I was buried on a waitlist for a group hike when an email popped in from the group leader, "Mark, don't worry about the waitlist. Come out and hike with us." How nice. But, the start was 6:00am and a 90 minute drive so I thanked him and told him I'd probably start around 6:30 and maybe catch them at the top. Above, the sun rises and casts its light over the valley as I prepare to shove off from the Miner's Camp Restaurant parking lot...a back way into Lost Dutchman State Park and the west end of the Superstitions.
Yes, if you've followed this blog for awhile you've seen this before but today's destination is not the Flat Iron there in the middle but a peak above it, off screen to the left. The marvelous Siphon Draw where I caught the back end of the group of 15 and the group leader, David, who was sweeping. I kept going.
Steep and then really steep higher up. I reached a group of 5 and they asked if I was Mark. When I said yes they told me David said there might be a guy who would catch us, walk through us and see us at the top. It's nice to have a rep and I kept going until....
...at the top of a 12' wall, I sat and waited for the group to catch up.
To my left was the Flat Iron but again, not where I was going today. The others arrived and we took the group pics while a woman wanted to know if this was the lunch spot...no.
We began the next segment through towering hoodoos. At one point, a woman....
....kind of collapsed on the slope of a flat boulder. Clinging but unable to go up. A guy put his hand on her butt and shoved. It worked, she thanked him and he said, "It was nice to meet ya." funny moment. At last....
...we reached the peak 5420 do designated because of its height with Superstition Peak in the distance. Not every peak has a name.
I ate an energy bar, drank walked to the east end of the peak and looked...
...to the east. Gawd, how fabulous. Weaver's Needle above the standing woman.
I talked to a guy who was carrying a very neat hand gun. It shoots different rounds, one for maximum impact, one for snakes, it can shoot a flare, kind of a hiker's special. We took more group pics and then the same woman asked if this was the lunch spot. Ugh. I told David I had NCAA football games to watch and....
....made my way through the hoodoos and then on down where towards the bottom....
....looking across the west faceing slope I could see people hiking the Crosscut trail. Good day but my legs were beat. I did an easy ride on Sunday, took Monday off and now to Tuesday and the hike to Romero's Pass, a 14 mile hike.
Mark is a long-time cyclist who enjoys poking fun at himself but most especially at his friends. No nicknames or comments are intended to offend, accept them in the humor they are intended.