A Continuing Series
I have been limited by nerve damage between my toes from a Cholla cactus for over six weeks. My hiking has been limited, but I still have been able to go to and enjoy Havarock. It is wonderful to have a place for a short hike and not overdo it.
We have had a couple of nights dipping deep into the 30F’s, so there are fewer reptiles about. The rattlers will soon all be in hibernation. When nobody is there to bite us, it will be a time to do some free range roaming, bushwhacking around the hills, so to speak.
There has been so much unusual rain that the gaps between vegetation have closed in. Also, much of the stealth trail to Havarock has growth, giving places for animals to lounge under. I’ll have to meander through a maze to get from place to place, when off of the trail.
There is much to discover, observe and appreciate during my nude walks. It is a closer relationship with the desert to visit where things are not so humanly disturbed. Because everything is sharp and defended with needles barbs, etc., it is a nude snakelike dance, sometimes a balancing act to work around these obstacles. Each step becomes more than feet, but also their placement for stability and balance. I’m now avoiding barbs scattered on the ground, or testing a rock to see if it is stable, or avoiding stepping on a life that sits there after extreme conditions surviving and nourishing other plants and animals. The step also requires sliding through gaps, and around branches, sideways, carefully, or bending backwards cautiously. It is a whole body meditation when naked and surrounded by sharp things. I am more likely to get my blind dangling clothes caught on a barb, than a scratch on my skin. I am not tramping through in destruction, but in respect and care for others.
Occasionally, because there is exposure from a home in the distance, this wandering path must be altered, least our secret nude wanderings are discovered. Each boulder, bush, and ridge-line must be calculated to avoid discovery.
In this relatively lush part of the Sonoran Desert, one can only walk in a straight line for twenty feet at the most. Generally it is much less. Sometimes it requires climbing. When concentrating on the immediate steps, the longer goal is sometimes missed. Here, it may appear clear, until exploring leads to a patch of prickly pear, or many other potentials, blocking the way. Then, a new alternative route must be found, often backtracking, as if being lost in a maze.
The movement is very slow, but rich. Steps are being taken where no other has tread for decades, or ever. It is an act of being intimately connected with the pristine. Those that wander are not always lost.
This is how I discovered my way to Havarock.
#21 will be published in a few days.