Thursday, 15 March 2012

Peralta Trailhead Hike etc.

To date we have logged around 32,000 km on the truck (Big Blue)!  And Barry has driven most of it.  Needless to say it has been very pleasant to just sit still here in one spot for the last two months. We've enjoyed a number of Park sponsored entertainment venues plus attractions generally in the valley - and of course golfing on a variety of courses in the area.  Our calendar is full to overflowing every week so I guess it is not fair to say 'relaxing' - but different and a nice break from all that driving / packing up and moving on.

Our park has a very active hiking group - something we've been wanting to do - but reluctant to do it on our own - as it is very easy to get lost in these hills.  We joined the hiking group and every hike has a leader (with GPS etc) and a tail gunner - all of whom know the area well. We are a close drive to many trail heads and a lot of trails very near to our park.  So far we have not hiked the same trail twice. The most spectacular hike was the Peralta Trail up to a summit where we had a great view of Weavers Needle.  The trail was steep with many switch backs and large boulders in places that we had to climb up and over or around.  Sandra's short wheel base creates a bit of a challenge - but we managed.  The views were spectacular.  This is likely the Signature Hike in the Superstition Mnts.

Besides our group hikes every Wed. we've taken advantage of other area attractions - specifically the Renaissance Festival and the Arizona Opry.  The Festival is very entertaining - the workers are all dressed in period costume as are many of the attendees.  Many damsels were cinched tightly into corsets with plunging overflowing necklines much to Barry's viewing pleasure!  :)  The Festival is a bit like the Fringe in that there are numerous entertainment venues - some better than others.  We spent a full day there strolling around and soaking up the ambiance.

The Opry is a must see for us every year - as they have new shows each season.  It is a dinner (they serve a hot meal to over 500 people in less than a half hour) followed by an excellent 2 hours of musical entertainment by a variety of artists.  Excellent value for the money - only $32 a person.

Signature Hike

The gentle beginning of the hike.  We call trail portions like this a 'highway'!

Onward and upward

The Mountains almost look painted against the blue sky!  Our group of hikers is winding along the trail.

Climbing over boulders

Enjoying the Peralta Trail and catching our breath!  Our Diamond Willow walking sticks attract some attention by a few hikers we meet on the trail.  Many people here have walking sticks made from the strong ribs of the Saguaro cactus.

Still climbing and now we're closer to this interesting rock formation.  Wouldn't want to be on this trail if there was a minor tremor!

Weavers Needle - the summit of our hike - about 7.5 km round trip but a 1600 Ft. climb.  More hardy hikers can continue on from this point - for example - the lone tree up on the right - a trail from this point leads up there.  We paused here and had our packed lunch then started our descent in half the time it took to reach this spot!

The Festival has permanent buildings out in the middle of the dessert just East of Apache Jct.  The Festival runs from mid Feb. to April 1 each year.  Many get caught up in the pageantry - entertaining to just walk around and view all the antics!

Renaissance Festival attendees or workers in period costume - and it was a hot day!  There is amazing traffic grid lock East from Apache Jct. every weekend during the Festival - but they have an amazing system of traffic control and routing in place!

A small selection of horns on the stage of the Opry.  All are ready to played and some are at each performance - honoring previous artists who owned them - such as Al Hirt etc.  The show is a family affair.  The Barleen Twins have carried on the business started by their Father.  Many of the spouses, children and extended family are part of the show - likely a prerequisite to be in this family - musical/singing/performing skills!

A Base Sax that weighs 90 lb. apparently.  There are only 4 in the USA and 14 of these in the world.  This fellow playing the Sax was the lead singer for the Tokens who sang "The Lion Sleeps Tonight".  He sings this number at every show and every time it gives us goose bumps! 

A Harris Hawk sitting in the tree behind our trailer
The pictures will elaborate!

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