The First Nude Hike of the New Year
The previous week, we explored the south end of the Tucson Mountains. It is a promising new playground, a short drive from home.
This time, we’ll explore some of what we were looking down upon from that trail and in the distance on that day.
To get to the trailhead, we must drive through a huge residential development of manufactured homes which have their own golf course. This brings us to a developed and popular spot with a paved parking lot and horse facilities.
We start out where the thick line of homes abruptly ends at desert’s edge. The trail looks down upon this suburban sprawl, as it masses along the foothills of the mountain range. There are potentials for loop trails. We choose the right fork heading south. From the aerial pictures, the trail appears to eventually pass through some interesting geology.
With the view of the houses looking up at us so near, it is not a good time to get undressed. With that consideration, we see that two women, who started out a short time before us, are trekking up ahead. They give me the impression that they will not go very far, but disappointingly, they have taken the right fork, too. We’ll need to pass them, and then round the bend into the pass into mountains. The hope is to put some distance between us. Also, there were plenty of cars in the parking lot and we are not familiar with this section of trail, which intersects many more.
We walk briskly through the desert environment, with a grand panorama looking out far to the west. The backdrop is a completely uncluttered turquoise blue sky. The sun feels great, as I rid myself of my sweat shirt in the low 70F degree windless air. This weather is a coup in early January.
A woman hiker passes us smiling. She makes a comment seemingly delighted with the camouflage kilt that I’m hiking in.
Soon, we spot the two females ahead sitting up above the trail on a large boulder. As I pass, they seem a bit standoffish. I give a quick, “hi.” I’m eager to get my distance from them.
DF, walking about 40 feet behind me, passes the two sitting on a rock resting and watching the view. They light up, most friendly, greeting DF and asking her about the comfort of her five-finger shoes. We tell them of our pleasure from wearing toe shoes and where to find them. I have to wonder why they reacted to us so completely differently.
As we stand there in pleasantries, I’m being compelled up the trail and away from them. Perhaps they caught an avoidance vibe from me in my pursuit of solitude, or maybe it is their discomfort with the other sex being out herem where they perceive it to be in the wild and dangerous. I’m curious, but have better things to do.
From here, I’m past ready to doff the kilt. I go around the bend on this south face a few hundred yards past the women. I pull away at the Velcro waist, fold up the clothing and tuck it under my arm. This is a beautiful day and not to be wasted, by clothing. We don’t know when warm days like this will appear. The 70F degree afternoons usually won’t come in any consistency for another month.
The warm sun and fresh air feels very good, still, I have to be on alert on this unknown trail. It meanders through a small passage between several very large pieces of rock.
This is Tucson Mountain Park and not Federal land. The law and enforcement is different and probably less tolerant of free hiking than the Federal foresters. I will take care not to violate the state statutes. If someone pops up, I’ll have to cover.
Two more hikers pass. I drape covering, but I’m not fooling anyone and I don’t intend to. It isn’t illegal to let anyone know that I am hiking nude, but an effort must be made to hide my genitals. One passerby is definitely an older hippie type personality, who I’m sure, couldn’t be bothered about what I do.
I state my intention to DF to walk fast, because I want to put some distance between us and the two young women and then to relax.
We come to the intersection with the other trails, a crossroads. We can head up the hill to where we were the week before. We can venture down into the valley before us and explore the wash where our free hiking may be hidden by vegetation. The other route will take us to an intersecting trail, which will run by that curious hill of white/grey rock. I want to climb this spot and see if there is a nice place to lay about and also, check out the view.
At a switchback, I see those two women behind us. They are in view of my bare behind, as I cover it, but not before they might see that process in motion. I can’t be sure and I don’t care. Perhaps they will give us more space with an inadvertent sighting.
At the next trail intersection, we turn off onto a trail marked “Cat Mountain Trail.” I’m hoping that they are taking the loop back to the original trailhead. I watch them from a distance, as they inspect the sign with its map in their process of decision.
As we come to the grey rock hill, I hear their voices. We haven’t shaken them off. I turn off of the trail and climb the steep incline of bare rock.
There is no trail, but this is easy, just steeper.
We find no windbreak to lay out and hide behind, but the breeze is calm and the vista is lovely. I don’t feel that I have to be concerned about other people’s sensibilities up here. We are small because of our distance from the trail and people generally look down at where they step. I have a commanding place of observation. There are obviously few people in this valley.
We watch the two women passing way below, still talking. Sound carries in the breeze.
Another couple walks by slowly. They are older and a bit louder. They stop and seat themselves on a rock, like a park bench, tired.
We sit on our perch and just take it in, as it comes to pass. In the distance, the girls are seen, as they get to the next ridge along the trail and decide to come back.
Time passes as we gather some relaxation in the sun.
Voices are heard. Two hikers are walking the trail below.
I recognize one. Her distinctive hair stands out. We listen and the voice clinches it. She is a friend of ours! It is indeed a small world. We were planning a nude hike with her and two others a while back. As I stand up on the hilltop waving my arms, I shout her name. I shout again, but she can’t hear me. The wind is carrying my voice away from her.
After a casual deliberation, we take what looks to be an unofficial trail, which runs away from where we came up the hillside. It is headed toward the main trail that we left at the last fork. It is a short distance and we discover that there are no switchbacks to be concerned with. Switchbacks open the chance of blindly meeting others.
When we meet up with the trail, we take the other part of the loop, heading north into a new area. Either way, according to the maps, the distance is equal to the original trailhead.
The sun is behind the mountain, the shadows are cooling. I put my top on.
DF has her skirt and shirt rolled up to her waist. It is too much hassle to get dressed from nude and too much hassle to be bound up. The air is good, the legs are unencumbered.
This route is much more eroded. It is often a bed of sharp rocks. There are many washed away steps on less secure rocks.
The sun is beginning to change the color of the mountainsides, as we pass out of the mountain’s shadows.
The trail passes through a steep walled wash with slippery slopes.
The travel distance seems longer this way. Usually the return goes faster in a sense. Perhaps, the condition of the trail has to do with this. I’m surprised to find that this way is the route less traveled and take note.
As we get closer to the trailhead, we look down the hill. Once again there walk those two younger women.
When we get back to the parking lot, they are sitting in their car.
New Jersey plates confirm what I suspected, that they are new to the desert. Well, you’ve got to start someplace.
Our someplace to start has been a somewhat apprehensive three hikes in these mountains. We have discovered the best times in a previously unknown place to nude hike, to enjoy our naturism and come to some peace. The process hasn’t always been comfortable, but having become more familiar with the area, we have had a few interludes of comfortable liberation. These three hikes will bring us to more naturism during other days.
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