Thursday, December 22, 2011

A Silly Way to Spend the Day

sTuesday I found out I had dodged the skin cancer bullet so I decided to celebrate my "over the hill plus ten" (or twenty depending on what you consider to be over the hill) birthday by hiking up Silly Mountain in Apache Junction, Arizona. Silly Mountain is its official name and now it even has it's own Botanical Trail, picnic benches and doggie water fountain. It is officially a destination park instead of a place where people brought their off road vehicles to tear up the side of the mountain. And yes, I'm a bit anti-ATV when it comes to the damage they do to the desert. Anyway, when Denny and I first walked up Silly Mountain back in 2002 you could pretty much just walk straight up the hill from the parking lot. The park service has now closed off that wide pathway created by misuse and a staff of volunteers has created a series of narrow walking/trail biking pathways around the mountain that create 360 degree vistas and varying amounts of difficulty to walk. On a good day you can see for miles; there was a haze in the air when Denny and I were attempting our walk. I assume there are still some geocaches around the mountain too, although I haven't checked that.I think the sum total of the paths I took was about one mile, but that was a lot of ups, downs and turns. Denny and I stopped a couple of times to chat with people on the path; once with a Mennonite couple from Kansas who were taking a brief winter break before heading back to Kansas to haul hay (I was awed by the fact the woman was walking the trail in a long and billowing dress) and a second time with a Native American gentleman with a big gentle yellow Lab who told us of other trails in the area that lead to petroglyphs and areas where folks still search for the Lost Dutchman Mine. He entertained us for quite some time and then it was time for me to move on. Denny found himself a comfortable rock with a view of the Superstition Mountain itself and waited for me to wave to him from the top.
If you double click on the photo below, Denny is the tiny little bright blue spot below the red arrow. I took this from the high point of Silly Mountain.
This time of year the rattlesnakes are a bit dormant so I didn't worry about running into critters on my walk, although this little fellow thought I was pretty scary with all my huffing and puffing on Huff and Puff Trail.It was an ideal day for hiking the mountain thanks to bright sunshine but cool temperatures. The scenery was fabulous as always.
In the photograph above you can see where the old off-road vehicle path is. The parks department has fenced that off and is hoping Mother Nature will do her thing by scattering the seed of native plants and reclaim this part of the mountain.

And another item is checked off the bucket list.


Anvilcloud said...

I really enjoyed seeing these photos.

Linda in New Mexico said...

Merry Christmas to both of you and kitty too....from all of the Cuckoos

Arkansas Patti said...

You really got to meet some interesting people on your hike. I love talking to strangers also.
Nice climb and I hope Nature can heal her scars.
Merry Christmas to you both.

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