Phoenix and the Superstition Mountains

On Thursday, April 3, I fly to Phoenix for a wonderful stay with the Wilsons. It’s my birthday, and Sarah makes a wonderful melt-in-your-mouth dark chocolate soufflé.

We leave for the trailhead on Friday morning and start hiking around 10:40. The main part of the trip takes us through the Tonto National Forest, Supersition Wilderness area. The trail climbs to about 5,000 feet and plateaues below Windy Pass. After a short descent to Plow Saddle, the trail levels off until Reavis Ranch, which is situated in a broad sweeping valley complete with a running spring dotted with oaks, pines, and sycamores.

The next day’s itinerary brings us down past Reavis’s grave and into a dense canyon. High altitude scrub and manzanita gives way to a lush riparian zone, where boulders and talus fields threaten ones ankles with every step. Several pools invites us for lunch breaks. I soak my sore feet. Near Angels Basin, we visit cliff dwelling ruins. Our day ends with a stay along the banks of Fish Creek junction trail.

Hot hearty oatmeal warms us the next morning before we set out. Prickly pear and cholla overhang into our trail at ankle level, and mesquite (or maybe mescal) thorns scratch our sun-scorched arms and shoulders. After a short rest at Plow Saddle Spring, we continue to Windy Pass—the highest point of this day’s hike. We death-march the last part down to our cars. Finally, we come home to a fabulous feast that Sarah put together, which ended with vanilla ice cream drizzled with rich melted chocolate, topped with a fresh strawberry half smothered in whipped cream. Hence, Lactaid.

Today, I arrive home, all ready for a full clinic in the afternoon.

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