DF had been having a very tough time during her recovery from the surgery. It had been very discouraging and painful. Eating and work had been just one big hassle. She hadn’t been out of the city for a month. I decided to and succeeded, in getting her out into our Tortolita Mountain hills on a perfect day. I wish that I could send you a taste of the air. It was 75 and no wind to an occasional slight breeze that would caress us. In the sun it couldn’t be beat.
Alf’s Rules for Hiking Barefoot
Alf wrote this. He is dear to many who frequented the TSNS site. He is an avid barefootist, and a fine advocate for being barefoot everywhere. This is a good knowledgeable outline and a basic barefoot footbook . In time I will take some of his points and add science, the medical reasoning, contribute my own understanding and direct you into a deeper understanding of some of these points that he gives here. For now, perhaps you may trust that this is correct and use it.
Alf’s Rules for Hiking Barefoot
1. The MOST IMPORTANT RULE is to ALWAYS STEP STRAIGHT DOWN.
2. Don’t walk as you would when wearing shoes. Instead, follow rule #3.
3. Land on the toes and balls of your feet, then shift weight to the heels.
4. Do not scuff your feet. Lift your feet properly for each stride.
5. Watch the path ahead of you to plan each footfall.
6. Keep your head up and scan your entire environment so as to enjoy the walk.
7. Try walking on different surfaces, both natural and manmade. Try mud.
8. Be BOLD, people generally don’t care that you are barefoot, so enjoy the experience.
9. Your calf muscles may get tired if you are inexperienced or if you don’t shift your weight to the heels after each footfall.
10. The arches of your feet will gradually get more pronounced and take a more natural shape.
11. The skin of your soles will gradually thicken.
12. You will learn to distinguish the difference between pain and normal sensations.
13. Beginners will probably interpret loud sensations as pain.
14. If you persist, you will want to increase your barefoot activities.
15. Walking barefoot in snow is sometimes OK, but don’t continue if you feel numb.
16. Your feet will not get sweaty and stinky, they will be healthier overall, but you must use lotion regularly, remove calloused skin from the heels, and carefully remove the occasional thorn.
17. Barefoot walking is natural, shod walking is normal (based on averages).
18. Above all, enjoy the sensations of being barefoot.
Last week, we were to make a four day trip. We would head downstream Apache Lake from the resort toward the dam on the south side, cross over to a pair of coves, hike, and return on the north side. Toxins in my foot kept me from venturing any further than the couch and a trip on crutches to the forest on Mt. Lemmon. This was with a six year old granddaughter. Hey, laying on a forest floor, sun like warm breath beaming down on my face, that breath exhuming resin flavored scents, as a gentile chillier breeze, a few degrees lower, love slaps in contrast. All along, my heart telling me that a little desert girl is taking her turn, learning the lessons of a forest, and our gifts are passed on as her gift…yea, not so bad.
So, we don’t have the trip report for the four days as planned. I had planned to have a whole roast of wondrous photos along with an adventure of stealth. I’m affixing photos of that area that were taken in 2008, when we visited Apache Lake with friends and their power boat. They can at least give you some notion of this spot on our amazing Earth. After all, that’s the fun and basis of this site, nature. The other part is that it is even more fun, more amazing and more a part of, experienced naked.
A Compelling Place
My Personal Barefoot Experimentation,
Rambling Anecdotes on Feet
This is part two of a series of articles on bare feet.
I had been encouraged by Alf and I had been all over the internet. I had read “Barefoot Running: Step by Step” by Barefoot, Ken Bob Saxton, “Born to Run” by Christopher McDougall, and I began to experiment.
I liked the feeling of being completely naked. The removal of shoes added yet another dimension to my sense of nudity and awareness. I felt delightfully more naked.
I had had troubles with my feet for years, from wearing heels wrong, to those shooting pains in my heel, stiffness when I woke up. I had mostly worn custom cowboy boots since my early twenties. I had had back trauma injuries in rear-enders and as I aged, I found my health diminishing.
Finding hiking shoes had been frustrating, as my feet had become a quadruple E, but my heels had stayed the same. They don’t make shoes for duck-foots like me. They would be too tight while my heels slipped out, my heels were bothered, or because they were not firmly attached all around, hiking back downhill often left me without toenails.
I had spent some time learning to pack the faltboot (a canvas/vinyl kayak) for a camping trip aka expedition. No not into the untamed wilds, but to explore Apache Lake. Apache Lake is north of us, another lake formed by a dam in a canyon which also formed the famous Roosevelt Lake, which is upstream. Roosevelt is huge and popular. Apache Lake is less easily accessible, much smaller, more rugged and fewer beaches.
I’m going to publish a series of articles about going barefoot…all over, all over. These will be in between and distinguished from the Trip Reports. Some will be informational. Some will be experiential. I have been experimenting with bare feet for several years now. There is much that I would like to share and hopefully benefit the reader. These will appear from time to time. Presently, some are written, some outlined, some in pieces. I’ll attempt to keep each short.
A Morning Barefoot
SAND! Oh, I had a glorious morning’s stroll.
I awaken early, I expect a chill, but the sun feels warm. We have had three days with intermittent nice soaking rains. The humidity is up. There is silver crystalline dew on all of the fresh tall grasses, which have grown up from the monsoon. I put on my huaraches to be minimal and take off, in a purposeless state, just experiencing, thought nor plan isn’t an issue. The thin leather sole gets wet and soft, conforming to the rocks. I stare at a set of flowers in the trail. There are clover-like balls coated with moister and glistening in the morning sunlight. They are filled with prism colors. With these, are daisy-like structured flowers, rich purple with a bright canary yellow center. The dew has these coated, too. It gives them a glassy look.
I had been too easily distracted for my licensure studies and decided to take time away from the “to do” list and other fun, to just camp and study. The solitude of the Pepper Sauce Canyon area had been scouted and affirmed a couple of weeks before. The weather has been steadily windy and often dusty and the temps would be in the nineties F. Up in elevation on the back side of the Catalinas, ten degrees can be chopped off of that, giving perfect eighties. Because DF and I had taken that day trip, I knew exactly where I would go.
Southern Arizona is the confluence of several ecosystems. It houses a grand plethora of biodiversity. One reason for this is its sky islands. There is no horizon here, only yet another mountain range. These mountains can be over 10,000 feet high. They host Alpine regions. One can begin in a summery desert in Tucson and drive up the Mt. Lemmon Highway to the top. The seasons change with the elevation. Summer turns to fall and then winter, in less than an hour. A vast mineral wealth is indicative of the diversity of geologic features. This is what we live in. This is why each trip report that we share with you is unique. Naturism is interaction with nature. Naturism, its pursuit, its spirituality, is enhanced by natural beauty and diversity.
The following is a link to a video, which better explains the diversity and abundance. Perhaps, this will give your imagination a taste and keep you coming back each week.
We were still recovering from the big outdoor party that we had put on. It had been a project to put together. It was way fun, all night. At 5:30am, we were watching the turquoise blue of coming daylight. It was rough, when we were getting up again, a short few hours later. We had to feed those who stayed and then clean up. It was busy, hauling borrowed lawn furniture back to its owner, tearing down the band equipment, hauling drums, on and on and then, preparing for the trip in the morning to Peppersauce Cave. Chores done, we collapsed.