Day Off

From the blog of Tim Sheridan

Yesterday the Cubs had the day off, so with perfect weather, I decided to get out and do something fun. Last spring it was such a blast to see the AZ desert with my friends from Apache Trail Tours, that I decided it was time for another adventure! You can read my blog about that trip last spring – here.

This time we headed off-road on a two-hour 4×4 sunset tour. All the guides at Apache Trails are experts on the area and its history. The Goldfield Mountains and Old Goldfield Mining district lie to the North and West of the more famous towering cliffs of the Superstition Mountains. The rugged and colorful Sonoran landscape is only a half hour Northeast of Mesa’s Hohokam Stadium. While the Goldfield area is only a short distance from the Valley of the Sun’s population of four million, once you enter into this amazing locale, it’s as if you’re a thousand miles from civilization. In other words – no view of buildings, no sounds of traffic, and gasp, no cell phone service. Hey, if the kids can’t text, they might actually notice this awesome place.

Our guide took us to a crest with a 360 vantage point of the Great Western Trail, a hiking trail that, once finished, will cross through this area stretching from Mexico to Canada. Heading deeper into the wilderness area we were told to “watch for movement, Bobcats, Javelina, Coyotes, and Mountain Lions all frequent this terrain.”

These mountains are born from the fires of ancient volcanoes (with 5 in the vicinity). As we travel we are told stories of the gold fever that once swept this area, and tales of Jacob Dutchman Waltz and other Miners around the Mammoth Mine. This famed mine yielded millions of dollars of gold and silver before it flooded in 1897.

If you come here from Chicago or the Midwest and really want to experience what the AZ desert has to offer, this is a trip for you. A couple hours of your time and civilization is long gone. The great part is, you can be back in the city in time for dinner. My photos can’t really do justice to this close, but yet so far away trip offered by the good folks at Apache Trail Tours.