Dacit-towers-in-the-Oak-Flat-of-Arizona's-Devil's-Canyon

And Then They Jumped

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Coming out here on my bike, solo, was supposed to be a clever and minimal-impact approach. I don’t  know; an encounter with a snake might make it foolish. On the other hand, and for a place where access is attached to a ticking clock, I should be bringing my family and everyone I know out here. I should be showing my daughter these other-worldly boulder fields, the succulents growing between the rocks, the blooming ocotillos, and anything else we can find. I should be teaching her to love it so that when our access is totally cut off her heart will split into a dozen pieces. Ultimately it’s better that way.

Apache Leap, the five-mile-long cliff that faces Superior, Arizona has a story that might be applicable.

Winter 1870: The story goes like this, though it’s not down in any official military history. A band of Apaches eluded The Cavalry in this region for years, until nearly 150 of them had been caught at once. Approximately 75 were murdered on sight, and the others escaped to a dismal choice. Trapped between the pursuing Cavalry and a mighty cliff-top known as Big Picacho, the Apaches refused to die at the hands of the government; so they decided for themselves how they would enter The Flipside, and simply jumped.

Near Picketpost Mountain, in direct view of the cliff, the Apache families witnessed the sight of their loved ones plunging some 200 feet to the ground. Legend says their tears turned to black obsidian stones as they hit the earth – what rock hounds call Apache Tears.

So goes the tale of how Apache Leap, the cliff, got its name.

They made their point.

Related: Racing Across the Land Before Time

* Published by JPFreek Adventure Magazine – The leader in Jeep and adventure enthusiast publications.

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