There is a rapture on the lonely shore;
There is society, where none intrudes.
By the deep sea, and music in its roar:
I love not man the less, but Nature more...

-Lord Byron

Definition of Walkabout :

a short period of wandering as an occasional interruption of regular work
Showing posts with label Superstitions. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Superstitions. Show all posts

15 June 2017

The Peralta Trail

I've accepted the fact that one must rise up early to get in some Arizona hiking, but I don't mind. Six am can be beautiful in the desert.

The Superstition mountains continue to be my favorite spot to explore, and this early morning in March finds me at the Peralta trailhead. I'm hoping to summit and possibly find the wind caves.
Our wet winter has turned the desert into a green oasis. I wind through trees as the sun rises and sparks a fiery glow on the red sandstone rocks. Hawks circle overhead looking for a last meal before it gets too warm. I climb higher and higher.
The trail seems to disappear as I get close to the top. I find a cave, not too deep or wide though, and wonder if this is the famed wind cave.

I don't think it is, and circle around hoping to climb higher. Somehow though, I get turned around and find myself going back down the trail.

It seems as though this hike was a good introduction to the mountain, but like a gold digger or miner, it is going to require many hours of work and exploration of this mountain range to find all of it's hidden gems.

28 February 2017

All Hail! The Arizona Renaissance Festival

For the past twelve years (give or take a year or two), I've been driving past the "Renaissance Festival" sign at the base of the Superstition mountains in the east end of the valley. I would look out into the vast desert and wonder what truly happens here for six weeks.

This past weekend, I finally made it myself, and it was, in one word, glorious.
As soon as I entered the gates, I felt transported back in time to the Renaissance era of yesteryear. Busty corseted women and lanky knights sauntered past me, wizards and pirates strolled across the courtyard, executioners donning black capes and elf children scampered through the trees.
I'm pulled into a comedy show of irreverent nuns, a man with a mean fiery whip, three guys and some drums, belly dancers, fire eaters, and a spectacular carnevale.

This was only the tip of the iceberg though. You can try you hand wielding an axe as you attempt to throw it at a target, practice your archery skills, or perhaps show your strength as you lift the mighty mallet to impress your lady.

I go grab a leg of tasty meat with a dark pint of ale, sit back and enjoy.
So much to see and do, I'm thrilled that I decided to get a season pass so I can return for more adventures all throughout March, as there is still so much awesomeness to be found.

Be prepared, as there will be more to come over the next few weeks, but until then you wenchs, spires, kings and wizards....

06 February 2017

lost on the lost goldmine trail, but I'm alright...

Winter in Arizona is full of blue skies and temperatures in the seventies for the month of February, and that's just alright by me.

Time to get back into the Superstition mountains and onto another trail. This time I find the Lost Goldmine, and away I go.
Whilst enjoying the beautiful day and scenery, I find that I'm lost, as the trail just abruptly ends in the middle of nowhere. I take a big swig of water and survey my surroundings.
I see another trail that I can access by crisscrossing the desert, and use a couple giant cacti to keep me on course. I eventually connect back to my original trail, and then head back home. Perhaps another day I'll find the way to actually summit these mountains, but for today, I'm alright with the hiking and exploration that was done.

It's just all about getting out there.

22 January 2017

The Superstitions

"Rainstorms and high winds are predicted all weekend...."

The Superstitions mountains at the East end of the Phoenix valley have long given prominence to my hiking soul. The day (the first of many to come) of exploring them finally came. I head east, find the Peralta exit, and drive along the dirt road to the trail head.
Our recent rains and colder weather have literally turned the dry desert into a green oasis. The low hanging clouds cascading over the mountain tops create the aura of an old western movie, complete with villains and heroes.

Dry creek beds are overflowing, and before long my little car comes to a river I dare not cross.

Calling 911 is not in the plans for today.

I put the car in reverse, and glance in the rear view mirror. I large, fast moving black shape rushes across the road and into the brush.

It's the biggest Javelina I've seen so far, and one that I don't want to mess with.

I park on higher ground, and survey my surroundings. I'm not at the trail head yet, but I walk down to the river, following the path of the ugly beast that almost hit my car.

He's a few hundred yards upstream, drinking from the riverbank. I turn back and walk along the road for 1/2 a mile until I reach the Peralta trail head. I can hear the Javelina rustling in the brush for a bit, then nothing but silence as I leave the river and hike towards the Superstitions.
The trail splits at the mountain base, I choose to go left. winding along the mountains and in between cacti and chollas. Each and every step shows me something new, surprising and wonderful.
The calling of birds hunting is the only sound that breaks the desert silence. Seems as though most folks go right on the trail...

I will return to take that route, no doubt, but for today, going left on the Peralta was the direction Richard Parker was to follow.