Tales from Gold Canyon

Starting October 1 2016

The Stamp Mill


I have some fun “PDR” or “positive desert reporting” for you this gorgeous Monday! At exactly 10 am this morning I watched the 20- Stamp Mill ore crusher demonstration at the Superstition Mountain Museum. If you have not watched the demonstration of this massive machinery get ready to mark it on your calendar!

Like most women I know, I love gold and have spent my entire life just fine with not knowing exactly how gold is found, produced, made, or whatever. I just like gold in the shiny jewelry form… handed to me in a pretty box.

But reality is, if I had to go climb a dangerous, cactus covered mountain and blast holes into it hoping to find rocks that possibly have gold hidden inside only to lug those incredibly heavy rocks back down that mountain on a mule…? Then go smash those rocks hoping there is enough gold inside to have been worth risking my life for?!?!

This is not going to happen. Not ever. Certainly not for jewelry.

It truly amazes me that anyone did this. But they did. Countless men have lost their lives following maps and trails into the Superstition Mountain searching for gold. The Museum is filled with books retelling true stories about the famous and not so famous gold miners. The more I read the more I am fascinated.

These stories of mining gold become eerily real as you stand there with the amazing Superstition Mountain as the back drop while the men running the Stamp Mill explain the process then proudly fire up their rock crushing machine.

It happens once a month, it’s free and the scenery is spectacular.

October 10 @ 10 am Demo is the last Monday. November through April Demos are once a month, twice daily on Saturdays.

November 12 @ 11 & 1

December 3 @ 11 & 1

Best Coyotes Audio Yet!

I am outside watching the storm roll in. The sky was amazing and had a partial rainbow for a bit. Then the sky turned darker and the coyotes let loose. This is the second video. I chose this one because I caught lightning as well!

Shut the Front Door!

My friends, there are things crawling around this world that freak me out to the point of feeling like I’m having an out of body experience. I can’t breathe. I go into a mild form of shock.

It is safe to say, sitting somewhere right at the top of the list of things that have this effect on me are big spiders. Enclosed in a glass box, I can barely look at them. Loose and running around my front door? Uh…

You almost lost me last night.

A good friend and golf buddy of my husband was amazingly cool enough to help us get a ping pong table. He has a truck with a trailer and drove all over the valley to pick it up and bring it way out here in Gold Canyon. He brought his adorable girlfriend along for the trip so we could all go out to eat afterwards. She has never been here and he was excited to show her the views.IMG_5650.JPG

We had a great evening. Lots of laughs, good food, weather is spectacular. The sky full of stars.

Fun night.

I will admit, I had a few drinks. Partially not my fault! A shot was ordered for me that should have never been ordered! Not because I don’t drink, but because it tasted awful and temporarily blinded me! It blurred my vision I swear! True, it might have been the combo with my prickly pear margarita, like I said, I didn’t order that shot of poison but I drank it anyways ‘cuz I’m a good time. That kind of behavior gets me in all kinds of trouble.

Happy and relaxed we walk up the path to the front door, ‘round the corner and…

(cue the screeching horror music)IMG_1404.PNG

There is a HUGE blonde tarantula on my front door!

My chest still hurts from the fear and panic and loud horror music screeching in my head! (This is the first time I have met the girlfriend, she is very sweet and fun and has loved every minute of being in Gold Canyon. I cannot have a melt down and wet my pants and scream and run and hyperventilate…omg. No! I have to hold it together so I don’t scare this poor girl more than the tarantula is!)

All of my life I have been terrorized by spider dreams. Since I was a kid I would wake up screaming about spiders all over me. My Mom would say I just played too much that day or I was too hot. But the dreams have stayed with me my whole life.

If you regularly play along and read my stories of my mayhem you know that not too long ago I had huge scary ants freaking me out. Well… friends, my fear of fast moving tarantulas goes WAY beyond my fear of two walls covered in super-sized ants.

WAY beyond.IMG_1403.PNG

Also, if you hang out with me regularly, you know I love nature and all living creatures so even though this beautiful, yet terrifying tarantula was causing me to lose consciousness, I didn’t want it killed, I just wanted it moved away from my front door! It can live… just not with ME!

OMG not with me!

How am I supposed to close my eyes knowing THAT is a real possibility? HUGE blonde furry… I can’t.

I don’t sleep as it is. I normally wander around the house at night barefoot, no contacts in, wandering outside to see if I can catch the javelinas or the coyotes on video, never once having any awareness that huge blonde tarantulas live all around me.

Oh yeah, I am not exaggerating when I say “all around me” because I just got through looking Arizona/Mexican Blonde Tarantulas up on every site I could find online!

Actually I’m glad I did. I really am going to want them to stay around this crazy ecosystem I live in. They eat scorpions and other randoms on the ground. They are harmless unless you consider the heart attack-inducing fear they can produce.IMG_5640.JPG

More than likely this one was a male but of course I could be wrong. They leave their burrows in search of a mate this time of year plus it has been raining so that is probably why it was so far from it’s home. We also had our porch light on that attracts insects so it’s possible it was just out for a late night snack?

Or it has been doing this nightly and this was just the first time we have caught it?

I will be changing that light bulb today.IMG_1405

Coyotes on the driveway, javelinas in the planters, deer, rabbits, snakes, scorpions, eight turkey vultures circling overhead, hawks, lizards, squirrels, rodents moving into my cars engine, bees, huge swarming ants and now I can add TARANTULA to the ever growing list of what lives here that I have seen and dealt with. Four months.

Four months. This is why I started a blog.

I love this place.