The rain’s warmer temperatures have created an early spring. Many plant species are reacting in an unusual manner. What has happened this last week around here is the explosion of the brittle bush. It has increased since a freeze had trimmed it back a few years ago. It now covers much of the mountain range’s hills. It is coupled with other large plants with hundreds of flowers making a vast rock garden of color. The early leaves of the mesquite are florescent and the ocotillos have green leaves up their stalks a crescendo with their red/orange crown of flowers. Many large stag horn cholla are a burgundy/purple and in good health. Among these dominant species, the more subtle spring blossoms in many colors can be found in patches. Add a turquoise sky and the effect is glorious.
So with this in mind, we have invited friends out to hike, to experience and to take part in a sweat.
We take off Wednesday afternoon after going to watch the hiking movie “Wild.” I was thinking that it might create some inspiration for the next few days of travel to Arivaipa Canyon, Turkey Creek, and then the Muleshoe Ranch. During the three explorations, the conditions progressively become more pristine, more rugged and primitive. I’ll post one of these trips each coming week, unless a new adventure pops up.
Ariavaipa Canyon, a nature preserve, has two entrances and I have managed to acquire two day passes for Thursday for the eastern entrance. We had gotten a taste for the place a few weeks earlier, as we visited a retreat near the western entrance. We intend to head back when we can get permission for a longer stay, but this is what we have to work with, for now.
The hot springs have been described here: https://thefreerangenaturist.org/2015/09/22/eden-hot-springs-trip-report/#more-442
And Here: https://thefreerangenaturist.org/2015/09/
AND Here: https://thefreerangenaturist.org/2015/11/10/mud-baths-in-eden-a-trip-report/#more-651
We stopped in last weekend. The temps were in the 80F’s. It was just one of those perfect times when wearing clothing couldn’t be more wrong-headed.
Our arrival takes us to new spots that had been carved out of the tamarisk/mesquite woods. They are near the big pool. Although winter still has its potential, leaving most branches bare, there is quite a bit of shade to be had. We set out our tarp using low branches and below it pitch the net tent. We will be spending all of our time outside and experiencing the sensuality of the weather naked. I have a terry robe and warm mineral waters when the evening turns cooler. A camping quilt will get me through the night which will drop down closer to 50F. My down hood traps in the heat.
I had an invitation to join a weekend retreat in Arivaipa Canyon for one class, Sunday. I’m going to assist bringing the process/class to Tucson and needed some demonstration. We hadn’t been to the western entrance and this would provide an excuse to explore. If you remember we had visited the Eastern entrance Here:
This side is closer to Phoenix and Tucson and more frequently traveled. There is a permit required to travel into the preserve and limited to 30 persons per day. This weekend was booked up months in advance. The retreat was being held downstream from the preserve among some ranches. We didn’t know if we would have opportunity for a riparian hike or not.