The Lost Dutchman Mine

This year we headed back out to Phoenix for the bouldering contest in the end of April. Only this year, since Jackie moved to Texas, we were on our own for finding adventures.

We flew in Thursday around noon time, and quickly headed out of the city, once we managed to find groceries and fuel for the stove. We headed straight for the Superstition Mountains, which are just to the east of Phoenix a little way.

We ended up at Lost Dutchman State Park, which is the site of an old gold mine. There are some pretty fun hiking trails up into the hills, so we hiked around a bit, looked at lots of neat cacti and wild flowers, and enjoyed being in the desert.

There was a trail all the way up to the top of the cliffs, but it was late and getting dark, so we didn't make it all the way up.

At night, we droe out to the Oak Flat Campground - site of the bouldering contest - and staked out a campsite for the weekend. We managed to get the same site we had last year. We also saved a spot for Alan, who was the only one who came out to join us this year.

Heather with a Saguaro

Octillos and Cliffs

Our tour learning something about geology.

Friday we got up early, made a quick breakfast and headed for the Tonto National Monument. This is the home of some cave dwellings used by the Salado indians until the early 1400's. We joined a tour led by the park service, and got to hike up to the upper cliff dwellings and explore. Our tour guide came from a background in Botany, so we also got to learn a lot about the different cacti and other plants of the Sonoran Desert.

After our tour, we drove around a bit and found the Roosevelt Dam, which was pretty neat. You couldn't go inside it or anything, but they did have a nice viewing area set up.

Then we had to head back to the campground to meet up with Alan, who was flying in Friday night.

Saturday - Bouldering!

A cute little lizard sitting in an old indian tool for mashing up food stuffs.

The cliff dwellings as seen from the hike up.

The view out from one of the dwellings.

Approaching the cliff dwellings.

A flowering Prickly Pear cactus

The Roosevelt Dam

A Strawberry Hedgehog

A hill full of Saguaro and Teddy Bear Cholla

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