Chollo’d Near Phoenix

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Phoenix is next on my world travels–enroute to Tucson actually–and I stop to visit Rich and his son Chris who take me four-wheeling.  I’ve never been four-wheeling and it’s kind of like race-walking or seeing who can whisper the loudest.  And it hurts my back which has been hurting now for a month.  But, honestly, it’s fun and you see places you normally wouldn’t see.  You also get stuck in places you normally don’t get stuck in…….

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Gold Canyon is east of Phoenix up against the Superstition Mountains where a lot of people are still looking for the Lost Dutchman Mine. Treasure Hunting is a big thing down this way.

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Be careful what you touch here.  I was walking around some saguaro cactus to get a few action shots and noticed this little chollo stuck to my pants.  Next thing I know it’s stuck to my hand and trying to stick to everything else.  There are millions of micro burrs built into each spine and the more you wriggle, the more this chollo hangs on.  Chris used two flat rocks and ripped it out in one motion.  Ouch!

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Doug’s lesson learned:  Don’t get near these damn things!  Look at all these little chollos looking for a ride.  I swear they can jump a foot.  Nasty.

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I opt next for a normal hike on the other side of the Superstitions as far from chollo as I can get where we meet this fellow and his mule looking for gold.

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A beautiful place and wonderfully clean air.  We take a short loop hike–I’m still using poles from a bad back.

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This is our view at the traditional 5 o’clock cocktail hour (that’s pm, not am).  These saguaro forests are simply beautiful and the desert ecology is fascinating.  Everything has evolved to save moisture, and keep critters at bay.  No more chollo for Doug.   Tucson and the annual Gem and Mineral Show is next.  Stay tuned!

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