Surfin’ USA: The Wave Cave Hike in Arizona

Odometer (Integra Sedan):  73,210

Trip Distance:  100 Miles

Mom was a victim of her first cactus attack this weekend.  The cholla, or “jumping,” cactus is famous for its ability to seemingly jump out and cling to passersby.  Worse, it’s tough to pull out and only wants to latch on to anything (or anyone) that attempts to remove it.  The solution?  Just ask Chris, the seasoned hiker who joined us for this excursion.  He whipped out a hair comb which was able to extract the needles safely without putting anyone at risk.  Clever survival tips for the desert southwest.

All of this came about from our decision to hike to one of the Superstition mountain range’s most unique geologic features:  A sandstone rock in the shape of a large wave.  See me surfing up there?  The cave’s remoteness and difficulty have kept some hikers away, but we tackled the 4-miler with confidence and enjoyed basking in some of Arizona’s prime spring weather for a few hours on Saturday morning.

Reaching the Peralta Trailhead took us about an hour from Central Phoenix and while I would have been perfectly fine subjecting my ILX, or the SLX, to a few miles dirt, we decided to takes Chris’ Jeep Cherokee.  Our first stop was the drive-thru at Starbucks.  You can’t go out into the wilderness unprepared, after all.  Frappaccinos in hand, we were ready to conquer nature.

The trail itself seemed to intensify in difficulty as we worked our way up the 800 or so feet in elevation.  Though the cave itself was visible from the trailhead, it required scrambling up a few stretches of jagged rocks flanked by prickly cacti – definitely the type of environment where adequate and stable footing is a necessity.  I took a spill just once and scraped up my right hand thanks to loose gravel.

The view was worth it.  From the interior of the cave itself, we were able to gaze across the landscape for many miles in the distance.  With temperatures in the high 60s and a light breeze, conditions were optimal to hang out and enjoy the scenery before beginning our descent.  Round-trip travel time was about 3 hours, and we rewarded ourselves for a job well done by having lunch at Costa Vida.

Here are a few more pics before I get into this week’s round of automotive news & updates here in Acura Land.

We pulled my low-miler out of the garage for commute duty during mom’s visit.

I also received a drop-in from my friend Mike from San Diego, who was riding in style in his friend’s Challenger.

My buddy Mirel scored a new car:  Check out his white 1994 LS 6-speed coupe.

On Saturday, we were ‘seeing red’ with all these reds (called Milano, Formula, and Torino) while my friend Sunny was in town from Salt Lake City in his TSX Special Edition.

Another fun Acura-sition took place over the weekend, and I was able to help make it happen.  My friend Jason “re” purchased a 1991 LS sedan that he owned a couple of years ago.  It only has 48,000 miles on the odometer thanks to spending its first 10 years tucked away in hiding.  You see, this car was stolen when it was brand new on the dealership floor and recovered much, much later.

I helped out by having a couple of maintenance items done before Jason & his dad flew down to pick it up.

My friend Jimmy stopped by the dealership while I was there.

Jason & his dad were happy campers when they arrived to take delivery.

Jason sent these pics while passing through my mom’s city where she met up with the new RLX.

It’s interesting to see how these vehicles, 25 model years apart, are different in some ways and similar in others.

Speaking of throwbacks, mom lined up the RLX in the same place as her old 2000 3.5 RL which she owned 14 years prior.

Picturesque Snow Canyon, Utah

The last bit of news here relates to a fun project I was able to collaborate on with Acura.  A small film crew flew out last week to spend a day with me doing a sort of documentary on my car collection and some favorite road trip stories.  After shuttling all 8 cars to a nearby parking lot, we took 3 of them out on an 80-mile scenic loop through the Bush Highway past Saguaro Lake.

I’ll post a blog entry once the film debuts in the coming months, but it will be a short 5-8 minute YouTube feature on Honda’s YouTube channel.  Brand Culture Champion Charles Schnieber posted a few photos of our day on Instagram under his handle @kokoro_honda.

Getting interviewed in the hot seat… in my garage.

The production was facilitated by 3 gracious volunteers who assisted with driving – thanks to Chris, A.D., and Woody!

