I did a rare amount of research for this trip. It was just a one-nighter, but it was a through-hike. I spent hours looking at routes in the area. I found a couple land formations I wanted to explore, but there was no route that went by both, so I made my own. I spliced 3 routes to make one of my own and then bought a physical map. I was hesitant to bring my 4 month old puppy on a 15+ mile hike, but she's been mountain biking with me so I was confident in her abilities. I sent my friend, Alex, a rather last minute invitation and he accepted like the badass yes-man he is. The three of us got a later start on Saturday than we planned for, arriving at Peralta Trailhead around 2pm. We only managed 4 miles that evening, but ended up staying the night near a stream with a killer view of Weaver's Needle so you won't hear me complain. The Superstitions aren't nearly far enough from the city to escape light pollution, but it was still a beautiful night. The temperature wasn't bad either - maybe 40 degrees, but I had Xaley inside of my sleeping back and she makes a fine fuzzy space heater.

Sunset in the Superstition Mountains, Arizona

We woke shortly before the sun reached out little camp and crawled from the warmth of our bags to capture a few pictures. By the time breakfast was made, beams of sunlight warmed our skin as oatmeal warmed our bellies. We fooled around for a while, catching up and just enjoying nature. Eventually, we packed up, double-checked our position and made for Battleship Mountain!

I won't lie; we spent most of the next 11 miles hoping we were on the right path, but I loved every second of it. The weather was perfect, we had the trail was mostly to ourselves and Xaley was trucking adorably along between us. We saw less than 15 people throughout the day, passing Battleship Mountain without even realizing it. Several hours into the trek, we took a break and made a course correction with the help of some well-timed hikers. Sore, sweaty, hungry and absolutely drained, we reached First Water Trailhead with plenty of light to spare!

Camping at Weaver's Needle, Superstition Mountains, Arizona

After hiking 15 miles, the old Pontiac's seat felt like a cloud as we bounced down the dirt road. It was another hour before we reached my car. I transferred my gear and helped the tired Xaley into my SUV. I hugged Alex and we left the parking lot as the sun set literally and figuratively on another glorious adventure.

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