Sutherland Trail

2017-10-29

It is Halloween weekend. We start out attending a costumed event as a pair of famous naked people. Sunday, we decide to have a hike up the Sutherland Trail at the foot of the Catalina Mountains. We have to be back to my place by 2pm to host a community sweat.

Nude in Public:

We decided to dress up for the music event Saturday night. I had had a long blonde wig sitting in a drawer for many years. I figured that the contrast of my masculine features costumed as Lady Godiva would be fun. We are going to a public bar/restaurant, so actual nudity would cause problems. I found some tights for us and looked for a wig for DF. She would like to be Lady Godiva, too. We would be the Godiva twin sisters, well you get the drift.

I was unable to find a wig for her at the late notice and my mind’s wheels began to crank. After trying on the dancer’s body suit, it was obvious that it is see through, like thick panty hose. The hair covers and teases, but it splits in the front and the genitals are exposed. This doesn’t comply with State Statute. I found a tan napkin from a Chipotle restaurant, and it covered the “offending” area, under the stocking. I will just have to be careful not to leave the “Chipotle label facing out.

DF was still left with only a nude see-through body suit. I suggested fig leaves. Perhaps we could be Adam and Eve. All of the wigs that I found were too short. Ultimately, we found green felt and I copied a picture of a fig leaf. We attached the felt leaves to a transparent plastic belt. It now gives me the option to take the long hot wig off, if it gets itchy and become Eve’s Adam.

We arrived, paid the fee to get in, and walked around to the stage and dance floor. Before I knew what was going on, the guy on stage is pointing at me, shouting Lady Godiva and I am ushered up to the stage and given a prize for my costume. The fun was on!

We joked around, received numerous compliments, got our pictures taken several times and danced the night away. A few people told us that they thought that DF actually walked in naked. The lighting apparently helped imaginations.

During a break in the music, DF stuck her face to my ear and told me that this would probably be as close to dancing naked in a public bar that we would ever get. She said that much of the time, she actually did feel as if she were naked. Those body suits are very comfortable. The air was mostly still, but they allowed even a light breeze to penetrate when the wind stirred. I asked her to elaborate about how the feeling of being naked was to her. She thought of how to express that for a few moments and then explained, “Liberating.” The sensations and freedom of nudity and the acceptance of others felt liberating. Going about nude is a genuinely positive experience for her. I have to admire her attitude and sense of what is truly natural. For many, it would be embarrassing, uncertain, or a rush of some kind, instead.

We had fun, other than that hair growing as the curls stretched. It latched onto passing people and furniture grabbing me by the head. By the end of the night, I was stepping on it. The other negative was that creeping Chipote napkin. I began to feel it under my stocking in the wrong place. I went to the…men’s room, hmm, would Lady Godiva?….

Anyway, I was standing in front of the mirror adjusting my napkin, which the guy next to me took as poor word choice. I did get the bathroom door politely held open for me to pass through by the gentleman.

The insulting jokes about my lack of breast were jokingly passed off with “what a thing to say about a lady!” One of our lesbian friends liked what she called our “lesbian action,” as we danced and held each other. It was simply fun.

 

Sunday Morning:

We have a later than planned arrival at the trailhead. The weather is beautiful, as we pass onto a dirt road. Meandering through the desert growth of cattle mutilated mesquite trees and grasses, we come to a parking lot filled with cars and some people. DF grabs a sundress and places it over her breast as we pass through. We quickly realize that that wasn’t the one in our directions, but it could be staging area for use for where we are going. We haven’t been here before. It may be crowded.

Down the hill, we see a parked car in the desert. A second parking lot appears with three or four vehicles appear among the mesquite trees. It is the described parking lot. As I drive through, DF warns me of a man and son standing by a nearby quad rig. I explain that I don’t think that they can see that I am nude with their angles of sight. Perhaps they can just see her.

The gate is open and the road gets worse. It dips and twists. When I see a wash with deep sand, I turn off the motor, listen and then get out switching the 4×4 front wheel lockers. We glide through the wash sliding in the sand to the other side.

Climbing back up, we are in typical Catalina Mountain flood plain, which is made up of river rock and soil. The rocks are now exposed, creating a very bumpy slow ride.

Occasionally, one is large enough to be avoided. The directions, or internet stories, tell how at some point the road gets “really bad.” The pace is so slow that we opt to pull over and park. We can walk this faster and get exercise.

As we gather our stuff, we hear a quad approach. Two men in camouflage outfits, I suspect scouting for game, slowly pass by as we are standing behind our doors naked. They would not be the type to complain anyway.

The road, FR 643, is also the Sutherland trail. It continues to be a mass of rocks to step around, or onto. Our gaze is nearly always down to avoid stubbing a toe, or slipping, or twisting on an unstable rock.

