Monthly Archives: October 2017

Happy Valley, Sad Day


We lost a friend, after eight years of battling cancer. Because she grew up in Benson and lived so many years in Tucson, it was decided that the memorial service would be held half way between. Happy Valley, is a good point. We hadn’t been back since our trip during the monsoon season in 2013. At that time, the rains had created a place green as Ireland and its rolling hills.

This weekend it will be a much drier place after months of drought. The contrast will be interesting.

Since we will be making the trip, we decided to spend a night and do a hike the next day. We also have decided to leave Tucson a little early and to see what we can do before the afternoon service.

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Sabino Canyon Stealth


I see as grand of an orange/yellow face as I have ever seen. The moon is rising up along the side of the Catalina Mountains. As I look down the edge of the mountain range. A thin flat black shadowy cloud hangs across its lower breadth, just like Halloween. It just needs the witch on her broom. Ester creeps up through that cloud into a clear sky, as we attend a music show by a very original local band the Carnavaleros. We find friends and dancing at the metal arts complex. We are waiting for the moon to rise just enough to light our path.

A friend and I have decided to do a full moon walk up Sabino Canyon. The desert lights up like a black and white TV with a big moon like this. The canyon is majestic.

Sabino is a popular attraction with an asphalt paved road running up its length. Only a shuttle uses the road to carry a million passengers each year to various stops along the way. Tourists and locals have long used this oasis to swim in the natural pools and lay under a variety of large trees, which line the creek. The tall canyon walls are spectacular. All of this comes alive under the lunar lighting. It allows naturists to use the usually packed area as they used to do back when Tucson was much smaller.

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Ragged Top Key Lockout: A Trip Report.

Spring mid-1990’s

It was in the spring of nineteen-ninety-something, that my then girlfriend and I got up early Sunday morning to drive out to one of the new ”National Monuments” that former President Bill Clinton had signed off on, at the end of his term. Ironwood National Monument is about 40 miles from my home. Our destination was right in the heart of one of the nicest Ironwood forest left on the planet. It’s where endangered Big Horn Sheep roam freely. The Ironwood itself is found throughout the southwest, but there are only a couple of intact Ironwood ecosystems left on our planet.

This spring, the rains had been unusually frequent and we found ourselves surrounded by a delightful carpet of flowers in yellows, purples, blues, oranges and white.

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Called by the Sunset

The color of the desert gathers a golden hue, beckoning me outside as I stare out the window. Out the door the silence is deafening. There is a chill beginning; I gather my sweatshirt out of the laundry for once last quick use, before cleaning. The gauge tells me mid-50F’s.

My feet, in their VFF-KSO toe shoes, begin to acclimate to the uneven surface, as I walk off to the end of the property to the jeep trail. It feels good, a wake-up.

A stunning site greets me across the valley. A yellow round full moon is peaking its way around the now pink Santa Catalina Mountains, surrounded by pink and blue clouds and sky. It is a winter sky.

The trail becomes rougher with sharp stones strewn across randomly and I step around for the most comfortable footing. Not too much care, just enough; the feet are tough and mustn’t be babied.

Down the hill the jeep trail meets the new graded area and is smooth. I need exercise; I take off running up the hill, a little slower and more tired than I would like. I slow to look out at the fully arisen moon, and then take off again and up the steeper part of the grade.

Atop, I stop to take in the miles of valley before me. Golden light beams shoot across, evening lights are coming on, the entire mountain range is aglow to the east.

Far in the distance, at the peak of the cone, a golden light glares back to me in the Santa Rita Mountains. Something is reflecting light in a perfect manner and angle, maybe just for this evening’s moment.

Running back down the hill, a rich bouquet of florescent blue flowers sits on the side of the road. The fascinating color is augmented by the sunset’s glow. Then, I’m back home.

I haven’t had enough. I take off walking out the stealth trail to see how far I get and what I see before the light dissipates too much.

I am reminded to get a new pair of glasses for the trails that are not for the bifocal. I need to see where my feet are landing. It is winding, a few new jumping cholla buds litter the path.

No masses of spring flowers just yet, but there is evidence of their coming. There are buds, a few early birds, new growth and new plants, where only sand laid before.

The moon keeps coming up.

The sweatshirt feels nicely warm, but unnecessary. I take it off. My body feels more alive all nude. It is as though there is more heat now. I wonder if it is my core that has warmed up. The experience is good. It is sensual.

As I come around the corner of the ridge, returning home, it is cooler. The little valley where the stealth trail lies IS warmer tonight. As time goes on, I’ll learn more about this microclimate, using my bare skin.

Just outside my door, I pray thanks for this miraculous world. Its blessing is everywhere. Nature rules.


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De Anza: Up the Mountain


Remember, by clicking any picture, you’ll get better sizing and clarity.

At De Anza Naturist Resort there is a landmark mountain of rocks.

It is huge. You can see specks on the top moving around. These are naked people.

Zoomed in, a Naked Person Lounging

There can be found labyrinths of rock formations that tunnel up to the top.

Most people take a trail around the south and then make an ascent up a hill.

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