Thursday, July 22, 2010

Slightly cooler

It was only about 102 when I got out of the truck at the First Water trail overflow parking lot. That's the coolest it's been for a few weeks. I wandered in a generally southerly direction because I hadn't been over there before and I needed to see what was there. I didn't wander very far. I've hardly done any hiking and I'm getting out of shape.

View of the Superstition Mountains from the parking lot.

Four Peaks is in the other direction.

It was very peaceful and quiet out there. Also very muggy. Well, not near as bad as Houston, but much more humid than is typical. There was a little bit of rain falling far away.

The First Water trailhead parking lot.

I was surprised at how many cars were in the First Water trailhead parking lot. It's usually empty this time of year. Maybe it's the equivalent of the gawkers slowing down to look at a wreck on the freeway. Three guys came down here from Utah about a week ago to find the Lost Dutchman's gold. People have been searching for that gold for about 100 years. If it hasn't been found yet, I'm not going to waste my time. Anyway, these guys (who were all within about 15 years of being 50 years old) parked at the First Water trailhead on a day that got up to about 110 and walked into the desert in search of gold carrying one bottle of water. Not one each. Just one. Sheriff Joe and his boys took time off from rounding up illegal aliens and harassing political opponents and spent a week searching for the treasure hunters. I'm pretty sure that all the people searching are very good at doing that. It boggles the mind that 3 guys (2 with medical conditions) with one bottle of water could have gone so far in 110 degree heat that dozens of searchers could not find them. Maybe they found the gold, and now they're lost with it.

The Superstition Mountains

When you stand out there and look around, it's easy to spot landmarks and hard to imagine that you could get so lost that you couldn't get to a road. But a dehydrated person does not think logically. They probably do just the opposite of what needs to be done to survive and be rescued. It's a shame we can't be logical when it's most needed. Also, the term "lost" doesn't mean that you don't know where you are or what direction you want to go. There are many obstacles out there that can't be crossed (without mountain climbing equipment). If you can't figure out a way around them, you're hosed.

The flat green spot is Garden Valley. It actually looks like a garden from here.

It was a very pretty sunset.

With all the talk of gold, I can't help but look around for it myself. I never go anyplace just to look for it, though. I hope I never stumble across any. Gold fever makes people do dangerous things.


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