Easy feel this way around Apache Junction, Arizona, with the Superstitious Mountains hovering nearby! In early June 2012, temperatures in the upper 90s during the day meant we explored in the morning, sometimes up before six (yes, shocker to think of Ellen up that early!).
And it was worth it.
The temptation greeted us out the window:
Yep, what a backyard, eh?
All in a neighborhood of quiet, friendly critters:
Can’t see this one? Here’s a closer view:
This friendly bird visited every evening right outside the window, pecking the hard dry ground for food:
That gave us great views of the mountain as the sun shifted through the morning, slowly pulling away the shade as if dropping layers of cloaks to lay itself bare in front of us:
As with all mountain hikes, the scale is hard to believe. It’s easy to misjudge the height and distance when mountain hiking — even a relatively tame one like this one. As we gradually climbed, we also walked deeper into the crevices of this amazing natural wonder.
We hiked every day we could (we avoided even early morning hikes on days where temps were expected to be 109 or so!), and though we walked the same trail, it was a different experience every time.
Our first day up the mountain we met an Asian-American couple who hike the mountain every day. We asked if they’d seen any rattlesnakes.
Not on this trail, the woman said, but they did on a different trail the day before. “I went like this — EEE!” the woman said, giving us a shriek, her hands in the air. “And the snake went same — EEE!” she added. “We surprised each other!”
We didn’t see any rattlesnakes, though we did spot some sun-loving lizards: