We’re in Dewey Arizona visiting friends at their home. For the first part click on the link here: https://thefreerangenaturist.org/2020/12/13/visiting-around-dewey-prescott/
Monday: I wake up to big yellow flowers amongst the bushes just outside the tent’s mesh. Birds are splashing in their artificial bath.
Climbing out into the morning warmth, hummingbird’s tiny bodies are buzzing as they zip around us. Again, quite noticeably, that soft green grass is so wonderful on bare feet.
While we walk in the shadows, the golden morning light beams around the corner of the house. Radiant heat warms all over the body with its contrast, as we step into it. Muscles begin to loosen up. I stretch and greet it all, accepting my blessings.
There is little prep. We just grab a few things, a snack and bottles of water, a kilt that I don’t intend use. DF and I climb in the back seat onto towels and we go…somewhere. We have again, put ourselves into the hands of Ken and Amie.
Looking out the windows, we see ourselves traveling into the golden brown wheat-like hills. A mountain of rock is ahead of us. We drive through the surreal spectacle of the Granite Dells and turn off at Watson Lake, which is a park.
There are but a few people around, a jogger and a walker in the parking lot. We put on wraps and sundresses looking for a spot to take some quick scenic photos. Ken and Amie have been collecting nude photos in parks and monuments. It is an experience akin to the many web photos of proud bare buttocks attached to travelers, as they raise one finger in the air above an out stretched arm, in what appears to be a triumph. The monuments generally have higher traffic volume, but with covid-19, they are either closed, all or partly. There is an opportunity for the photographic challenge.
We soon find ourselves on top of a ridge overlooking the calm of this lake. Rock formations seem to grow out of it, sprouting like a rock candy crystal kit. Dammed, the water is still and holds the reflections of the pastel morning sky with the mirror of the formations. There appears to be a small boat sitting still in the water, in the distance. I squint, thinking that it may be a rock isle, or fishers in a boat. It is the former. Great birds are fishing.
The picturesque vista is ripe to take our sneaky pics. We quickly strip, readying like others might primp. ”Stand here,” or “there,” “move a leg,”” smile”, “shoulders back,” “cheese.” We pop off a few, but as we pose, Murphy’s Law makes itself evident. A couple is walking uphill on the switchback of the trail that we’re standing on. I look behind me at the tops of heads and shoulders passing below, listening to their voices.
It’s still Ken’s turn. He decides to pose behind a bush to partially remedy the intrusion of the walkers.
We’re off shortly, in the nick of time. Our hosts have another for their collection of National Monument pictures. We have a nice portrait style photo, posing in our best outfits, as if to be framed and placed on an end table next to the living room couch under a lamp.
There are few people about, but still, to many to wander about freely nude. We would rather walk in the relaxed forest, than be alert for others. We must be back before noon for an appointment. We’re off to a trailhead.
We drive through Prescott, then, I recognize the road to Quartzite. We follow the path of the winding road through the mountainous forest and then pull-off on a curve. This is an unmarked trailhead with little parking and we are alone, so far.
The trail wanders through a maze of holes and fallen logs. It appears to be an old road with obstacles to make it quad proof. There are tall pines ahead and a steep hillside to the right.
To the left, there is a creek bed, but not even a trickle of water can be found, today. The extreme drought has been happening here, too. It hasn’t rained but twice since February. Further west, it is in even more extreme weather. Climate change has warming arctic winds pushing at the rest in a rippling effect. Our weather patterns just get more extreme. It is like a plate rotating on a stick in a circus. As the spin slows, we gasp, as it wobbles and slips.
This dryness is burning millions of acres in California. Smoke can be seen and even smelled at my front door in Tucson. Weeks earlier, we watched from our home, as the Catalina Mountains burned up. Nature suffers.
We have escaped that smoke, fleeing from Tucson. There, where we are barely able to see the grand mountains that rise from the valley for the haze of the California smoke. People have been warned to stay indoors to protect their health. It is amazing and disturbing to find that I can smell and taste the smoke from fires a thousand miles away.
However, today, we smell the pines, and a few less usual scents as we explore, now nude, away from the highway.
This is a pleasant mountain walk. The old road provides a pretty good path along the creek.
As our steps multiply, the trail becomes a less used path, which is good for nude walking and solitude. The hills and tall trees close in cozy.
We observe a little scat here and there. It appears to be from coyotes and deer. The brush is a little overgrown. The human traffic doesn’t appear to be frequent. The carpet of pine needles is thick and comfortable to tread across, but a buried stone is felt every so often.
Ken shows us how the aroma oozes out of the cracks between the bark of the pines. I have never intently stuck my nose to the bark of my fellows, the trees. We embark on a sampling of the various specimens.
It looks a bit silly, like dogs in a park at times. We try an alligator juniper, a red pine and another. We find a more vanilla-like bouquet, taking turns standing with our noses to the bark. It adds to the sensual experience of being nude in natural surroundings.
We find debris here and there.
We speculate what these artifacts may be associated with. At a point, there is an old metal box.
We cross the stream bed and climb through some bushes to investigate. It must be an old air-conditioner, but what is it doing out here? It is heavy to lug and serves no purpose in the forest. There are easier places to dump garbage. Are these mysteries important? At the moment, they’re fun.
Amie finds a log and stops to rest alone and meditate, waving us past. We continue through the noise of our feet in fallen dry leaves, intent on seeing what we see, exploring.
The fallen trees become more numerous.
We find ourselves climbing under and over them.
The thickets are increasing.
I can tell that the remnant of this old road will continue for a while. I can’t be sure for how far.
We walk until there is over growth and clippers are needed.
We have a half of an hour to get back to resting/meditating Amie and then get Ken to his appointment. This shall be enough, for now. We turn around.
As we stroll back, there’s a nice flat triangular camp spot where a tributary meets the main course. DF and I look the potential over. There is enough trail to keep going up the tributary and its small valley. This would be a good midweek nude camping spot during rains. It is not too far from the road, so there would be ease to lug a few luxuries in from a car. At those seasonal times, there would be a stream of fresh water. There are two forks to the creek, which are inviting our exploration. Even more inviting, is that peaceful stark silence, where only a few birds call out. If I need a campsite near Prescott, I’ll try this one for an accommodation.
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I love the smell of the bark of Ponderosa Pines – sometimes vanilla, sometimes butterscotch
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