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Arizona: February 23, 2004

Superstition Mountain

Before the mountains were born Or You gave birth to the earth and the world, Even from everlasting to everlasting, You are God. Ps. 90:2

Arizona's Superstition Mountain has long been the source of stories and tales about lost gold. Legends of the Dutchman's Lost Gold Mine, Jesuit treasure, Peralta gold and numerous other lost gold mine stories still attract men and women from far and near alike to this rugged mountain range east of Apache Junction.

Tales of Indian history add to the mountain's lore. These stories are centuries old. The Pima's called Superstition Mountain Ka-Katak-Tami meaning "The Crooked Top Mountain." From the towering summit of Superstition Mountain one can see the vastness of this rugged mountain range to the east . The mountain serves as a dividing line between rural and urban Arizona. As the population of the Salt River Valley grows the lights of Phoenix continue to advance on the realm of the Dutchman's Lost Gold Mine and the Apache Thunder God.

This giant monolith, Superstition Mountain, rises to the height of 3,000 feet above the surrounding desert floor and dominates the eastern fringe of the Salt River Valley. The Superstition Wilderness Area, of which Superstition Mountain is part, contains some 242 square miles or 159,780 acres of Arizona's rugged desert mountain terrain. Mountain peaks tower 6,000 feet above sea level and deep canyon dissect this vast wilderness region.

The region includes a wide-range of fauna and flora that are native to the Sonoran Desert life zone. Plants range from the giant Saguaro cactus to the stately Ponderosa pine. Mule deer, javelinas, mountain lions, bobcats, coyotes, a variety of birds, reptiles and amphibians live in this fragile desert eco-system. The diversity of living things in this region astonishes the visitor.

Old-timers will tell you everything that survives in this desert wilderness either sticks, stings, bites or eats meat. This is an age old description about survival in such a harsh environment. This is a land were life is totally dependent on the availability of water. The desert is a place where water will appear one day and vanish the next day. Temperatures on the desert floor can exceed 125 degrees F in the summer months and can drop well below freezing during the winter months. Snow is not uncommon to the high desert mountains during the winter months.

Posted by tim at February 23, 2004 9:09 PM

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