Last week, DF suggested a camping trip as she had a Sunday, Monday, and Tuesday off. I jumped on it. We decided on a place very special to me in the world, that I had never shared with her, and hadn’t visited for a few years. It is a relatively thin canyon with steep rock slopes and cliff walls. The walls are peppered with caves. It’s as though giant woodpeckers have visited. Many of these were whittled out, then used for homes and protection in a prehistoric time in Arizona. I have climbed up toward a few that looked unapproachable, only to find hidden passages to them. A rope or ladder was probably used to climb up and into some of these the rest of the way. The valley floor is a forest of multiple trees which is a stop off for over two hundred bird species during the year. I have stopped, closed my eyes and just listened at times hearing 6 or 7 different distinct bird calls in a short minute’s time. The walk has many trail areas lined with ferns and grasses and unusual plants and flowers. Through it a crystal clear stream meanders. This dry time of year it would disappear at places leaving just rocks, and then reappearing once again later. The rock cliffs are beautiful pink, yellow, orange, red generally highlighted by multitudes of other colors and the greens of lichen. They drop refuse down into the canyon floor, giving amazing color to the pebbles under the crystalline waters.
We arrived just before sundown Sunday night. We found the public campground lightly populated.
We found a nice site with some privacy, which was only in sight of one empty camping space. I pitched the tent so it covered the southern visibility of the road. There were trees and brush along the road side and down the slope to it along a trail to our picnic table and parking space. Brush covered the north. It sat up much higher than the other sites, giving an angle which helped to hide us. Sitting at the table it was difficult to see how much clothing we were wearing from the road, so we could sit naked and watch and wave politely as anyone passed by. There was a large (5X4X4 approximately) steel food storage cabinet, to discourage bears, between us and the road. This coupled with the height, provided a great deal of cover, especially when the full doors were opened out to each side.
We made a fire, and sang and played drums and guitar into the night. A couple in the next site stopped in to say hello who heard the music. By that time a chill had convinced us to put some clothing on. We continued late waiting for the full moon to rise over the mountainous cliffs, lighting up the valley. It was so worth the wait. It was spiritual. We danced singing “Dancing in the moonlight” quietly, spinning and gazing at the incredible world around us. The moon peeked out around the crags and we would move and watch it happen again and again.
Imagine these in the full moonlight.
In the morning I discovered that I could be bare foot all over because the forest service had the site so well maintained.
I climbed out of the tent to see DF pointing discretely toward the road. A woman was walking along the road. I quickly stood myself with a tree between us (see the tent photo, the larger tree) and watched and waited as she strolled and stopped to smell some flowers, then finally passing. I had to keep an eye out, but could see people coming at enough distance to be able to have time to sit or stand behind cover, never needing to be dressed.
The objective of the day was to enjoy the canyon with the crystalline creek. We carnuded over about a mile and a half to the trail head.
It was Monday and no cars were there. We would likely have this incredible trail all to ourselves all the way upstream. We took our time all day. We had emergency cover in the daypack with food and water. We spent five hours up that forest canyon.
Through the Forest
The elusive secretive naturist captured on film. Rarely seen except occasional footprints.
There was just one soul that passed us at a clip. I’m not sure he saw us as we were off of the trail at a pond in between some huge fallen rocks.
We got bold and decided to head back unclothed and just keep an eye out. There hadn’t been activity all day long. I knew we were getting risky and very near the trailhead, but we decided, what the hell. About 200 yards away from the car, an “Englishman” with a camera and tripod pops out of nowhere on the trail, just as startled as us! We said hello. I told him, “Well we must be getting close to the car, we didn’t expect to see anyone.” He responded, “uh, nor did I.” We all passed each other and continued. It was still our private park. I turned and in my horrible British accent told DF, “Well, he was looking for birds, but I doubt he expected to see a naked bird of your species.” (Does bird mean chick in British slang still?) She laughed and said the small camouflage binocular case hanging at her waist probably made her invisible.
We ventured down the road until we saw the skull. The skull (pictured) is composed of caves in a rock face looking just like that. The holes are around 100 feet high. If you look at the picture, there are large pine trees next to them that give a good eyes measure of the immensity. If you would imagine the powerful air of magic that a fire in each eyeball glowing down into the valley would give. Years ago I climbed up in there. We were amazed. There was a presence, or uncomfortable vibe, that seemed left from the local power, so many years ago. At the time we both commented that it felt like human sacrifices. It was eerie and strong.
After driving around the valleys and into the mountains, revisiting and taking pictures, we arrived back at camp to find a trailer in the space across the way. This ended our ability to be uncovered completely. There were some mosquitoes coming out as the sun set and I didn’t want open season on my body anyway. More music and moonrise.
The Next Day:
The morning came with a few drops of rain. Just enough to stop the dust, clean the air and treat us to warm drops on our naked bodies, before the new neighbors arose.We were able to sit and although DF had to wear her top, I was able to keep myself hidden from the waist down and help prepare breakfast and other campout duties freely. As I stood behind the large bin, I did my morning prayer and meditation. I raised my palms and sent Reiki over to the other campsite, dealing with my resentment of their disruption. Just then the truck pulled out and there were mother and daughter sitting in the cab, waiting for dad to come and get in. They stared at me. This dishevel looking guy with his palms up in the air looking at them. They couldn’t tell I was nude all over. I just continued and eventually they all left, liberating the campground once again. We casually proceeded to break camp and pack up. I was walking out to the car and only had to check each trip for passersby, before proceeding.On the way out we stopped and walked a quarter mile up to a lookout. There is a bench and a telescope there. The view was stunning.
We carnuded all the way home. We crossed into New Mexico, but found we didn’t have to cover-up for the border cross back, because it is now only commercial trucks that are being stopped.