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Superstition Mountains AZ

Backpackers:  Carl Fisher, Ed Tucker, John Gundry, and Mark Williams

March 26, 2000 (miles 2) Flew from Green Bay WI to Phoenix AZ.  Flight left at 5:30 am -early morning start.  Tim Pickering picked us up at the airport and took us to his house to repack.  Susan had lunch for us.  We borrowed Tim's jeep and headed for the Reavis trailhead to begin our backpacking adventure.  The road to the trailhead was very curvy and it was a good thing we had the 4 wheel drive Jeep.  We hit the trail at 4:15 pm and hiked about 2 miles before making camp at 6 pm.  We made better time than we had figured.  The ranger had led us to believe that we wouldn't find a good place to camp.  He was wrong.  Temperature was 78 degrees at 5:30 pm.

March 27, 2000 noon - There was a beautiful sunrise and it was so quiet.  We hit the trail at 8:20 and had a slight uphill climb all day long.  Nothing serious but we did know it was uphill.  We stopped at 11:30 for lunch and exploring at the intersection of the Reavis Ranch Trail and the Frog Tanks Trail.  We went looking for Plow Saddle Springs but missed the trail and spent about ½ mile breaking trail.  Lunch was Ramen noodles, rice, beef jerky, carrots and onions which were pretty good.  We are less than 3 miles from our final destination for the day.

March 27, 2000 7 pm  Who would believe it?  Here we are in a desert and it is raining.  Nothing too heavy yet but enough to worry us.  Tonight we had oyster chowder which was excellent as always.  Today's hiking left me totally spent.  We made it to Reavis ranch area where we found an excellent site along the river.  We all cleaned up.  Temperatures were in the 70's for most of the day.

March 28, 2000 (miles 11)  It rained off and on all night.  At about 5:00 AM a steady soaking rain started and lasted till about noon.  In the morning, John, Ed, and I walked about 2.5 miles down the Reavis trail.  We didn't make it to the saddle before turning around.  After lunch John and I rested and napped while Mark and Ed went north up the Reavis River into a canyon and did some canyoneering.  After they got back - John, Ed, and I went to find the Boy Scout troop that passed earlier in the day.  They had mentioned to us about some cliff dwellings and we wanted to get a better location.  We didn't find them but ran into 3 other guys who told us about the "Circle of Rocks".  No one knows how old it is but estimates make it 1000 years old.  The "Circle of Rocks" ended up being about 2 miles (mostly uphill) and was pretty neat.  We climbed to 6000 feet and there was a wall or circle of red rock stacked up.  The circle was about 100 feet across.  There were trees that had to be fifty or sixty years old growing inside the circle.  We speculated that it must have some sort of Indian worship area to give thanks for the spring or the harvest.  We got back to camp about 7pm.  In all we estimate that John and I walked over 11 miles, Ed more than that, and Mark a little less.  The "Circle of Rocks" was on the unnamed high point to the northeast of Mound Mountain.  We accessed the trail to the "Circle of Rocks" from the Fireline trail.  The toughest part was spotting the cairn on where to turn off.

March 29, 2000  Noon  The temperature is 75 to 85 degrees (depending on where you are).  It was 32 degrees when we got up.  At 7:30 am we left camp in search of the Salado Indian cliff dwellings off of the Roger Canyon trail, about an 8.5 mile trip - one way.  At the Reavis Saddle John turned back due to Achilles tendon problem (he wanted to save himself for the trip out tomorrow).  The next 3 miles to the dwellings was essentially downhill and we arrived at the dwellings at noon.  The last mile was all boulder hopping along a stream bed. We spent thirty minutes climbing to them and exploring.  I estimate that 30-40 Indians could have lived there.  Scientists estimate that the dwellings are 600 years old.  There is a stream that flows along the base of the cliff with a series of small falls that are relaxing to listen to.

March 30, 2000 Noon (miles 9)  It is 70 degrees.  Today we hike for the car and right now we are back where we spent the first night, hiking seven miles this morning.  The hike was mainly downhill but after yesterday it was still work.  Speaking of yesterday - the trip back after lunch was strenuous but not too bad as I had thought it could be, considering it was mostly uphill.  John didn't do the entire trip with us because of his tendons.  He has made it just fine today.

March 31, 2000  We made it back to Tim's safe and sound.  Today we went with Tim and Susan to the Peralta Trailhead and walked to the Fremont saddle.  When we got to the top it was cloudy and it started rain.  We went partially down to a cave (small and not deep) to eat our sandwiches.  A lady in her sixties fell face first right in front of us.  She really banged her knee and cried out.  I thought she had dislocated her hip or knee.  Ed used his first aid kit to bandage her up and I gave her my walking stick to help her get down.  Weavers Needle, the view from Freemont Saddle was real nice and worth the trip.

March 21, 2000 Evening We all went to Cooperstown in downtown Phoenix.  The restaurant is owned by Alice Cooper, the rock star, and was very crowded.  Food was nice and the beer even better.  We drank beer by the yard and then took the red-eye flight home.