East of Phoenix is the mountain range of legend. A place of Apache legend, lost gold, and Elvis.
The Superstitions were once thought by the Apaches to contain a hole to the underworld (which may be why a retirement community was built so close to it). The range is beautiful and popular with hikers, for reasons I will never get. People die or disappear on those hikes all the time. I think it’s the rattlesnakes. They’re more devious than people realize.
Okay, it’s probably not the rattlesnakes. It’s probably the ghost. That’s right - I said ghost.
The most famous tale of the mountains (and the main reason so many people get lost up there) is that of the Lost Dutchman Mine. Jacob Waltz (who was German not Dutch but whatever) died in 1891 claiming her had discovered a crud-ton of gold in them thar hills. Gold which no one has ever found. Dun dun duuuuuunnnnn!
This story is so popular that there is an entire pioneer museum dedicated to it. Okay, the museum is really about the history/geology of the mountains, must most people go for the Lost Dutchman exhibit or the Elvis Chapel.
I kid you not. The museum includes several buildings and equipment from the mining town days of Apache Junctuon, this little white church was moved to the museum strictly because of the role it played in the film Charro! If you go, you may pray as much as you wish to a cardboard cutout of the King of Rock and Roll. If you show true reverence he may grant you a pair of new blue suede shoes.
Both the mountains and the Chapel will play a roll in a new upcoming book from FSF Publications .