley opened her door to do something he just hopped right in. He was ready to head out and didn't want to miss his ride. It was too funny. Soon enough all of us were loaded into the Dogsled and heading less than a mile up the way to the where the road dead ends. We thought we do a small hike today and opted to head out toward a huge rock back there that we've been looking at since we arrived. 

Looking up from down in the pit...

I figured it was about a mile each way but I think it may have been closer to 1 1/4 miles. There were a number of ATV's/Quads/jeeps either going through the gate (legally with a permit) or around the gate (illegally without a permit as they couldn't open the gate) to head off in to the trails. The permits are free and I have no idea why folks don't just get the permit to have access via the gate. This is where we've noticed a lot of work on going with some new fencing going up and I think it will block the NON legal trail that allows folks to go around the gate area. Also some horse trailers in the area. The same ones we met yesterday on our way out the Apache Trail. 

And we walked up this one....

Doug, Yuma, Riley and I walked and stumbled along over some off road areas, some on road areas and made for this big rock in as straight a line as possible. At one point we had to back track a bit as we missed the road and headed up the mountain side instead. We however corrected that mistake and were soon on the right path. Not far into our hike we came upon a large pit like area, but the bottom was flat with a few spots where campfires had been evident, some with debris only partially burned but at least still in the fire ring. The outer edges of the pit had multiple 'roads' up and out, all of course only suitable for off road vehicles. They were steep, rutted, gouged, rough pathways. Had we known what we were doing we could have gone either way not more than a few feet and found roads that were much much easier to walk down. However on the way in we weren't that smart and managed with great care to get down into and back out of this pit still standing and all in one piece. Nothing skinned, ripped, broken or otherwise damaged. We watched two Razors heading up one of the 'roads' and I'm telling you it must have been some ride, they were bouncing around and still pouring the juice to 'em. I'm sure they were having fun. 

That big rock over there is our destination....Yuma always has to lead the way...

On the top side once more we managed to find our way to the large rock. It didn't look so big from far back but it's a huge thing as you can see in the pictures. Yuma of course is always ready to go first and brave the unknown. Doug followed close behind him but Riley and I headed off a bit to try a less difficult trail. We found a horse trail with gravel that was easily mashed down and made solid footing. We managed the climb without any difficulty although a tow would have made it easier. 

That's where we're going....

Meanwhile Doug was out of sight but we did see Yuma once in a while braving the heights of the rock. We noticed 4 horses coming along behind us and the horses all managed to come up with only one appearing to have done any scrambling at all. They all stopped on the top of the hill, assuring me that Doug was still standing and in one piece as they could see him as they came toward the trail while Riley and I couldn't see him behind the rock. After a short breather for the horses they were off once again on the trail leading farther back into the canyon. If I have time I may actually go back there and walk a bit just to see what I can see on that trail. I'll bet it's an amazing sight. 

Can you see Doug down there?

While Riley rested with Yuma (who had come around as the horses were coming up the trail), I traveled a few feet up to the rock, snapped some pictures and caught sight of Doug coming on up the trail. He also found the path onto the rock and took a few photos I think. After that it was back down the trails, easier time through the jeep pit and back to the Dogsled pretty quick. We were around the 1 1/2 hour mark. 
That is Superstition Mountain from about mid way up the rock...

Back home about 1 pm we all went our separate ways with an invite to Doug to come over for lunch around 3 pm. I had a short nap and finished my James Patterson book. Started a new one by Jonathan Kellerman, he's a good writer as well. 

I took pictures from level area where Doug is standing, although more around the corner on the left....

I was outside by about 2:20 pm getting lunch started on the Weber. It was about 20 minutes before 3 while I was sitting out reading that I had a visitor that really didn't have much to say just wanted me to sit there and pet him. Yuma had somehow managed to evade Doug and came for a visit all by himself. Wasn't long before Doug called him home and shortly after that they both came over. Before long lunch was ready and I think everyone had their fill. JD Hickory Smoke Chicken breasts, orange juice/zest fresh veggies (green beans, mushrooms, carrots, peppers, sweet onions), garlic potato wedges and of course a green salad. 

