Friday, March 18, 2016

Massacre Falls Hike

Cindy was on spring break this last week, so we took advantage of some of the last cool-ish days of the spring to hike on a trail new to both of us: Massacre Falls trail in the Superstition Mountains.

Good reflection in the back window of the Cube!
We were excited to get out there.

Lots of stuff was blooming - it's rare to see the desert as colorful as it is right now.

This particular hike has a LOT more greenery than many of the desert hikes I've done.
 It felt lush.

The Ocotillo are blooming! 

I feel as if I was blooming, too.
I had amazing stamina and positivity in spite of the long hike and the heat.
I am not known for my ability to tolerate heat or long physical exertion, so this feels like a whole new me!  I attribute this to my eating pattern shift I started last July.

Look at the textures and colors! 

This hike was around the back of the Lost Dutchman Treasure Loop. 

Cacti were blooming in brilliant pink: 

Trails in Arizona are typically marked by cairns, which are little piles of rocks.
When we don't see any for awhile, we assume we've veered off track. 

I love taking photos of cairns because they're pretty and organic and interesting,
and this one had an extra BONUS: a little lizard! 

Can you spot him from afar?

I couldn't stop taking pictures of him, and he seemed to know it because he posed for me!

As we ascended, the ground got rockier.

There's Four Peaks!
I always try to keep that in my mind because then I know where I am. 

There was plenty else to see, though! 

We stopped in this shade because it was already HOT (around 86 for a high): 

The cool rock felt wonderful on our sweaty backs!

The view was pretty, too! 

I saw this little plant that I've never seen before!
 A sedum, perhaps?

We found a fault line.
This area all used to be volcanic mountains. 

The rock was tricky to climb because it was smooth and steeper.
I thought it was a fun challenge because I have mountain goat genes and gecko feet.

There were caves sprinkled around in the rocky terrain. 

We got to Praying Hands, a rock formation that is part of the Lost Dutchman park . . . 
and we knew we had gone too far.
The information we read about Massacre Falls led us to believe we would find the "falls" before Praying Hands.
And by the way, the "falls" only have water after a BIG rain.

We ate our snack in the shade.

On the way back, I investigated an area off the trail and up a steep incline.
There were holes in the rocks that looked good for shooting arrows through . . . 
 (the name "Massacre Falls" comes from an actual massacre)

The black on the rocks leads me to believe that water has flowed here . . . 

I think we went too far north by taking a different trail.
I will definitely be trying again! 

The rocks were beautifully green with moss and lichen. 

And I was up very high!

On the way down, it was hot.
But we made it!!! 

Of course, we took the wrong fork to the parking lot and ended up a ways down the road from the Cube.  Oops! 

We made it, though!

I got home and snuggled the little babies . . . 

And I was thankful for such a beautiful world!

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