making owls cool since 1986

We moved to Arizona to see burrow owls. Where the hell are all the burrow owls?

Sunday, November 11, 2007

The Superstition Wilderness

You know a place has to be awesome with a name like the Superstition Wilderness. The Superstition Wilderness is part of Tonto National Forest and is made up of a section of the Superstition Mountains. If you have heard of the Superstitions, it probably because they are thought to be the home of the Lost Dutchman Mine, one of America's most enduring hidden treasure legends.

After spending out previous two hiking trips at South Mountain in Phoenix, Erin and I decided to go somewhere new, so we went to REI and bought a book of day hikes by a dude named Cosmic Ray. It's a rad little book. We were originally going to head up to the Apache-Sitgreaves National Forest again, but we were pressed for time and the book suggested a trail called the hieroglyphic trail in the Superstitions, so we decided to check it out.

The trail head was in Apache Junction, which is on the other side of Mesa (which is where Jimmy Eat World is from... Mesa, I mean - FYI). It's pretty cool out there. There are lots of new houses, but not the boring, square subdivision boxes we've seen pretty much everywhere else in the valley.

The name of the trail - the hieroglyphic trail, is really a misnomer. Hieroglyphics were Egyptian, and these drawings, called petroglyphs, were done by Hohokam Native Americans. We had seen petroglyphs at South Mountain and Hayden's Butte, but these were the most impressive by far. We hiked to the end of the trail, where there was a stagnant pool of water. The petroglyphs were on the walls surrounding the pool.
This pool was pretty nasty. There were tons of bees around it, but it supported a lot of greenery, flowers and butterflies.

At the end of the trail and in sight of the petroglyphs, Erin and I decided to sit down in the shade and have a snack. Little did we know that our Clif Bars and apples would smell so appealing to a bunch of really bold antelope squirrels! These little fellas came from all around the area to spy on us, chase each other around, and hope for a dropped peanut. They're really cute and funny to watch.
This little dude thought he was such a clever spy...

From the spot where we made squirrel friends, we could see this balanced rock off in the distance. We're going to have to go up there and check it out some day.

This type of cactus is called a teddy bear cholla, I think.

This is a close up of a young saguaro cactus.
This is what they look like when they've been growing for a while!

Changing the subject, I don't think I've mentioned that we got a new car. It's a 2007 Toyota Matrix M Theory. It's rad. It feels so good to have a nice new car with a nice new warranty. I'll provide pictures of it here soon!



Blogger BillyPru said...

cool pics, i want to see the new ride.

6:06 PM  
Anonymous Sean said...

Cute antelope squirrels! They look like chipmunks.

3:36 PM  
Blogger the unreliable narrator said...

Alas, it's not a young saguaro, it's a barrel cactus (probably Ferocactus wislizenii, the fishhook barrel).

Great pictures, great blog! And you get bonus points if you can ever figure out who I am. ;o)

2:40 PM  
Blogger Eric said...

Hmm...likes quilting, uncannily specific knowledge of cactus species...probably thinks I'm a traitor for leaving the office...probably sits in the corner with all the pictures...hmmm.. I have no idea.

Thanks for the correction, though. I do like to be accurate about these things!

7:40 PM  
Blogger the unreliable narrator said...

WHO could it possibly BE?!?!?!


8:01 PM  

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