During the years we lived in the Phoenix valley we spent a lot of time in the desert and one place to which we returned many times was a Jeep trail that led far back into the Superstition Mountains. A small dirt road gave access to the start of the Jeep tail after a few miles from the highway and at the start of the trail it was necessary to cross a wash which was normally dry. After a storm it could quite different and sometimes challenging as the photo from 1974 shows.
I knew that wash very well and have driven through it when it was running much deeper than that. You really have to know the capability of your vehicle. Sometimes in similar cases I would wade through to make sure a deep hole hadn’t developed. I also winched many, many vehicles out of it! When it was running deep I always went with a friend so we had two vehicles and could help each other if necessary.
Yes, I’ve seen the stream come thundering down a wash. This one was very predictable, but only after the storm was over and the surges had gone down. We became trapped by one one time and had to leave our Jeep in a higher spot for a few days
Local knowledge is a wonderful thing! Dry water crossings in the Texas Hill Country can present their own challenges, and I’ve chosen to stay put a time or two. Combine a Toyota Corolla with 3′ of water over the road and it surely is a time for discretion rather than valor stupidity.
Yes, you have to know the area and the conditions very well to do that… and test the footing before committing to it. So many folks get into trouble by guessing and guessing wrong. If it’s a place where a test wade lets me know I don’t want to wade through it, then it’s clearly no place to drive.
Hi Montucky, You sure were brave! I accidentally floated on a South Dallas suburban street a long time ago during a severe thunderstorm. Had to actually drive onto the sidewalk just to get back on solid ground. Never again! Nice picture! Have a fine day tomorrow!
Yes, there can be that too. One time a hunting buddy and I went crossed that stream early in the morning and hunted about 15 miles up the Jeep trail in an all day rain, not thinking much about the wash. When we got back to it on the way out, there was about a foot and a half more water in it than the day in this photo. That was an “iffy” feeling that day!
There have been many! I’m old enough to remember some of the minor roads around here had fords to drive through the smaller streams instead of very expensive bridges. And in the days before cars, horse and wagon did it all of the time. Judgement, common sense and discretion used to work quite well.
So many inexperienced people try in it the washes here after the monsoons and wind up having to get help from the police, etc. Taht would be embarrassing especially since they charge you for it if you were taking an unnecessary chance.
Yes, I’ve seen that far too many times in the years we spent in the desert. I pulled out a lot of vehicles on the back roads and trails, but the worst were where people tried to drive through deep, swift water that crossed the highways. Those seldom turned out well.
The area containing what we now call the “Superstition Mountains” has had human inhabitants for around 9000 years, various Indian tribes migrants from Mexico, gold miners and present day adventurers. Throughout that time many strange events occurred there and hundreds of legends formed and have been continued even today. I remember when I lived in the area back in the 1970′s being warned that my visits into the Superstition Wilderness were very dangerous because of various bands of wild and lawless “Vaqueros” who reportedly were living there.
I’ve read that the name became more or less official in the mid to late 1800′s because all of the stories and fears of the Pima Indians about the suspected goings-on in the area caused the farmers who settled in the farmland at their base to be superstitious about them.