November 26th, 2016 ~ Day 246
Today is a day filled with firsts! This is my first time hiking in the Superstition Mountains since this journey began, my first time on the Lost Goldmine Trail and my first time at the Wave Cave. This is also my first time hiking with Arizona Desert Hikers, another Meetup group I recently joined.
Our group met at the Superstitions Spring Mall, where we then carpooled to the Lost Goldmine Trailhead. The Superstition Mountain Range is east of Phoenix and at least an hour from my house. With the heat of the summer, I had decided to wait until it became cooler before heading here.
The hike began through a crushed gravely trail with desert scenery surrounding us. The sky was overcast. The weather cool, but not cold. The Superstition Mountains loomed over us to the north. To look at this massive beast of a mountain was overwhelming and exhilarating. I want to go exploring!
We had another amazing group of hikers. I knew a couple people, Earl and Lucy, and I’ve hiked with others once or twice before. The best part is, I met some new people. We hiked through the flat desert trail for about a mile, before going through a gate to head north.
Not long after we began heading north, we started climbing uphill to the top of the Superstitions to reach the Wave Cave. A steep uphill climb, over boulders on a slippery rocky path. They said it would be about a 1000 feet of elevation in a mile, comparable to Piestewa Peak.
We made it! The views from the top were spectacular. You could see for miles. Of course seeing more mountains in the distance gets my curiosity going. I want to know what’s out there, find the names of these mountain ranges and I want to explore new territory.
Stopping to enjoy the cave and the scenery, I had a snack while staring off into the valley below. Sitting in my quiet little world, surrounded by people, I imagine what it would be like to be out here all the time. I love being outdoors. I wish I had unlimited time and no restrictions. No place I had to be. One day I will have this and I can’t wait for that day!
The Wave Cave is a giant rock that looks like an ocean wave, which happens to be in a giant cave. I went surfing for the first time in my life, better on a mountain made of rock than in the water. The cave itself is really sandy. It’s completely open to the world, I didn’t find any hidden tunnels, but it was fun to explore.
Heading down, was a little bit trickier with all the loose gravel. Luckily it only lasted a short while. A group of us headed out before the others and we made it back to the trailhead well before everyone else. The people who rode with me were in this group, so we headed out back to the carpool. We hiked a total of 4.5 miles with 800 foot elevation gain. My day of firsts will hopefully be days of many. I can’t wait to come back here and go exploring!