Cynthia, like her son, is now drawn to the Superstitions by an intense force she can't fully verbalize. She's read all her son's books, but it's not about the lust for gold or the photos of gorgeous desert scenery, she says; it's that the Superstitions are the only place she imagines she'll really feel connected to her Jesse. The mountains were a sacred place to the Apache, which is how they got their name, and now they're sacred to Cynthia Burnett.

She dreams of walking the trails someday, seeing what Jesse saw in the place he didn't dare tell her he was going, but sacrificed everything to get to.

Teton Ken plays the Lost Dutchman at events in Apache Junction, though he's not sold on there ever being a gold mine.
Jamie Peachey
Teton Ken plays the Lost Dutchman at events in Apache Junction, though he's not sold on there ever being a gold mine.
Robert Cooper reviews information search-and-rescuers have regarding Jesse Capen's disappearance.
Jamie Peachey
Robert Cooper reviews information search-and-rescuers have regarding Jesse Capen's disappearance.

"We've got no place to go in memory of Jesse because we don't have his body," she says. "So, down the line, I'd like to go into the area, maybe with some of the men who've been hunting for him, and have them take me down one of those trails — just to be where Jesse was last alive. That was Jesse's bliss, and I want to go where he found his bliss."

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8 comments
sherrycook007
sherrycook007

My brother, a friend & myself took a hike in the superstition mountains once back in 1971. we had barely started walking when we saw this rocket ship @ the top of a cliff (we thought, a space ship - someone must

b playing a joke). We left the trail & headed 4 the base of the cliff, hoping that once there we'd find a way up. At the point directly below the ship we found a hidden waterfall (no way up at all). The waterfall was spilling into a circle of small river rocks. And going immediately underground. There was no pooling of the water @ all. We didn't touch it or walk on the rocks. We were so spooked we took off back to our car. When we could we looked back to c if the rocket was still there. It was not. I would love to hear of others experiences in those mountains. I have never been able 2 forget what happened to us & have never been back there.

Dbmcneal
Dbmcneal

Great article. I have been lucky enough to have been taught by knowlegable freinds how dangerous these mountains are.

Scole14
Scole14

This is a very interesting article but the idea that the Superstition area is a particularly dangerous one is silly. There is a certain romance associated with the range which some find important to nurture. The stories of stick-weilding miners and squatting prospectors are, of course, apocryphal, as are the tales of the lost mine itself. Likewise, the danger from the exceedingly sparse population of mountain lions in the range is by all measures nonexistent and anyone who packs a firearm into the wilderness against the advent of a shootout with one is either ignorant or operating a couple of raisins short of a fruitcake. I have hiked extensively in the Superstitions and I have often seen these pistol-packing nimrods. I suppose one should allow them to indulge in their adolescent Wild West fantasies, but they still leave me rolling my eyes a little. Nothing is sillier (even squatting prospectors or lurking mountain lions) than a paranoid, Stetson-wearing nudnik shivering with fear and packing a six-shooter in this rugged but friendly wilderness.

C W Williamson
C W Williamson

There is a certain pity I feel for people as ignorant as you who think that nothing bad will ever happen to them. What happens when you or your dauhter are hiking with a couple of girlfriends and you come upon some maniac squatting out there? You would be really wishing you had a gun at that point, because chances are the maniac DOES have one. And guess what, there are no police out there either friend!

Jonathan  McNamara
Jonathan McNamara

How is looking for a lost gold mine any different from the constant search for material wealth modern society seems to place us all on?

 
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