By: Dean Acheson
We had been back into Hieroglyphic Spring with Ron it a pleasant lunch stop at the peak before coming back and Leora Jones some years ago, but had not climbed Superstition. So when El Nino was throwing rain, wind and snow around broad areas of California and Nevada on Easter weekend, we headed off to what appeared would escape the foul weather. Pat, Gozer and I camped Thursday night on Carney Springs Road, just off the Peralta Road before the campground. Next morning we drove back to the parking area at the route A trailhead for Hieroglyphic Spring, and started up the trail to the spring. There was plenty of water at the spring due to earlier rain and snow (some locals said more than they'd seen before,) so the canyon's beauty was accompanied by the music of miniature falls gurgling into and out of the pools.
After a short time visiting the petroglyphs we started up the shallow canyon towards the balanced rock. The hillside was bathed in a sea of wildflowers which literally glowed in the morning sun - more wildflowers than we've seen anywhere in California this year. We fished around a bit after turning at balanced rock, not quite future accepting that the route actually went south for a bit someone before turning east at the ridge crest. The third class pitch before the final peak ascent required a dog lift in. order for the full party to make it all the way to the top. A light cool breeze balanced out the warm sun, making down. Pat and Gozer cooled their hot paws in the pool before leaving the spring. An obviously unfrightened Arizona rattler took his time moseying off the trail just before we reached the parking area
We planned to climb Kino on Sunday, as the weather reports had exempted this area from the broad system moving through Phoenix just after our descent. However, Organ Pipe greeted us with gusts up to 75 mph and threats of rain. We drove out to Bates Well, surprised at the strength and chill of the wind. We set an early morning alarm just in case Sunday morning weather lost its threat, but the night's rain and wind and the surrounding clouds in the morning helped us decide to spend Easter driving back home. We enjoyed our Easter Dinner at Billy Bob's outdoor BarBQ in Quartzite, glad to be on our way with at east one more peak accomplished between the cracks of El Nino's surprises.
p.s. The register on Superstition was protected only by a ziplock bag, the canister apparently having fallen prey to the canister thief. Anyone going up in the near may want to take a new canister along. I'd like to equip one of these canisters with a hidden Lo-Jack so the culprit can be tracked down.
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