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Miller Peak: Ascent to a Parting: Day 2

2018-09-23

Morning, day number two in the Huachuca Mountains. We have a personal story to share with you….

The two Previous Parts can be found here: https://thefreerangenaturist.org/2019/04/18/miller-peak-camping-and-a-surprise/

As the Day Began:

Birds are up and moving about with their new day. I hear the sound of DF rhythmically pounding her down jacket. She is waking with her chi gung, slapping her body into action. Sun beams are all around, but the tent is in shade. Sun and shade are as different as night and day. I roll over and through the net right next to me, like bed fellows, are yellow daisies and green tall grass. I greet them good morning.

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Miller Peak: Camping and a Surprise

2018-09-23

We are up in the Huachuca Mountains. We have just located Bathtub Spring and filled our water bottles. We need to find a place to camp. It is forbidden to camp near these springs because it scares the wildlife.

For the our story about getting here: https://thefreerangenaturist.org/2019/04/12/miller-peak-bathtub-spring/

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Miller Peak: Bathtub Spring

2018-09-22

It’s early in the evening; the driving is slow up the dark twisted switchback road to the Ramsey Campground. The road’s dark edge is as near as the other side, the illuminated steep slope upward. Both are threatening.

We took off work earlier this afternoon, leaving Tucson to arrive for an earlier sleep. We are gaining a great deal of elevation by driving up here to stage our trip through the Huachuca Mountains to Miller Peak.

We left Tucson of course naked. Protected in the cab of the vehicle, we are still comfortably naked. The air outside is getting cooler as night deepens and thousands of feet of elevation change. A window is cracked, so that we can smell the freshness and pine scent of the air. Our sense of ourselves is adventure and freedom.

As we climb around a bend, there at the next switchback, we see a very large puma, a mountain lion. The massive side of its body is positioned to our view, its head turned toward us. It watches our headlights and listens to the roar of the red SUV. It seems to be in consideration, pondering if we are a danger, or useful and the next course of action, a monarch’s thinking. The powerful athletic physique, as big as a man stands tall, is poised, as we come up the road. It has been dark and then there is this amazing sight in the headlights.

It begins acting like it is too cool to be bothered as big cats do; show no fear. It begins to move and suddenly in one long leap, it gracefully leaps off into the darkness of the steep hillside, disappeared. I have to consider that we are going out into this wilderness naked and alone. Continue reading

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Liberation on the Trail

I wrote this article for “N” magazine. It was published in the Winter 2018-19 issue. I’ve added three more pictures.

 

Liberation on the Trail

We see these advertisements and articles of vibrant people out backpacking on trails across the world. They are athletes crossing wilderness mountains, thru-hiking for hundreds of miles. This is the face of backpacking.

For some of us, this is reminiscent of days of youth, packing 50 pound weights, or military expeditions. Some see a challenge, some an uncomfortable activity. Some will write it off for health issues.

I’m in my sixties, now. I have had back injuries from rear-enders. I’m just not up for packing 45 pounds around the Bolivian Andes anymore. Did you see an elderly Robert Redford and Nick Nolte dragging up the Appalachian Trail in “A Walk in the Woods”?

My girlfriend and I love to explore, to find places remote enough that we can be naturally nude. We can spend days imbibing nature, photographing it, smelling it, and feeling every subtle sensation of our nudity. We find that there is a special sense of spirituality and oneness. We find wonderment and vistas, solitude and the teachings of the wild.

There is a certainty that most of us can participate nude on the trail. Here is our personal story of evolution, from the couch to the wilderness. I hope that it brings to you some inspiration. There are solutions. We can do this!

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My Private Place for Naturism #26

11-26-17

Wandering Off into Desert Air

I cut firewood and then with DF hosted a Sunday sweat. There has always been something that I like about cutting wood for fire. Here is something real and very human about it. It is an activity shared by ancestors through millennia. I share that like the experience of being in my own skin, something very human and natural, a connection.

A couple of friends came by to share our spiritual cleanse and bathe together.  We sang and drummed as perspiration exited our pores, with condensation and it ran all over our bodies, making us shine.

