Wednesday, February 28, 2018 – Location: Superstition Mountains near Apache Junction, Arizona
During the night we had rain. At times it came down quite hard. This morning when I peeked out my window, I saw the real Superstition Mountains. Dark and foreboding veiled in clouds and fog.
Had breakfast and around 9:30, Deb, Riley, Yuma and I jumped in Deb’s Dogsled and headed up AZ88 for the Apache Trail. We made the decision to forego hiking today because there was quite a bit of cloud cover with a cool breeze. Best if we stayed in the warm truck today.
Now I’ll admit upfront I thought the drive would be about 25 miles and we would be back home by early afternoon, no problem. In reality, it was 40 miles and a portion of the drive was on very bad road going around 5-10 miles an hour.
So, instead of a three hour drive, it was over six hours. It turned out to be a long day but a fun day. It is one of those drives you do once and that’s it. Seen it, done it, done!
We first stopped at the Superstition Mountain Museum to take a look around and hopefully to get some hiking information. It was kids day and there were lots of kids enjoying the Museum.
Beautiful outdoor miniature train setup.
This is a huge stamp press used to crush rocks into small grains so the gold could be extracted from it.
Forget the name of this contraption but it crushes rocks so gold could be extracted but on a much smaller scale. The large stone in the middle is pulled over smaller rocks crushing them. Normally, pulled by a burro or donkey, but today pushed by children.
We then headed a short way down the road and stopped for some pictures at a scenic place. So happened there were horses and riders just getting ready to head down the trail for the day.
We made a quick stop at Lost Dutchman’s State Park to ask about hiking information and the cost of admission. Thinking this would be a great place for trailheads for hiking. The lady at the park entrance said it was $7 per carload and with payment they would provide hiking brochures. Probably be back. The low cloud cover was still shrouding the mountain. This is the view of Superstition Mountain from the entrance of the park.
First stop was Canyon Lake.
The tourist boat on the lake was named after my wife Dolly.
Buzzed by the little tourist trap, Tortilla Flats without stopping. The place was packed.
The views of the tall mountains around us was rugged and beautiful. Just can’t imagine how anyone crossed these mountains on horse in the old days. You can see our little one lane strip of rough road winding through the mountains.
The last lake we passed before reaching our destination was Apache Lake.
Thinking it was only about a 20 mile drive, I must have told Deb and Riley a hundred times, the dam is just around the next corner. After awhile they just weren't believing me. But, finally we did turn that last corner and I was right. There was the Roosevelt Dam, just like I said it would be.
Worth all the hype? You’ll have to ask Deb and Riley. Just on the other side of the dam was the Roosevelt Dam Bridge. I think it is a beautiful arch bridge.
Apache Trail dead ends into AZ188. Turn left and you go to Payson. Turn right you go to Globe. We were so tired of bad road, we made the decision to head towards Globe and catch hwy 60 to Apache Junction.
As we headed towards Globe, we made one quick stop at the Tonto National Forest Cliff dwellings. There are two dwellings, the upper and lower. We could only see the lower dwellings.
We were just beat from our long drive up here, so didn’t take the walk up to the dwelling. It was already closing in on 4 o’clock. Look at all those Saguaros!
Roosevelt Lake surrounded by mountains.
Passed Top-of-the-World on our way down through the Superstition Mountains heading towards Apache Junction. Poor Yuma was yawning and whining because of the pressure in his ears as we headed towards the desert floor.
Just as we got to our site I went into my MH to take the solar panel out. When I stepped out, Deb was talking to a striking Ranger. He was all decked out in riot gear, so I thought the worst. Turns out he just wanted to let us know there was a 14 day limit to our stay on BLM land. We assured him we would be gone within 14 days and he was on his way.
Time for the horses to come in and call it a day.
Had just enough time to get dinner done and turn on the TV for the first episode of “Survivor” 2018. Turned out to be a two hour special, so this blog is a little late today.
See you later.