If I were to tell you that our last week consisted of Pickleball, Softball, Hiking and general merriment would you be surprised? The various activities we engage in down here remain relatively constant, but the amount of time we spend on each varies widely each week.
This past week we cut back on the hiking a bit as Sylvia is practicing with a partner for an upcoming pickleball tournament and that took up one of our hiking days. Prior to that I played a couple of days of softball on the two teams I’m on. Our Monday team got smoked in two straight games by two different teams. I am beginning to think that we’re overmatched in that league this year. The Tuesday team, which is supposedly comprised of the best players in the park (exactly why they asked me to play is a mystery) won both games, although I only played in the first one where we shut out the other team. The uniform for the team is pretty classy, but I have the feeling the long socks make me look a bit like a little English School Boy.
Friday was hiking day (finally!) and our club took 30 or so of us to Massacre Grounds. This is a fairly short hike, just under 6 miles round trip, but is a fairly steady uphill slog all the way. A small side trip took a few of us to Massacre Falls which is a rather generous name for a trickle that flows down the hillside below Superstition Mountain.
It was a cool cloudy day today, so the pictures are a bit different – No Brilliant Blue Skies.
Our path took us right past Praying Hands where we hiked a few weeks ago. There is some sort of a path between where we were and Praying Hands, but the last time some of our hikers tried it they found it very overgrown with Cats Claw. A rather nasty bush that grabs and scratches everything that comes near it.
This is Massacre Falls. This is at least the third time we’ve been here, and have never seen a whole lot of water. The black streaks show that there is a lot of water that at the least seeps from the hillside.
I spent some time climbing above the falls to get some different pictures. Sylvia wisely decided to stay below with the rest of the crew.
Dana thought about having a shower in the trickle. This is actually the most water we’ve ever seen here, but we’ll keep trying to get here at a time when it actually deserves the title ‘Falls’.
The view from the spot where Sylvia and Deb were standing was pretty special. That’s Black Mesa in the foreground, 4 Peaks in the far background and I believe Battleship Mountain to the right. The rest of the hiking club is on the extreme right sitting on the Massacre Grounds.
The story behind the name for Massacre Grounds is a bit murky, but I managed to find a webpage that documented the most commonly accepted story.
‘The main story goes something like this: During the middle years of the 19th century, the wealthy Peralta family of Mexico operated several mines in what is now Arizona. In the aftermath of the Mexican War, with the new border shifting south, the Peraltas decided to extract as much ore as possible before their holdings became U.S. territory.
One last expedition, laden with rich gold ore, was on its way to Mexico when Apaches attacked, slaughtering the hapless miners on the northwestern flanks of the Superstitions. Years later, the single survivor of the attack revealed the location of the family’s richest mine to Jacob Waltz, who had saved another family member from harm.
True or not, the account provides a foundation for tales of the Lost Dutchman Mine.’
The edge of the bluff at Massacre Grounds has a few of these little Bonsai trees growing out of the rock.
We were back at the park in time for lunch, and finished off the day sharing laughs and munchies with a few friends. One of the heavy duty discussions at our little get together was how much we enjoy having an ‘unstructured life’. I’m really not sure how unstructured we are, as the alarm is set almost 7 days a week, and we seem to always have somewhere to go. Just the way we like it!