Closing out the night with a fantastic sunset in the Superstition Mountains.

Thanks for reading!  And have a great week!

21 Responses to “Surfin’ USA: The Wave Cave Hike in Arizona”

  1. What an awesome post! Cars. Cars. Cars and more cars 😍
    Not much thinking or reading which suits me well right now 🤓
    Thank you Tyson

    • Haha, I know. Sometimes I just don’t feel like putting a lot of effort into writing something eloquent. I just want to post car pics. And I guess sometimes that’s okay. Have a great week Pam!

  2. Mama Tia Says:

    Oh, GOODNESS! That last photo (you and NSX) is a ‘must frame’ one. This is an exceptional post, like those heretofore, but I am especially fond of this one due to the fact that I have a vested interest…. I was able to experience some of these adventures with you. Guilty by association? That’s probably true. Thank you for a wonderful weekend, jumping cholla and all. I am just grateful that I had the encounter BEFORE crouching down in the ‘woods.’ Can you imagine snagging those things on a bare butt? That would have been a tad embarrassing. I now am a spokesperson for avoiding jumping cacti in the Arizona desert (unless one wants to experience pain). Until the next time…. keep on keeping on!

  3. Awesome post, Tyson! You got some great photos during that hike – really spectacular vistas out your way!

    That’s a great story about Jason’s new (again) Legend – I’m assuming the car was being sold in your area? And speaking of Legends, it’s eye-opening to see the Legend next to an RLX. I always think of the 2nd-gen Legend as an enormous car, but it looks positively tiny sitting next to your mom’s Acura.

    And I’ll look forward to seeing that movie when it debuts!

  4. Wow. Incredible beige interior on that 1994 Legend Coupe.

  5. autoscribe1974 Says:

    Amazed by the comparisons between the Legend, 3.5 RL, and RLX! And I agree with Mama Tia- that final image is a keeper.

    • Haha, thanks Mark. That one might end up on Instagram. I’m looking forward to taking mom’s RLX for a spin sometime soon, but it might not be until Easter weekend (Apr 21) on my next trip to Utah! I’ll be sure and report back on any observations! Hope you’re having a great week.

  6. Looks like a superb walk, and what stunning scenery! You do however, sound like you need some square crisps to go with your Frappaccinos! 🙂

    I’m looking forward to seeing that youtube video – it’s great that your collection is being featured! Those are some great shots as well.

    So how many cars do you have in your collection?

    • Now you’re talking – I could use some square crisps for sure! The only snacks I took on the hike were a couple of protein bars, and they weren’t very tasty at all. As for the car collection, it’s currently at 8 but has gone as high as 10 before. Friends and neighbors know I have a bit of a problem 😉

  7. So much good stuff here I’m overwhelmed! Now I need to take that Wave Cave hike. Very picturesque and shows the true beauty of the AZ desert. Speaking of picturesque, I echo Miss Tia’s comment on your NSX pic…WOW! Garage-wall-worthy. Too cool on the Acura crew coming to the “Acura of Hugie” showroom. Can’t wait to see the film!

  8. Looking forward to seeing the YouTube film!

    • Don’t start popping your Orville Redenbacher popcorn yet! I was told that the initial edit might only take a couple of weeks, but any Legal approvals sometimes can take months. Stay tuned! Hope your week has been going great!

  9. Always great to see you Tyson. Glad I was able to get the red TSX down your way next to the NSX and Integra. Looking forward to seeing that film collaboration!

    • Thanks Sunny for taking the time to visit! It was nice to catch up for a bit. Let’s hope our paths cross again soon this year – and this time we can include a road trip!

  10. And here I was thinking I was the only nutter that had “re” purchased a car after missing it so much! Jason’s “new” sedan does look like it’s in tip-top shape. The Acura interview sounds like it was an interesting project to be a part of, it’ll be good to see the video when it’s finally released.

    • Definitely, stay tuned for that! And Jason’s Legend definitely found a good home. Since this was posted, he’s already taken care of a few issues like warped brake rotors, weak hood struts, and a missing bolt on the valve cover. Have a great weekend!

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