Monthly Archives: February 2018

Walker Basin Trail #136 Pt.2: A Trip Report


Pt.1 can be found here:

The Next Leg:

The next leg of the trail isn’t steep. It runs along the edge of the mountainside and is fairly level. Before noon arrives the vegetation changes. We are on the northern slope, now. We are soon involved in what we call tall pine alley and new growth pine alley.

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Walker Basin Trail #136 Pt.1: A Trip Report


After a day babysitting grand-daughter, we are on our way south to the cute little town of Patagonia. We get ice for the cooler at a Tucson convenience store and immediately strip in the parking lot. Tonight, we will get closer to the trailhead for an early morning hike, high into the southern end of the Santa Rita Mountains.

On the way south, I have DF read an article in the latest issue of “N” Magazine about “naking” or naked hiking. We decide that we are not too fond of the contraction, but the attitude fits well. The authors stated that they have been hiking the Appalachian Trail for years, nude. They don’t cover up, they just act as if they are oblivious that they are naked and hundreds of people during encounters, have treated them in that way in the exchanges. I had written out my thinking on the topic and we share that. I have mentioned before, my intention to take this different tactic in my hiking. I then propose that we both take this weekend in that way, stuffing my sarong and her shirt away into the backpack. We’ll greet others in this manner and see how it goes. We can’t liberate others, if we are not liberated ourselves. We also need to explore our feelings during such encounters and recondition our learned behavior. DF concurs.

We are excited, already feeling a sense of adventure, as we drive down the winding two lane road and dusk turns to night.

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Valentine’s Day 2015


DF had been sick all week, felt weak and was just playing her hand as it came. I had a cap pop off of my tooth and the only time that the Mexican dentist could cover it was…in the middle of Valentine’s Day. The prognosis was looking kind of bland, but as the day progressed I sensed that there was something perfect in the air.

We headed down to Nogales that morning. As we got nearer to the border, the sunny day, projected to be high 70F’s in Tucson was beginning to get overcast. The elevation down south is higher and the temperature could be expected to be a few degrees cooler. This was not a good sign. We proceeded across the border arriving at the 11:00am appointment at 10:59. Things were somehow working out perfectly. The procedure came out with less needing done, a cavity that would have become a root canal was exposed and so problems were prevented. To top it off, this trip was very inexpensive. We happened to check price on a needed prescription at the local “pharmacia” and discovered another brand at one tenth the cost of the stateside pirate drug dealers that are known as Big Pharm. Things WERE looking up.

We had decided to take the scenic cruise back, going through Patagonia and stop off at the cute little town. We found a spot to park across the street from the “Velvet Elvis Pizza” establishment and strode in through the patio garden hungry and ready to eat. It was way past our lunch time. There greeting us inside, was the large velvet portrait of “The King.” Back before the free trade agreement destroyed the border tariffs, it was always a fun trip to visit the border towns on the other side and shop for curios, Mexican made tourist stuff. One of the favorites that I grew up seeing, were the black velvet sheets for a canvas with oil paint depictions upon them. These classic Mexi-Americana are not to be seen anymore, but not forgotten. This one was prime. I don’t wish to denigrate the décor, it was beautiful, with well-done iron furniture with long sheets of mesquite wood, polished for table tops, tile…well, we didn’t think to take pictures.

We decided that the patio would be the very best. We sat under a trellis canopy of Tombstone Rose. This species of plant was imported from China to Tombstone, Arizona back in the days of Wyatt Earp. The original plant still grows there, a huge beautiful vine all over one of the old original buildings for tourists. Cuttings are available. This former cutting had been trained most impressively above us.

We had a delicious meal. Me, a Sonoran style pizza with a Mexican glass bottled coke. DF had a well-executed curry dish and bright red hibiscus tea. By the time that we finished the special Valentine desert (a smooth vanilla Dairy Queen or frozen yogurt style ice cream in a crystal goblet, topped with brandy, Kailua, and dark brandied cherries) our day was looking very bright indeed, despite the overcast.

Pink Manzanita Blooms

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