The title, Looking for the Lost Dutchman’s Gold, is an unfair tease….We didn’t even look for the lost gold mine. The Lost Dutchman, thought to be in the Superstition Mountains east of Phoenix, is one of the most famous lost mines in America. Attempting to decipher a set of clues found after Jacob Waltz’ death (1810- 1892), thousands of people have looked for his hidden gold mine ever since. Unfortunately, some die while searching each year.
Yet even without the quest of gold, we enjoyed our stay at Lost Dutchman State Park, nestled at the base of the Superstition Mountains. This is truly one of the nicest state parks we’ve been to anywhere (sorry Oregon…). As you can see our view was amazing!
There are lots of hiking trails within the park and signs with desert information. An Eagle Scout made a Sundial from a coyote silhouette.
Of course there were real coyotes too – a neighbor saw one in our campsite, and Randy heard them howling a couple times.
The above mentioned camper was slightly annoying in that he would turn on his outside TV and then go off on a walk or whatever…..AARGH! At least the volume wasn’t very loud and they were only there for the weekend.
We had to protect our vehicles from those pesky packrats, surrounding our trailer and lighting up the engine compartment of the truck with rope lights.
So, since we didn’t search for gold – we did other things in Apache Junction!
We went to the Mining Camp Restaurant – recommended by my cousin Lisa from her visits there years ago when she was driving trucks cross country.
We went to the Superstition Mountain Museum which highlighted Apacheland, at one time a location for filming western movies.
It was at another chapel that we had our big negative experience of the week! The Goldfield Ghost Town website indicated worship services on Sunday morning so we went to the touristy venue with the idea of having breakfast, going to service and then exploring the ghost town.
The Sunday before Christmas, at a tourist venue, we expected a nice version of Cowboy Church. Instead, we and other tourists joined an established congregation using that chapel. The “service” was the most hateful, judgmental, politically charged event we’ve ever had the misfortune to attend. If we could have exited with any kind of grace, we would have. The best I can say is that we survived it and my Trip Advisor review will allow other visitors to be more aware than we were.
Otherwise, our trip to Goldfield Ghost Town was enjoyable.
There was a shoot-out on Main Street and a nice little train ride around the town and lots of shopping opportunities! Too bad I don’t have room to collect “stuff.”
On our last day at the park, Randy was touristed out and stayed home with Elko. They did “boy things” to the trailer. I went on a Salt River Canyon cruise on the Dolly Steamboat.
People from Phoenix thought it was cold so I had the upstairs, outside seating all to myself for awhile!
The views and rock formation were terrific. This one below looks like a young girl looking up towards the left AND looks like Bach playing a piano to the right. The sound system played a Bach composition as we traveled through this area.
We enjoyed the Bald Eagle up atop the cliff and LOVED the Big Horned Sheep along the journey.
The captain spotted this sheep first – and suggested he was “mooning” the boat. In fact, it is often the lighter hind end that allows them to be spotted.
After having a boat for so many years, I love any opportunity to get out on the water – and what an unexpected pleasure to do so in the Arizona desert!