Travel with REI Adventures > Superstition Mountains [Part 03]

April 08, 2014

Superstition Mountains w/REI / blog.jchongstudio.com
For our second day out – we used a lot of these stacked stones called Cairns to serve as markers for different trails we were on. Most of them are quite large but I loved these little petite ones we passed by.

Superstition Mountains w/REI / blog.jchongstudio.com
Superstition Mountains w/REI / blog.jchongstudio.com
Superstition Mountains w/REI / blog.jchongstudio.com
Superstition Mountains w/REI / blog.jchongstudio.com
Superstition Mountains w/REI / blog.jchongstudio.com
While we were out in the desert there was a few beautiful plants and animals popping around. We were lucky to spot a few Gila Monsters, an orange and black lizard creature with a venomous bite. I think I really just enjoyed saying Gila Monster!

Superstition Mountains w/REI / blog.jchongstudio.com
Superstition Mountains w/REI / blog.jchongstudio.com
Superstition Mountains w/REI / blog.jchongstudio.com
Superstition Mountains w/REI / blog.jchongstudio.com
Superstition Mountains w/REI / blog.jchongstudio.com
Day two highlighted one of my favorite reasons to hike. To see things I can't see any other way. We took a side hike to La Barge Creek where we spent some time sunbathing and enjoying the nice and chilly waters. This side excursion was my favorite parts of the hike - a peaceful slow moment with nature.

Superstition Mountains w/REI / blog.jchongstudio.com
Superstition Mountains w/REI / blog.jchongstudio.com
Superstition Mountains w/REI / blog.jchongstudio.com
Superstition Mountains w/REI / blog.jchongstudio.com
As we approached the end of our second day we set up camp at Second Water Springs and enjoyed a lovely Pad Thai dinner. That's right people PAD THAI while backpacking, who knew I could be so excited for dehydrated foods! It was actually quite tasty, so much so that I'd eat it at home if I was lazy to cook ;)

Superstition Mountains w/REI / blog.jchongstudio.com
Superstition Mountains w/REI / blog.jchongstudio.com
Superstition Mountains w/REI / blog.jchongstudio.com
On our final day we had a 800ft climb to the top - where we were greeted with some beautiful views. It was a biter sweet moment at the top – almost the end of our trip but the thought of having a clean shower was on the top of my mind. Once we approached the end of our hike we had victory meal (and drinks for some!) at Tortilla Flat Saloon, a fun restaurant filled with dollar bills literally all over the place.

Superstition Mountains w/REI / blog.jchongstudio.com
Superstition Mountains w/REI / blog.jchongstudio.com
Superstition Mountains w/REI / blog.jchongstudio.com
A big thank you to REI for inviting me to join them on this exciting adventure and my guides Sarah, Dove and Gary. Be sure to check out what REI Adventures has to offer on their site. I am sure you will not be disappointed. Now who wants to go to Patagonia with me?

Superstition Mountains w/REI / blog.jchongstudio.com

+ POST IN PARTNERSHIP WITH REI, ALL OPINIONS SHARED HERE ARE MY OWN +
THANK YOU FOR SUPPORTING BRANDS THAT ALLOW ME TO CREATE AND SHARE NEW CONTENT LIKE THIS. :)

PHOTOS BY JENNIFER CHONG

Travel with REI Adventures > Superstition Mountains [Part 02]

April 04, 2014

Superstition Mountains w/REI / blog.jchongstudio.com
Superstition Mountains w/REI / blog.jchongstudio.com
Superstition Mountains w/REI / blog.jchongstudio.com
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.

Superstition Mountains w/REI / blog.jchongstudio.com
Superstition Mountains w/REI / blog.jchongstudio.com
Superstition Mountains w/REI / blog.jchongstudio.com
Superstition Mountains w/REI / blog.jchongstudio.com
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.

Superstition Mountains w/REI / blog.jchongstudio.com
Superstition Mountains w/REI / blog.jchongstudio.com
Superstition Mountains w/REI / blog.jchongstudio.com
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!

Superstition Mountains w/REI / blog.jchongstudio.com
Superstition Mountains w/REI / blog.jchongstudio.com
Before dinner Gary, another guide, took us out to check out some of the Petroglyphs near camp.

Superstition Mountains w/REI / blog.jchongstudio.com
Superstition Mountains w/REI / blog.jchongstudio.com

Superstition Mountains w/REI / blog.jchongstudio.com
Superstition Mountains w/REI / blog.jchongstudio.com
Superstition Mountains w/REI / blog.jchongstudio.com
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.

+ POST IN PARTNERSHIP WITH REI, ALL OPINIONS SHARED HERE ARE MY OWN +
THANK YOU FOR SUPPORTING BRANDS THAT ALLOW ME TO CREATE AND SHARE NEW CONTENT LIKE THIS. :)

PHOTOS BY JENNIFER CHONG

Travel with REI Adventures > Superstition Mountains [Part 01]

April 02, 2014

Superstition Mountains w/REI / blog.jchongstudio.com
Travel inspires me. I love visiting new places and seeing new things. I think people commonly confuse travel with going somewhere really far but for me it's not about the the number of miles but about exploring the new and unknown. So whether it is hoping on a plane and flying to Europe, going on a road trip or visiting a new store these are the experiences that inspire me. We've got a ton of beautiful views to explore including this view from the Superstition Mountains from my backpacking trip a few weeks ago. So many great wonders can be found around us, and many times it's right in our backyard.

I can't say enough great things about my recent trip to Superstition Mountains and already looked into other REI Adventures (glamping anyone?!). They offer a variety of trips for the beginner to the hard core extreme backpacker from a weekend trip to a multi-day getaway. What is great about their weekend trips is how easy it is to get away for a few days for a nice backpacking experience. If you are looking for a taste of the outdoors or want to unwind in the wilderness REI Adventures offer something for everyone.

It's funny how being disconnected from the world can make time slow down so quickly. I read this quote recently that while there is no wifi connection in the woods you'll find a different kind of connection out there. How true that statement is. My trip to Superstition Mountains was only four days but packed with adventure but also peaceful and quiet moments. Over the next couple of days I'll share some more photos from my trip – hope these photos bring you a little moment of peace and quiet to your busy day.

Superstition Mountains w/REI / blog.jchongstudio.com
Superstition Mountains w/REI / blog.jchongstudio.com
Superstition Mountains w/REI / blog.jchongstudio.com
Superstition Mountains w/REI / blog.jchongstudio.com
Superstition Mountains w/REI / blog.jchongstudio.com

+ POST IN PARTNERSHIP WITH REI, ALL OPINIONS SHARED HERE ARE MY OWN +
THANK YOU FOR SUPPORTING BRANDS THAT ALLOW ME TO CREATE AND SHARE NEW CONTENT LIKE THIS. :)

PHOTOS BY JENNIFER CHONG


Weekend Snapshots

March 27, 2014




*click the image above and wait for the story to load to view*
It's been a while since I've shared some weekend snapshots with you but since I just got back from Superstition Mountains I thought it would be a great time to share some sneak peeks on this new storytelling app called Steller. It's sort of like Instagram meets Blogging! It is great for sharing stories on the go. They've got an assortment of layouts and typography to help you tell your story. Be sure to check it out!

PHOTOS BY JENNIFER CHONG

Graphic Design © Jennifer Chong

Blog Theme © Blog Milk

^