Some morning pictures around sunrise....see the pic on the right, that pass or notch is where we travelled yesterday....

Mountain pictures taken in the sunshine ......

We all sat around chatting about this, that and other things, made some tentative plans for tomorrow and shortly before 5:30 called it a day. Doug and Yuma headed off home, Riley and I came inside to clean up after lunch, do dishes and settle in for the night.

These guys were all heading out of the pit....

Riley made some salads for tomorrow while I was busy doing a few other things and by 7 we were all finished. I sat down to write my post, edit my pics and all that stuff. I happened to glance out and caught the most incredible moon, slipped out to take a few pictures and continue this blog. 

The horses made the top of the climb......

So there you have it, our short hiking day. The temps were warm enough to go in short sleeves on the way back from the hike but coolish enough to need a sweater on the way in. Tomorrow will be nicer still. Going to enjoy this weather while we can. 

I changed lenses to capture the moon and snapped one of Superstition Mountain as well...

Thanks for stopping by, I hope you enjoyed your visit. Feel free to drop a comment. 

Various shots of the moon tonight....

Until next time.... take care, be safe, 

These two pictures were taken from the top step of the Igloo just after sunset....

The moon over the mountains tonight just after the sunset....



  1. Great pictures. I liked how you could see the elevation in the trail. I can't seem to catch that in my pictures.

    The moon was really bright tonight and brought the coyotes out. They were howling, barking and yipping. Yuma barked back at them.

    Enjoyed the hike. It was enough for today. Tomorrow might be tougher.

    1. Thanks Doug. I don't know how I get it, I just point and shoot.

      Loved the moon, and it was so bright everywhere I looked. I heard them very close but couldn't see them. I actually wondered if it was the folks beside you in the tents that started them howling. The first bunch didn't sound like coyote's to me, more like fools barking at the moon. However I never thought about Yuma barking back at them. That must have been fun.

      Yeah, enough for today I agree. I think another hike tomorrow, then Riley and I are going to take a day off and head out to the Mesa Market Place for a look around.

      Take care, be safe,

  2. What fun day y'all had a nice easy hike and new scenery love the full moon and your great pictures.

    1. Thanks George. It was an easy hike, we scrambled in a few places but nothing major. Love the new views, it just keeps going and going, like there is no end.

      The full moon was literally looking in the kitchen window right into my line of view. It was incredibly beautiful.

      Take care, be safe,

  3. I think it's really nice how often you are in touch w family. What I wouldn't give to be able to call my dad! (mom too)..Sounds like an awesome lunch once again! Love the scenery where you guys are. The moon was incredible.

    1. I should call my other two daughters more often but they have busy lives, work, dinner, etc always seem to have me delaying for some reason. I often call my dad and my sister. My sister and usually text but sometimes I just don't have the patience to do that and call instead.

      It was a simple lunch, ten minutes prep time, 40 minutes BBQ time and it's ready to go.

      It is amazing to see the views here. Definitely worth the road trip in to this area. Some noise but it's more a white background noise than anything else. I enjoy watching the quads, razors, etc and even the dirt bikes that howl back and forth, round and round, they are having a great time. The only noise that seems to be a noise is the jack hammer at the end of the turn where they are putting in the fence, but it doesn't go on for long and I think when the fence is finished all of that noise will be gone.

      The moon was amazing, it stared right in the kitchen window at me sitting in my chair writing my post. Hahaha..

      take care, be safe,

  4. Sounds like more hiking fun without overdoing it. Glad you are enjoying yourselves there.
    Lunch sounds delicious and Doug is getting spoiled! ha ha He is certainly not complaining!
    Yuma has certainly welcomed you guys not only as neighbours but as friends, that is so nice.
    Your moon pictures are great!

    1. We are taking it easy and not overdoing it. We are having a great time.

      I'm not sure about getting spoiled, but he seems to enjoy it. Yuma is a sweetheart and we just truly enjoy having him around. Doug as well!!! Hahaha

      Thanks Patsy.

      Take care, be safe,