Thursday, May 5, 2011

Wondering and Wandering in the Superstitions

If you're going to the Superstition Wilderness Area and not planning to camp, the only place to bed down at night is the nearby town of Apache Junction.  Thirty years ago this town was simply a crossroad of Arizona Rt. 88 and a road whose name I've forgotten.  Today, the town has a population of 37,000 and is a bedroom community of Phoenix.

Weaver's Needle is a landmark in the Superstition Wilderness.  Named
 for Pauline Weaver, a cavalry officer, it gained notoriety as being integral
to the supposed location of the Lost Dutchman's Gold.

The Apache Junction Motel was delightful because of its low rates and the nearby Mickey D's Cafe was delightful because of its oatmeal.  Low rates at the motel were balanced by outrageous prices at the gas pump.
The unique Teddy Bear Cholla blossoms belie the unique message the
spines convey: stay away unless you want a nightmare involving boots,
pants, socks, and even minutes later, car seats. 
Mickey D's Cafe had a sign proclaiming, "Because of the Current Drought, Water Will be Served Only on Request."   The nearby cacti would think that a good idea.

A bright Buckhorn Cholla can range in color  from red to orange to a
 brownish yellow...the spines have a serious purpose, also, but not quite
 as insidious.   
Our friend, the Western Diamondback, was never seen again.  I was happy it didn't want to be friends and I'm sure it was happy not to be in the company of Jeeps.

As most cacti and critters in the desert, a Western Diamondback rattlesnake
has "spines" of it's own.  It disagreed with our presence and struck at
the tire of our Jeep.  Except for  a missing fang or two all was OK.  The
fangs are replaced quickly. 
Despite the fangs and spines that are ubiquitous in the does have great sunsets.

All's well that ends well!

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

Enjoyed seeing such fine examples of the elusive Teddy Bear Cholla blossom and Black Tailed rattler without having to get any closer to them than my computer! Thanks for the armchair tour! Just call me "spineless"!

May 6, 2011 at 4:10 PM  

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