Spring 2011

There have been years that spring burst fourth with a riot of colors. This was not one of them. That's good. An overcast day can feel just right when you're down. Blue skys would just be glaringly inappropriate. A subdued spring this year fit just right. It's the first spring I've seen in a quarter century without Josh seeing it with me.
Lowell in Bulldog Canyon
Here's Lowell, hiding from the sun on our last hike. We walked up Bulldog Canyon from Forest Road 10.
Lowell and Kim drove down from Portland and visited us for a week. Was good to have family right down the hall. Was good to have coffee with someone in the morning. (Was good to have a beer with someone in the evening)

The Winter of our Discount Tent (Prolog)

These shots were really taken in the winter, but hey, I had to start somewhere.

View of the Superstitions
A View of the Superstition Mountains from the Goldfileds Large
Stone Arch in the GoldFields
A stone arch in the Goldfileds Large
Snow on the Superstitions
Snow (not so close I needed a shovel). We didn't have much snow this winter. Maybe that's why spring snuck in so softly. Large

Then came Spring. First Morning. Headed out at 5:00 AM!

Took Lowell down Cristal Canyon as far as the waterholes.

We saw crystals
Of course, we saw crystals. Large
Star Flowers
We saw stars. Large
The Waterholes had water. Large
Walked some more. Jeeped some more. Saw some more.
Bothered a lizard. Large
Tiny, Timid, Flower. Large
Big, Bold, Blossom. Large
There wasn't much bloomin' in the desert and the Phoenix Botanical Garden was on Kim's list.

So we spent the afternoon wandering the garden

Orange amid Blue Blossoms
Orange amid Blue Blossoms Large
Only Blue Blossoms
Only Blue Blossoms Large
Purple and Yellow Blossoms
Purple and Yellow Blossoms Large
White and Yellow Blossoms
White and Yellow Blossoms Large
Flutterby on Foliage
Flutterby on Foliage Large
Flutterby on Blossom
Flutterby on Blossom Large

Next day, not at 5:30!

We went to Tortilla Flat and spent some time at the Goldfiled Ghost Town
Superstition Spires
Superstition Spires Large
Sisters Large
Kim and Lowell
Kim and Lowell Large
Late Afternoon Glow
Late Afternoon Glow Large
Waiting for Sunset
Waiting for Sunset Large
Sunset over the Goldfields from the GhostTown
Sunset over the Goldfields from the GhostTown (worth the wait) Large

Over the next few days

Went more places, saw more sites.
Hiked up to Dome Mountain Saddle
Hiked up to Dome Mountain Saddle Large
Montezuma Castle
Went to Montezuma Castle Large
The Castle Next Door
And the Castle Next Door Large
On our last desert outing of the visit, we drove Forest Road 10 all the way from Blue Point Bridge to Apache Junction. First time I ever drove all the way through. It wasn't the first time I tried. But I always got scared, or stuck, or both then turned around and went back the way I came in. I was no more dareing or skillful this time. The reason we made it over the mountains this trip was because they graded the roads a month or so before. Much smoother ride this time.
Angus Large
Cactus Large
Just Us
Just Us Large

Josh Hill

One last couple of pictures to share with you for now. These were taken the weekend after Kim and Lowell left for home. I took Robin out to see Josh Hill. She'd never been there and that was kind of a sore spot with her. The last time Robin bounced around off-road with me, she spent the next two months complaining about how much her neck hurt. But I told her that the roads were smoother than I'd ever seen them. I pointed out that the Forest Service may never again see that many stimulus dollars in our lifetimes. She said she wanted to give it a try. We made it there and back, no more complaining than usual.
Joshua's Hill. Some of his ashes are in a little cave next to the tall rock on the left. Large
hedgehog cacti
The hedgehog cacti were blooming while we were there. Large