Monthly Archives: December 2015

Romero Pools: A Trip Report

2013-09-13 in Romero Canyon

I had wanted to get to these illusive pools for about 35 years. I recently had been told by a friend who knew the area that she would show me the best of the pools. There were the Romero Pools and then there were more. These are amongst the Catalina Mountains. We look at this place in the vista from my home in the Tortolita Mountain range. As I began to research online and with topos, I found that it had become a popular destination. There is a designated trailhead in Catalina State Park, where we sometimes attend full moon drum circles. I had been up there with Jeannine about ten years before. We found pools that it seems no one knows about, but I now realized that we hadn’t gone far enough. We had spent a long time absorbing and documenting about 42 different flowers along the trail on that spring day and I was in one of my less healthy periods. Another half mile would have found us at the Oasis.

My friend told me that week, that she couldn’t do it with the current heat and she claimed to be out of shape for such a strenuous climb. DF was in Colorado, visiting with her sister at her cousin’s (hadn’t seen him in 30+ years) home in a Colorado Rocky mountain paradise, turned disaster area. USA Today reported “Biblical Floods” and she was stranded in a mountain mansion with an extensive wine cellar.

I decided that I had enough information to just go it with no guide. The general temperatures should be 10F degrees lower (low 90F’s) that day and would eventually be cooler still, with the elevation gains. It was Friday, not a weekend, and the monsoon was in a reprieve. I figured that the hike back would be in the mid-day heat and there would be fewer textile hikers, even though this is a popular trail. The sun beats down as the slope faces west. Seize the moment, Carpe Diem.


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Barefoot all over, all over: Part EIGHT


These are fun, some funny and some deliver very in-depth knowledgeable information. I can recommend these sources:


1.) “The Barefoot Hiker”
Published in the Spring of 1993 by Ten Speed Press of Berkelley CA., the $7.95 paperback edition of this work (ISBN 0-89815-525-8) has since gone out of print. It is around here and there to read in the woods,

2.) Words of wisdom from someone who does:

3.) Hilarious:

More hilarity with some practical wisdom:

4.) Society for Barefoot Living

5.) Fun quotes, legal issues don’t really exist, much more and links:

6.) I also sat down and read straight through “Born to Run” by Christopher McDougall. What fun book! There is a whole section about anthropological studies about how we survived, and our scientific mind developed, from barefoot hunting and tracking. It puts a whole new twist on this aspect of “naturism.” There is a mention of a forest service worker who spent a lot of time running through the woods naked, which developed into a world class runner. There is a man running the race through the harsh and remote Copper Canyon, Mexico barefoot. There is some fun history and the story itself is compelling.
“Born to Run: A hidden Tribe, Superathletes, and the Greatest Race the World has ever Seen.” By Christopher McDougall. Copyright 2009. Random House, ISBN 978-0-307-26630-9.

7.) Barefoot Parks in Europe are sensual and mindful ways to love a body.

8.) Medical advice: This Doc is good. Numerous videos for conditioning your feet to develop flex and natural protection. Explanations. Fixing feet and spinal problems:

9.) This guy is passionate. I mentioned him before, the one who suggested running on asphalt, my feet weren’t conditioned and they got shredded. Be careful, but listen to the wisdom and enthusiasm.
Further information:
Find a barefoot hiker and hangout with him or her.
Try it. Try barefoot walking AND THEN hiking. Take shoes for backup during experimentation with ultra-marathon and thru hiking. Increments in learning, it is fascinating.

Next in the series:
I’m slowly trying out a pair of different “make your barefoot shoe” experiments. I’ll add those to the other make your own, solutions and that will be the last in this series.
Next Week: Romero Canyon, and the value of water.


You know you’re old when someone compliments you on your alligator shoes, and you’re barefoot.
Phyllis Diller
“It is important that students bring a certain rafamuffin, barefoot, irreverence to their studies; they are not here to worship what is known, but to question it”
Jacob Chanowski


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A Holiday Story


Df has been curious about the Santa Rita Mountains south of Tucson. Her daughter and family live out in the foothills of the area. I looked at my 13 year old topos. There looked to be potential for a good hike. One jeep trail seemed to lead to Sycamore Canyon, which is rife with old mines and possibly actual sycamore trees. The other trail leads out passing where I used to go to target practice, back in the 80’s. We knew that there are a few homes back there as they are visible from a distance. The trail appeared to lead to a loop just inside Federal lands (where nudity is not illegal. We would be in the area on Christmas Day after attending the big unwrapping of Santa’s bounty in the morning. IMG_9021T2_1

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Two Tales: A Desert Snowfall


Sunday was a great day at the sweat. It is quite the community, very spiritual. A great deal of energy and ritual today, helping a mother and family. They had just lost an 8 week old child to SIDS. Wonderful love and support from everyone. Just nice naked weather with friends and new acquaintances. Monday, I found myself studying in the sun, I nearly burned, getting quite red. Tuesday, it was once again a good day for the sun bathing. Wednesday, BLIZZARD! Not desert lizard! I said, “Desert Blizzard!” Two or three inches in the afternoon and three more towards evening, AND then some. Maybe not much where you hang out, but here…! This IS after all, the Sonoran DESERT.

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Tracks in the Sand: A Trip Report


Injured, I have not been out and about on a hike in six weeks. My body has been unused and weakened from inactivity. I am determined to get started on my recovery. The day is perfect for a trek up into the Tortolita Mountains. There’s not a cloud in the sky. The temperature will top out at 75F. There is no wind to chill, just warm sunshine.

We have been told that the gate that has blocked out access into the Tortolitas has been damaged and remains open. With the option of driving further, we haven’t decided where to go. Maybe to visit the petroglyphs, but I don’t want to overdo it. I’ll go as far as I can get comfortably. My body will tell me.

We are dismayed. The gate has been repaired. I back down and park the truck nearby. There will be no four wheeling today. We will have to climb the hill before getting into the best of the mountains. I’ll probably not get as deep into them, but it is the journey, not the goal. The desert is lush and green after the weekly rains. There will be much to see.


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