It’s time for another walk in the Arizona desert. Winter is the perfect time to do that around here. Friday, December 7, my brother Brian and I left Phoenix to try and visit the Vulture Gold Mine south of Wickenburg, Arizona. It turned out the mine was closed–and is only open to visitors for 2 hours on Saturday mornings. Still, it was a nice drive, and then we arrived at the Vulture Mountain trail head.
Like most of these desert rambles, this will be mostly a series of photos. The beautiful Arizona desert speaks for itself.
Temperature was in the low 70s when we reached this part of the desert, about 60 miles northwest of Phoenix. You couldn’t ask for nicer weather.
People bring their RVs out here and park in the desert for days or weeks at a time. There was one in the parking lot here at Vulture Peak.
The desert is essentially a forest. Saguaro cactus and Palo Verde trees are the big vegetation. Cholla cactus and small bushes are the undergrowth.
When you see this kind of cactus in the desert, stay well away from it. Each little bulb full of spines is precariously attached to the parent plant, and the lightest touch will dislodge them. Cholla is also known as Jumping Cactus. Each spine has a hook on the end and is extremely sharp. When they stick into your flesh, they are really hard to get out–I speak from experience. Don’t touch them or you will be sorry.
That was the end of the walk. We walked about 3 miles–almost all up and down. Very rocky, hard on the feet–mine were pretty sore by the time I got back into my car and back to Phoenix. I didn’t quite get my 10,000 steps for the day, but my feet were sore enough that I’m still resting them 2 days later.
If you’ve ever visited a desert gold mine, or climbed a mountain named after an animal, why not leave a comment?