We see a grand peak in the distance. At its foot, there appears to be what looks like water sheeting on granite surfaces. We are in a drought. Everything is dry here. It is an illusion, the sun playing tricks. The succulent cacti are wrinkled. Leaves are yellowing and falling off the mesquite. The tall grass is brown and brittle. Any flowers are a dry bouquet. We have extra water in my pack, with our lunch.

We can see that the road travels up a canyon, which runs parallel to the canyon of the Romero Pools. There have been a couple of stories posted here about that trail. Somewhere along the way, we will see a landmark sign for a trail which crosses over to that trail.

A Mile of Elevation to Get Up There

A mile in, we realize that we have most likely seen the last person of the day. There will be no encounters, no one to bother us, or greet in our nude state. There has been little to do to cover today. I just stood behind the door of my SUV, as I was already. DF didn’t need to cover her breasts at the parking lot. The synchronicity has left us as if in a more perfect world. The people around us don’t see our nudity, as if by magic. Now, we are free to roam naturally.

Climbing, we do find a gate as we were told. I unlatch it and hold it for DF to pass through. The barbed wire and mesquite post contraption springs properly and effectively back into place, as I latch it with an old loop.

We see the signs and continue, confident that we have taken the proper course.

There is rest in minuscule shade sitting on a round rock in the road.

As the elevation changes, we see a familiar type of terrain and rock formations. The predicted 4×4 trail with narrows and harrowing climbs shows itself. There are tire marks belly high along a side.

Waist High Tracks

The other is just a huge slab of granite. Someone has strattled this gorge. This requires specialized equipment.  A new way to pass has been created here. One must drive up onto the huge boulder and then over it.

Standing Above on the Alternative Route

We continue our hike.

I spot some taller trees up ahead. There is dried creek, which is a catchment for all of the runoff of the mountain slopes. As we gaze up at the rugged terrain, DF mentions that she heard that the Big Horn Sheep are making a strong comeback from extinction in these rugged mountains.

Trees on the Right

We see a path running off toward the trees. We take the road a bit further before heading down it. There is always that next discovery, or what is just over the next hill. We see nothing in particular. Later surveying with satellite photos, they show us that we were very close to an intersection of the Baby Jesus Trail and this one.

When we arrive at the trees, after a couple of hours of hiking in the sun, we are delighted. There is a large rock surface, all under a shady canopy.

As if triggered by our arrival, a cool light breeze greets us as we stand there. I strip off my belt and bag. I have been perspiring under them. The breeze meets the moister and refreshes me in a profound way. Naked is wonderful.

DF climbs under some low hanging branches of a cottonwood. She stands with her eyes closed, simply listening to the sound of the wind in the leaves and feeling the air and her soul.

The breeze travels into the area and then out. It approaches and then it caresses.

I follow DF through the tall grass, as it tickles our nude bodies.

As we leave our belongings, we discover more beauty and climb freely in fun among the rocks.

If water could be added, we would be in paradise. We have a sense of being blessed.

Riparian Thicket

We return to our equipment and pull off the last of our coverings, becoming barefoot all over. Lunch is had, sandwiches and grapes. I find a groove in the rock and excuse myself to lay down in it. The surface is cold in this shade, but I enjoy the contrast.

DF decides to lay out herself.

We lay there tranquil gazing up at the leaves above us. There are the beginnings of fall colors in the mix.

It is time to return and host the sweat, but we are reluctant to leave. We would have liked to just stay there, maybe take a nap. This is a special place.

The trail back is taken at more of a marching pace.

We may have just enough time to get to the truck and drive back home. We only stop for a few vista pictures as wonderment presents itself.

Looking Out Toward Romero Pools Trail

Our return takes only half the time that our ascent did. We check off the landmarks in reverse order.

We come to our lonely truck, climb in and we are off.

I stop to check the sandy wash, where climbing back out may be more difficult than sliding in. The soft sandy surface is deep.

I maintain momentum and the 4×4 shows us her tuff stuff once again.

The gate is closed at the parking lot. We see a truck there, but spot no one. DF gets out, moving the gate, as I drive through.

Watching for Others, DF Moves the Gate

She gets back in and we continue. We are then surprised to find two other vehicles parked there that we hadn’t seen. One has passengers and they flash their lights. We speculate that if they had seen her naked at the gate, they may be flashing us back. We chuckle. It is not likely.

The Sweat:

We arrive home just before 2pm. No one has arrived. We unload, staying nude, then grab wood, prepare the fireplace and sweep. Soon enough, our first guest arrives. This day has worked out perfectly. That perfectly timed piece of God’s paradise under trees in the foothills of the Catalina Mountains told us that.

As people trickle in and out, we chant, beautiful voices sing, soft drums accompany them. A small Indian harmonium plays no tune in particular. We sweat at the sauna thermometer’s red line, we converse and show gratitude to be here and together. Friends peacefully naked together in worship.

 

 

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