My trip started with an orientation night at the REI store – there I was able to get to know all the guides and fellow backpackers I'd be spending the day with. They also split up additional backpacking gear like tents, cooking supplies and you know the good stuff FOOD! The next morning we started bright and early - breakfast at six and then off to the trail head. The first day we hiked about eight miles with an elevation gain of 1,000. I was worried about the elevation gain with the combination of a 40lb backpack but thankfully my body was prepared and I made it to the top to see this gorgeous view.
The Superstition Mountains are filled with all sorts of cacti that the guides were helpful in pointing out all the different kinds. I was fascinated by the Saguaro Cacti – these cactus are extremely tall and large. They grow between 40-60ft sometimes even over 70ft. Some just stood straight up while others had some crazy looking arms.
Once we arrived to our first night camp site Charliebois Spings we set up tents and rested our toes and headed out to look for water to filter for dinner and hydration for day two.
Our guide Sarah showed us how to use these Platypus Gravity-works hydration systems you filled one side with dirty water and let it flow through this smaller filter that takes out all the bad stuff and into another bag comes out clean water. Now that is what I'd like to call natural spring water!
Before dinner Gary, another guide, took us out to check out some of the Petroglyphs near camp.
If you're like me backpacking food is lots of trail mix and beef jerky maybe a sandwich here and there but to my pleasant surprise not on this trip! Dove and Gary cooked up some tasty meals - dinner the first night? quinoa coconut curry with mushrooms and sun dried tomatoes! We enjoyed some s'mores and got some rest for day two.
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PHOTOS BY JENNIFER CHONG