The Lone Pine
Can you guess what is wrong with this image.....it's that you can see this image. I've been on kind of eastern time zone sleeping so have been waking regularly at around 5-5:30 but not today. It should be dark at this point in the 87 mile drive but the sun is well up as I pass through Florence (huge prison complex) and the surrounding countryside. With a high of around 92, I wanted to be on the trail by 7:00am but instead, 8:30. I was headed up the Peralta Trail to the Fremont Saddle and then from there, off trail to Robbers Roost.
At mile 80 the road turns to dirt but it is relatively smooth for most of the remaining 7 miles. Multiple turnouts and other trail heads that lead into the Superstition Wilderness or the "Supes" as the locals call the area.
I reach the parking area where there are about 15 vehicles accessing a network of trails. Most people head up the one I have chosen because at the top is the magnificent view of.....
......Weaver's Needle. People camp at the top of that but ropes are needed to access it. I've been to the base one time but that requires a difficult bushwhacking route. Note to self for future reference, I arrived at Fremont Saddle at 52:30. While sitting in the shade with a few others, I overheard someone say they had tried to reach that lone pine tree just to the right but were stopped by a ledge they could not climb down. Intrigued, I asked about the way and decided to forego the Roost for the Long Pine instead.
Actually, there was a faint trail for much of the way, during which I could see Superstition Peak in the distance. A hiker told me people are advised not to camp within a rough circle of vertical rock slabs at the peak because during the night the area pulsates due to some magnetic field or something. It is a way cool place but when there I did not notice anything odd.
Views to the east were so spectacular. There are dozens more trails and neat places to visit but the roads require a high clearance vehicle to access so I patiently wait for the area hiking groups to schedule, during which I can hitch a ride.
The pine, appearing so small at the saddle is actually very tall. The first branch is 6' from the ground. There was a metal box at the base of the tree with a notebook and pencil so I signed in. Signatures go way back and many are matched with a written reaction to their visit. I just write my usual, "Go Buckeyes".
In the distance, unseen, is Canyon Lake and that may be Battleship Mt, the yellow rock area in the middle. I jumped from boulder to boulder, each giving a slightly different view and snapped lot of pics and video.
Looking back, I noticed there was a lone Saguaro too. Kind of unusual at this elevation. I begin the hike back and then down the Peralta. It is hot but not too bad as I finish the 7 mile hike.....
...with the always welcome view of the parking area.
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