After 11 flights, I hit a day where all the instructors were fully booked, so I got a day off. I decided to head about an hour northeast to the Superstition Wilderness area and take a hike in the desert. There are various explanations for why these mountains are called ‘The Superstitions’. One is that some Apaches believe that the hole leading down into the lower world, or hell, is located in the Superstition Mountains.
Cactus blossom season is a great time to walk in the desert. In the morning, the temperatures were pleasant, around 60°F early, up to a maximum of 85°F by noon, but a nice breeze. I hiked a nine mile loop. If I want to penetrate further in to this very big wilderness, I had better arrive at dawn and bring 2-3 liters of water. Winter or spring is best, as in summer, this area sizzles!
The wild flowers in the desert are unusual and spectacular. Likewise the rock formations, very dramatic. This was a fun hike.
I have decided to pay more attention to birds (the flowers of the sky, as reef fish are the flowers of the sea). I am now carrying around a good pair of binoculars. Today I saw what I think is a Cardinal here:
There were a few days where it was too windy to soar comfortably, so I gave myself 2 days off to hike.
My next hike in The Superstitions was to the highest peak, Superstitions 5057. I started a bit late in the afternoon, and had to turn back before the summit to avoid being caught up there in the dark. Here are some pictures from that hike.
An ‘Iron Cross Blister Bug’. Secrets a chemical that raises big blisters on your skin. Look but don’t touch!
One of the smallest owls, a ‘Burrowing Owl’ that lives in holes in the ground dug by other critters.
Possible future hike: Flatiron Peak, the most prominent peak area in the western Superstitions.