Twice over the weekend I drove east of Phoenix and up the Apache Trail.
This drive takes you through some very historic lands.
Originally inhabited by the Apache Tribe, later as Europeans pushed westward it became a region for prospectors and gold fever.
A number of mines worked the area and made some men rich. Some fell into legend. Some lost it all.
|"The Lost Dutchman's Dream" - Jephyr 2012|
Men have literally given their lives chasing tales of a German immigrant's "lost" gold mine...but even then it's hard sometimes to separate fact from fiction.
Nevertheless...there were real tribes, and mines and real gold found in those mountains.
And signs along the highway speak of them.
|"The Ancients" - Jephyr 2012|
I was searching for a different kind of treasure over the weekend..and found a few nuggets both days.
All the photos in this post are from Saturday , 7-7-12.
The cactus so familiar to all of us living here, are called Saguaros. They don't grow a single arm until they are 75 years old. So when you see one with several...they have been standing for many, many years.
|"Superstition" - Jephyr 2012|
On the drive back I stopped at a "historic" little shop...selling everything from snake-skins to maps. Two ol' "desert rats" regaled me with tales from their pasts and from their store front pointed out several mines within sight from where we stood.
One told me about the fabulous wealth earned by some mines...and claimed that 75% of the gold in those mountains has still not been found.
I felt a bit of "gold fever" begin to rise...and perhaps understood just a little why men would leave their homes and families to dig treasure from such a foreboding land.