On Wednesday we decided to go on a different hike than what the Club had planned. There were a couple of reasons for this. Firstly, the planned hike wasn’t one of our favourites. Secondly, our friends had just returned from Colorado and hadn’t hiked for 3 weeks or so, and wanted to stretch their legs and get in some elevation hiking. So, it was decided that we’d head to the Apache Dam overlook which is a relatively short hike at 3.6 miles, but includes a 1150 foot elevation gain. Some how we managed to turn it into almost a 5 mile hike by wandering around the top of the mountain though.
The weather for the hike was great, warm and sunny like we’ve been waiting for all winter. As we waited a bit before heading to the trail it was starting to get nice and warm by the time we reached the trail.
We’ve been coming here since 2011, and up to 2015 the southwest has been in a drought situation. The drought has been broken all across the southwest this year, and nowhere is it more apparent than during our hikes. The desert is greener and healthier than we’ve ever seen before.
The rains haven’t affected the brilliant blue skies at all.
The group was supposed to be looking for wildlife in the valley below. No deer were seen this time, but it didn’t stop us from hoping to see them.
It wasn’t too long before we we were on top of the overlook. Deb did fine, although she could tell she hadn’t been hiking in a while. Her legs were tired, but she made good time.
From the overlook we had a great view of the Salt River Valley. It’s easy to see where the name Grand Canyon of the Superstitions comes from. You can’t actually see the Apache Dam from this viewpoint, as it’s just around the next bend.
The other side of the overlook is above Fish Creek.
We spent quite a bit of time wandering around the plateau and eventually started looking for rocks called Desert Rose. I ended up with quite a pile of rocks in my backpack. I plan to place these in my flower posts at home as the colour of the quartz is rather unique.
There are certainly more delicate and intricate versions of Desert Roses to be found. This is one I pulled from the Interweb. Mine look rather clunky in comparison.
Just as we were walking off the trail Sylvia found a Cactus she want’s to adopt. I managed to convince her that it would grow into something large and mean, so it was left behind, but isn’t it cute?!
On Friday we took a day trip to Tubac with our friends Jim and Cheryl and Dana and Debbie, and visited the Arts Festival there. Sylvia also found several items that she wanted to take home, but resisted the urge to spend a few thousand dollars.
These colourful creations done on Birch Bark were especially nice, but the tall cylinders, which are actually lamps, range between $600 and $1500.
These metal pieces were my favourite. I couldn’t get the artist to stop polishing his work, so you get to see his best side.
Along with the regular pickleball and softball, we’ve had a busy week again, and are sure enjoying the heat and sunshine. Our neighbour sent us a picture of our front yard to show us what we’re missing at home.
Yep, I think we made the right decision to spend our winters in Arizona. Maybe next year we’ll convince our neighbours to join us.