12 SECRET SILENCE
SUPERSTITION WILDERNESS, ARIZONA
WE’RE ALONE, but our solitude has been hard won. This morning, we set off to thru-hike the range, starting on a wellmarked trail that attracts Arizonans like hummingbirds to a prickly pear. The Superstitions’ wonders—Weaver’s Needle, Battleship Mountain, Geronimo Head— lined the way, ushering us into La Barge Canyon. But there, we and the trail went our separate ways, and our long ascent through one of the least-visited stretches of this wilderness began. Now, our shins are bloodied, our fingers ache, and our nerves are a little frayed. But as we sit beneath a giant sycamore, dusk paints the canyon walls lavender. It’s silent: We’re alone in the Superstitions. Eventually, we’ll reconnect with the main drag and continue to Charlebois Spring, a place for people who like their hikes a little less painful. We’ll see other folks, and they’ll give us funny looks when we emerge from La Barge battered and bruised, but for now we’re alone. Completely, blessedly alone.