……but the gubbermint wouldn’t allow us to enter.
Today we hiked the route from the Hieroglyphics trailhead across the southern base of the western superstitions over to the Lost Gold Mine trailhead near the mouth of Peralta canyon. This is a pretty easy hike, about 6 miles, which skirts the low reaches of the talus slope and gives continuous great views of the ramparts guarding places like “5057” and Carney Springs.
This is prime cactus country as the saguaro and their stubby cousin, the barrel cactus, thrive on south facing slopes where they bask in the sun and capture moisture in the drainage from the heights above.
The trio of saguaros below is probably less than 20 years old. Rule of thumb is that they will form their first arm at somewhere between 50 and 70 years old.
Based on that rule, I have no idea how old this fellow must be!
One of the curiosities of this hike is the unusual appearance (texture) of the cliffs near the approaches to Peralta Canyon. The rock has a foamy or bubbly appearance, riddled with holes, similar to the texture you’d see if you sliced into a loaf of Grandmas’ home-made bread. One of our educated hikers once told me that this is a trademark of certain volcanic regions called a “resurgent caldera”. The bubbles are the result of gases and steam trapped in the lava as it gells and solidifies.
Darn it though, I wish we could have gathered some gold at that mine. Damned gubbermint rules, anyhow!