In the morning, we take off upstream. The sun and blue sky come out, the temps are wonderful. The water is flowing in the creek. We go as far as we can, taking photos along the way and deciding which is the best of many ponds. We are able to travel nearly all the way by climbing the huge rock slabs that the creek travels through. It is bare granite mountainside, always denuded of soil and vegetation. After exploring, we go back to the most favored pond.
We strip off our shoes, snack and soaked it in. What a wonderful swimmin’ hole. The view is for miles, looking out at the Catalina’s across the pass and downstream. Upstream, the very close green Rincon Mountains are topped with granite domes.
We watch pristine nature play out. Different colorful dragonflies pass by so close, as to hear their wings beating.
We spot a thin snake in the water. It looks to be only a blade of grass, until it begins to wiggle its way through the water.
Tad poles and tiny fish are in abundance, along with the frogs that jump a hundred times their own lengths in front of us.
The rocks are worn smooth. We can lie in their grooves comfortably.
When we step near, colorful crickets sound like sprinkling rain as they jump in mass through the nearby grasses. Occasional Mexican Generals, which are very large grasshoppers, black with bright yellow markings, bravely wander near.
The water is so very clear, but it also has that golden hue that comes with it, as it flows out of the mountains.
The rocks below the surface look to be a treasure trove of nuggets and doubloons.
The smells of freshness are there, in the air and water. The water temperature is refreshing. There is no shock to be had. Everything seems perfect.
The edges of the submerged rocks are covered in algae that create extremely slippery glassy surfaces. I find a channel with sand leading downward under the clear water and creep slowly into the pond.
It is deeper than I am tall, a bit cooler and swimmable. I creep up to a sandy height and just stand there, noticing the different spots of varying temperatures. I find a huge pleased grin on my face.
DF takes some photos and soon follows me in.
As she comes to my arms, she whispers, “Paradise.” Immediately before us, there is a thin ridge of smooth rock between us and the next drop off. Here, a small waterfall lets stream water pass, and then we see the view of the distance. We float each other; we watch and marvel at the view out over the vista.
We know that it is Monday and we have this entire region to ourselves.
There are miles and miles and miles of nature, with only two human beings, sitting in paradise naked and free. We begin a mantra, “We can’t help it if we’re lucky, we can’t help it if we’re lucky.”
Standing on the sandbar waist deep, we look down at our shadowy reflections in a different shade of gold on the surface. Below, our submerged shadows peer back at us, surrounded by the glisten of the golden sand. The sun is white, making eclectic bolts in gentle shapes, as our ripples distort the reflected sky.
We crawl back out of the water. I find a pleasant groove on the smooth marble-like stone and lay back under the sun in comfort. My hat is drawn over my eyes. I listen to the brook and falls, to sleep….
It has become afternoon and we need to beware of too much sun.
We walk back to camp and shade for a nice lunch, to pack up and then casually, we will decide what to do afterward.
We decide to try coming into Chebo falls from the downstream direction, by driving in to where it gets just plain ridiculous to drive and then hike in. On a quiet Monday this could be accomplished walking nude. We decide that if someone is there, we shall go as free range naturists. My friends and I used to do is thirty years ago, when skinny-dipping was very hip and there was an actual road to the falls.
After driving to the main trail, we first drive down the wash to a couple of pools where 4×4 people congregate. It is a wide sandy and rocky wash. There are cottonwood trees and occasional cattle to spook.
We enjoy a stream to power through to see how far the water and mud will splash around the truck.
By the time that we go back upstream toward Chebo, we discover just how rough, slow and treacherous the road to Chebo is and decide that it is best to save that adventure for another day. There just won’t be enough time in this day; it is going to be a long haul back home.
We finally arrive back on pavement, very tired. I turn the motor off, so that I can listen for others, because I am naked. I unlock the hubs as I shift out of four-wheel drive. We drive to an Italian ice cream shop, stop, slip clothing on in the parking lot and eat ten dollars of fruity delicious fun. We climb back into the truck, then stop at a cemetery, drop a small flag into the flowers at my parents grave, and drive home into another magnificent monsoon sunset. We don’t bother to get re-undressed, until arriving home. It is uncomfortable with those pants on, but we are just way too tired to bother.