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Slavin Gulch, Part II

2018-08-25

We have left the Triangle T Resort Ranch and have headed out to hike the western slope of Cochise Stronghold Trail, the other half. We found that there is just too much potential for disastrous washouts with the threatening thunder showers. We have decided to head back and explore another safer trail south of here.

When we return to the trailhead, we see that that lounging guy’s truck is still sitting there by the creek under the tree. In response, DF chooses to wear a sundress to start up the trail. This will work well for me. I rig my backpack with the belt to carry the weight of the water. We have a water filter, just in case we find some.

Déjà vu, I wait out yet another jeep’s passing. Like the last time, I’m covered by my open driver’s door. This time, I have DF walking behind me covering my bare bottom from any possibility of view. She can wear her dress until we get around the bend in the trail. We think it wise to be discrete around the trailheads.

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Slavin Gulch I:

2018-08-25

Liberating the Ranch

Saturday, we headed down to the Triangle T Guest Ranch in the Dragoon Mountains. This is right in the pocket of The Amerind Museum that we visited when we hiked Cochise Stronghold the week before. We have a going away/birthday party to attend and then we’ll head down to the southern end of the mountain range to climb up the western leg of that same trail. We are getting in shape for a more strenuous hike and this is an increment….but, plans sometimes must change.

The story of our trip to Cochise Stronghold can be found in the archives in November of 2018. Continue reading

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First Test for Ultra Light Gear

2014-02-22

Back before our Super Ultra-Light rigs, I scraped up a $250 budget for a rig that was approaching an Ultra-light (UL) rig. We both had to deal with uncertainty. We hadn’t been backpacking in decades. We had to try this idea out. This was how we first tested out the gear, working out the glitches and testing our bodies with the weight.

February 23rd, 2014

This warm weather we have been having just breaks all deals. We have decided to try out the new Ultra-light gear, IN FEBRUARY! Camping in February just isn’t done, but this year…80F down in the valley….

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A Plethora of Neighbors #25

My Private Place for Naturism #25

2017-09-04

I heard the rumble. The lightning must be around. Those dark grey skies may be seen outside the window to the east, but to be sure, naked and barefoot, I make my way outside and up the granite slope to observe. There is rain between the grand Catalina Mountains and me, and a sliver of a rainbow to the southeast.

I head back inside.

I rush around inside to gather my shoes when I hear the sound of rain. The monsoon is winding down, the rain less frequent. The weatherman tells of only 20% chances of showers. This is opportunity. I know that outside, this is a warm rain. I’ve seen it so many times before.

This time, as I first step outside my door, I am greeted by the first drops on my body. These are just a few drops, not a surge. I see the dark cloud in the distance. These drops have floated a long way.

I feel thunder. It seems to hover around my body rather than roll through a distant area. It’s like a long, long vibrational beat of a bass drum.

I make my pursuit into the desert, stopping to enjoy the vistas. To the east, the clouds are risen, separated from the Catalina Mountains, which have turned a deep burgundy in the sun’s setting. The sliver of rainbow still gives hope.

Suddenly, I am taken by the sight of the silver full moon hovering above those mountains and below clouds. Just rising, it glows huge. I’m reminded that this August is gone, and then I wonder if this full moon has anything to do with my feeling out of sorts. Perhaps things a will calm down as it passes in the next days.

Raise clouds, color the mountains blood burgundy and insert one huge silver moon

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Water Falling!

2018-10-28

Earlier, we mentioned that on the way into Happy Valley we had passed the series of waterfalls and saw that they were flowing. We are still excited by this event. We got up very early one morning, just to see them flowing, but were disappointed.

Here: https://thefreerangenaturist.org/2018/10/12/happy-valley-waterfalls/

So far today, we have made our way in and out of a remote canyon in the Happy Valley area.

Part I and Part II of this wonderful day are found here:

https://thefreerangenaturist.org/2019/02/01/a-little-canyoneering/

https://thefreerangenaturist.org/2019/02/10/a-little-canyoneering-ii/

We are rushing to beat the sun. The waterfalls are on the east slope of these very tall mountains.

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