“Rainstorms and high winds are predicted all weekend….”
The Superstitions mountains at the East end of the Phoenix valley have long given prominence to my hiking soul. The day (the first of many to come) of exploring them finally came. I head east, find the Peralta exit, and drive along the dirt road to the trail head.
Our recent rains and colder weather have literally turned the dry desert into a green oasis. The low hanging clouds cascading over the mountain tops create the aura of an old western movie, complete with villains and heroes.
Dry creek beds are overflowing, and before long my little car comes to a river I dare not cross.
Calling 911 is not in the plans for today.
I put the car in reverse, and glance in the rear view mirror. I large, fast moving black shape rushes across the road and into the brush.
It’s the biggest Javelina I’ve seen so far, and one that I don’t want to mess with.
I park on higher ground, and survey my surroundings. I’m not at the trail head yet, but I walk down to the river, following the path of the ugly beast that almost hit my car.
He’s a few hundred yards upstream, drinking from the riverbank. I turn back and walk along the road for 1/2 a mile until I reach the Peralta trail head. I can hear the Javelina rustling in the brush for a bit, then nothing but silence as I leave the river and hike towards the Superstitions.
The trail splits at the mountain base, I choose to go left. winding along the mountains and in between cacti and chollas. Each and every step shows me something new, surprising and wonderful.
The calling of birds hunting is the only sound that breaks the desert silence. Seems as though most folks go right on the trail…
I will return to take that route, no doubt, but for today, going left on the Peralta was the direction Richard Parker was to follow.

Wench, bring my ale, what say you?

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