Sunday, February 14, 2016

The Superstitions

Recent rains have inspired some stunning desert wildflowers. This is Globe Mallow.
Weeknights, I pour over the Arizona map, in search of cool destinations to explore on the weekends. (I'm spending the month of February in Arizona, to escape a harsh winter.)

Find the Superstition Mountains on the far east side of Phoenix.
And, that's how I learned about the Lost Dutchman. A super lucky and also terribly unfortunate fellow ~ who found an amazing gold mine, got rich quick, and then the Indians killed him.

But NOT before he carved a map into stone, so as to never lose the path to that gold mine!

The odd map to the Lost Dutchman mine ~ carved on stone tablets.
Fast forward 100 years, and some hiker finds these stones -- with the map carved into them!

To the gold mine! 
Where we can all get rich quick! 
And, pray the Indians don't kill us, after we've found the loot.

Brittle Brush, celebrating the sunshine.
It's become the Holy Grail of hiking trips.

For 60 years, people have been searching for this lost mine. (Which makes me think the Dutchman was a pretty lame cartographer...)

Buckets of gold are hiding in them, thar hills.
We had the entire afternoon free so we thought we'd give it a shot. You know, feeling lucky and all...

So, off we went ~ into the wild ~ in search of riches and glory ~ and, with any luck, some pretty wildflowers.

Ocotillo: the flowers are often served in salads.
Turns out that Dutchman is one popular guy.

There must have been 500 people on that trail. None of them willing to walk a step past the spot where the pavement ends. Can't really blame 'em.

It's hot out there!

Entire [fake] ghost towns have cropped up along the route.

It was an absolute riot poking around this tourist trap! Complete with prickly pear ice cream.

With so much competition for the gold mine, we decided to head on down the road, into the Tonto National Forest where we discovered Canyon Lake.

A delightful break from the sand and heat of the surrounding desert.

We dipped our piggies into the cool, clear water, relaxed beneath a shade tree...

'Twas here... where I confessed I don't think I'll ever become a desert gal. 

Oh, this was a fine experiment - seeing what it's like to be an Arizona native.

And, it's pretty and everything.

But, home is where the heart is. I'm missing my snowy mountains. My family and my friends.

The same three things that were making me absolutely miserable just a few weeks ago.

But, I guess that's why we take vacations. And, also why we get pretty excited when it's time to go home.

Here's hoping you're all having a lovely Valentines Day.

~ kate

1 comment:

Rilly said...

If you buy the Arizona Highways magazine and read it in a cool house you'll have the best of both worlds. ;)