"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

Friday, March 5, 2021

Superstition Mountains, AZ

Apache Junction, AZ
Lost Dutchman State Park

We arrived at Lost Dutchman on a nice sunny day.  The next 10 days will be a crazy mix of cold, rain, wind and a few perfect sunny days mixed in
Ah, there's Flatiron!
W/50, $30, #98.  Pull through.

They keep this state park immaculate.  Your site is even raked for you.

We drove over to Organ Stop Pizza for dinner with Curt and Glenda. Organ Stop’s Wurlitzer theatre organ was built for the Denver Theatre and was installed in 1927. The organ was used regularly until the early 1930s.
As of today, the organ has over 6000 pipes. The massive quantities of wind required for operation are provided by four huge turbine blowers. The resulting instrument has 82 ranks, 17 tuned percussions and many traps and effects.  It is not only the largest Wurlitzer theatre organ in the world, it’s the largest Theatre Pipe Organ of any type to ever be assembled!
The rotating console.
Above is a video of the Organ.  (It may not show up when viewed on a cell phone)
Curt, Glenda, Steve and Me.
It was fun at the Organ Stop but SO LOUD.  We drove over to the Beer Research Institute for some sampling of beer and their famous brownie made with their Chocolate Stout.  Super good!

The next day a huge wind storm blew through.  We took a shorter hike up Brown Mountain.  You can see the haze from the sand looking back at the Superstitions.

The morning started out nice but the clouds moved back in later.  Ron and Rene of RnR On The Road joined us.  This is the first time we got to see their new toyhauler trailer.  It's HUGE!  
It's a very nice Cyclone made by Heartland.
It has a back deck.  
We had BBQs at each others rigs during the week and had some great campfires and sunsets.

The four of us took a nice 4 mile sunset hike at the base of the Supes.  Up Jacob's Crosscut to Prospectors View and back down.

It was perfect weather with no wind!

We're glad they came all the way out here so we could hang out!

Spotted this painted rock along the trail.
Going back down.

Another night we headed in to town for wings, burgers and some drinks.  Rene and I had the famous Liquid Marijuana (no drugs but plenty of alcohol!)  The food was great but we had to sit outside and it was a bit cool.  The music was good too. 

Later in the week when the weather warmed back up Ron, Rene & I hiked 3/4 of the way up to Flatiron.  They wanted to get a feel for it so I had planned on taking them up to the Bowl.

Because it's been so dry this winter there wasn't many wildflowers blooming.  At least not yet.  On the upside, there weren't any Rattlesnakes either.
Ron & Rene looking down at the Thumb and the valley below.
The Bowl sits at 3000 feet up.  It takes us about 2 hours to get here.  It looks smooth but it's like thousand of small steps in all directions.
Here comes Rene.  Ron loved this part.
We took a break here and they decided if they wanted to go a little more up.
Ron going up the last part of the bowl before it gets steeper and you have a bit of climbing.
Rene climbing up the steep part.  The bowl is brutal going back down.
They went up a bit more so they could see what some of the rock climbing was like.  Next up would be the last 2000 feet straight up the Wash.  It's all bouldering and rock climbing from here to the top.  This was a great practice run for them.  I would've climbed the rest of the way on my own but we got a late start and it would've been dark before I got back.  Been there, done that. 
Going back down.  Hopefully Saturday the weather will be better and Steve and I will give it a shot.

Ron & Rene's rig.

Rufus, who really runs the show!
Well unfortunately it rained a lot the last couple days and we didn't get to hike to the top.  Instead, I found a popup event nearby and we both got our J&J Covid Vaccine.  With all the states we're going to go through to get to and from Florida the rest of the year I'm glad we don't have to worry about finding another location to get the second shot.  This is a one and done!

On Sunday we drove over to Curt and Glenda's for some Smashed Burgers Curt wanted to make.
Dinner was great and the Pineapple Upsidedown Cake was delicious.

We did have some glorious sunsets though!

The weather wasn't the best January through March, but it was still very nice to be back here!  Our last coffee outside with our favorite view before we drive back to California to celebrate some special milestones!