"Two roads diverged in a yellow wood... And sorry I could not travel both. I took the one less traveled by. And that has made all the difference." --Robert Frost

Monday, February 18, 2019

The Magical Superstition Mountains, AZ

Apache Junction, AZ
Lost Dutchman State Park

We could only get a week here at Lost Dutchman this year.  We always look forward to coming here.  As you drive towards them, you can't help be touched by the magic and beauty of these mountains.  This place is always on our Top 10 List of favorite campgrounds.  We had high hopes of being here for part of the peak bloom.  Turns out it was not to be.  Half of the week was decent weather, the other half there was crazy wind, rain and very low snow!
We had site #126 in the no hookup section.  It turned out to be a nice spot.

 It sure was green all around!
 As the sun goes down the mountains are washed with a stunning red from the sunset.
 We love it when were here with a full moon.  It's gorgeous to watch it rise.
Since Steve was busy working I took up Curt and Glenda on their invitation to hike the Butcher Jones Trail along Saguaro Lake/Salt River.
 It started out quite cool but when the clouds would clear it would really warm up.
 The trailhead to our 5 mile hike.
Glenda was sporting a trendy pair of cactus leggings.  As a matter of fact, she received quite a few compliments from fellow hikers!  Always lookin' good Glenda!

 The reflections off the water was really pretty I the calm coves.
 You could see some hikers up towards the top of the hill.
 Glenda wearing her Cuddle Duds and posing with her Cuddle Stud!  (ha, ha, inside joke, long story)

 Some Cholla getting ready to bloom.

 It was a great hike and I appreciated them taking me along.  I needed a good hike.
Later that evening Steve and I met up at the Hub Grill and Bar to have dinner together.  It was a fun time catching up again. 
A couple days later it was sunny again after a cold windy day and once again I spent the day with Curt and Glenda.  We took another hike, this time around the Riparian Preserve at Water Ranch in Gilbert. There are great trails that criss-cross through the preserve where you can see many types of waterfowl and bunnies.  They even have a few tent camping areas and picnic facilities.
Just outside the preserve you can visit Carl's Damaged Pet Warehouse.  Carl is a very nice gentleman that takes in unwanted "pets".  You can stop by and even feed some of the animals with food he leaves out for you.
 "Feed Me!"
There are potbellied pigs, chickens, goats and miniature cattle.  Some of the goats were Nigerian Dwarf like we used to raise on our ranch.

 Really a cute place to bring young kids.
 There were bunnies and ducks all over.

The Bacon Olive Oil was interesting.
Curt and Glenda also took me to the Queen Creek Olive Mill which I've always wanted to go to.  It's a family run business.  They grow several varieties of olives and crush them on premise.  They have a few flavored oils and three extra virgin.  They actually blend most of their oils with olives/oil from California and Chile.  Most were so-so.  Their estate olive oil was fantastic though!  I wish I was able to find out more about their oils, but they were quite busy and the one person I was able to ask didn't know much about them.  They also sell balsamic but I didn't care for them at all.  No where near the age they should be. They also sell other wonderful products and gelato that Curt and Glenda just love!  I'd like to go back and take a tour of the facility next time. 


  1. We love showing our fellow full timers where we hike while in AZ for the winter. And what do you mean a long story? I came up with that one pretty quickly and accurately. :-) What a fun time we had and happy to know how much you enjoyed it.

  2. The blooms should be fantastic with all the rain that has fallen lately. The saguaro on the edge of your lake photo is looking pretty full too. The Superstitions are definitely on my list of places to visit.

    1. They are starting off nicely. Hopefully we'll get to see more before we head to the NE part of AZ.

  3. How are the night skies out there at Lost Dutchman, Debbie? That is such a beautiful area.

    1. Considering that the town of Apache Junction is nearby, the skies are beautiful and dark!

  4. Beautiful pictures of the desert!

  5. Lost Dutchman SP still remains my favorite place to camp in AZ. Our first time staying there (6 years ago), it snowed and was so pretty. Looks like a great hike!

  6. Sounds like a campfire story :) We enjoyed the same hike last year. Got a few nights at Lost Dutchman for New Years, yeah I can start thinking about the desert again.

    1. You'll love it. Might be a bit cold in Jan though? Still, it'll be great!


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