Monthly Archives: December 2016

A New Year


A couple of years ago, on New Year’s Eve it began to snow. It left us under a thick coat of white. We spent as much time as we could throughout the night and morning roaming, experiencing, photographing and at play. This post will become more of an Arizona Highways pictures with a story, rather than a story with pictures.



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Happy Valley: A Trip Report


Carnuding to Happy Valley on Saturday morning, we pull off of the Interstate to get gas. There will be no more clothing after pumping this gas.

Happy Valley is on the other side of the Rincon Mountains from Tucson. There are a couple of “A” difficulty rated hiking trails that lead to the top of those mountains from there.

We intend to explore the first day, looking for the best camp sites and maybe some short walk/hikes.  We’ll set up camp, a fire and then have a major hike the second day.

Rain and overcast is predicted, but somehow I know that we will have fun with some Arizona natural grace. The valley is around 1500 to 2000 feet more elevation than the Tucson area and slopes go up steeply. This is similar in elevation to the Chebo Falls trip on the other side of the Rincon Mountains. It is a few degrees cooler with the help of cool air dropping down off of the mountains, but here, air flows through a shady forest of a riparian paradise.

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More Naked in the Rain: Four Short Tales


August/September 2015


I take a walk in the desert.


I slip on my fivetoe KSO’s. The rain has stopped pouring in wind swept sheets. I will listen out at the edge of my property for flowing water in the desert. If none, I will take a stroll through my desert stealth/nature trail. When I open the front door, I notice that it is sprinkling. As I begin my walk, it starts to rain again. This time, it is very different, a calm pour, no winds, and warm large drops. What a treat, naked in the rain again.

I see no flow of water, and hear no sound of the creek running in the distance. I take the stealth trail. The path is soaked, the sandy soil bloated and soft. My shoes sink deeply into this, sometimes three or more inches, leaving what looks like barefoot tracks. A community of red ants have taken over a long section of my trail, a length where it had been trail before my construction. I do my best to avoid disrupting them, but accidents happened. I hear the drops of rain splashing on the nearby plants, as is my own experience in this body. Often, I hear just the crunch of my feet on the freshly disturbed washed clean sand, as my foot intricately, grinds through it. The sun comes out, the rain stops, the sun comes out in just this spot where I walk. The humidity nearly instantly changes from cool to a steaming, like any tropical jungle. But this is a desert.

I stop to survey the distant vistas all around me as I stand on a knoll. I am suddenly startled by a cactus wren taking flight just a few feet away from my head. Looking in the alarm’s direction, there is a cholla cactus, and in its masses of prickly branches a new looking nest sits.

I make my way to my favorite sitting rock, a place that I call Havarock. I stand and then I sit cross legged, just listening, just watching, just imbibing the fresh air and its effect on my physical being. Do I hear the creek below? I stand, but I can’t be sure.

Another sprinkle begins as I near home from my excursion. I can’t seem to get enough of this.

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Tortolita Springs: A Hike


It rained! Spring is on and the Tortolita Mountains beckon. When it rains in the desert the waters flow. They don’t stay around too long. Everything is changed for a day or so. After a long drought, rain is a joy.

There is no dust and the bouquet of Spring air is invigorating. The temperature seems perfect.

There is a car parked at the base of the hill. There are hikers up there someplace.  We decide to be cautious and wait to get undressed. We climb up the steep trail about a half mile to where a wash crosses the road. As we ascend we take in the vista of Mt. Lemmon to the east. The rains in Tortolita had shown up as snow on Mt. Lemmon, a mile higher.

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