Posts Tagged With: naked hiking

In Homage, Rocks:

 

 2021-03-29

We’re heading down south to gather some rocks and enjoy our naturism along the way.

We love rocks.  They give us so much in a practical world and even delineate our paths guiding us along many a trail. With every excursion into nature, we are compelled to collect a few “special” rocks. The collections gather along the lengths of or homes, around flowers and plants and decorations at entrances. I study them individually, like I would creative art, mediation, God’s art.

Taking rocks home, I fall in love, I turn them into gardens in and of themselves. I enhance the vegetation with them, Zen-like.

I have memories of one rock that is a nice big lug with perfect grooves for placing butts. We perch high atop it, views in every direction, imbibe its colors, the lichen. We’re entertained with its texture and color.

I have found place of grounding and magic on my Havarock in Tortolita. It is like an old friend. It’s coming home.

With rocks, we dam the waters, and build structures that will last forever. They contour the waters of the streams, they give us history and geology. The roads made by the lust of miners looking for those special rocks are now our trails.

We use them like our ancestors, as tables and a nice clean unencumbered place to rest. I find grooves in them in special places. These were used to grind corn and grains, or paste and paint, long ago.

Someday, These will Decorate a Fireplace

We search for the best rock along a trail and know it to be more than choice. Although inanimate, they give us goals, driving us on and directing us. Memorable formations are landmarks.

Rocks are earth. They are reminders of the ages and our short time here. They are endless colors and shapes. There are trillions and never the same.

There’s a geologist inside me that tries to figure out just how this specimen came about. Always, I have a puzzle or mystery to attempt to solve.

DF likes the heart shaped.

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Ida Canyon

2020-05-16

We both slept well. We’re waking to birds, treetop branch shadows, turkey gobbles. It’s a wonderful temperature, when we stand in the sun.

We drop off our bedclothes here and there. The cold of the night is disappearing steadily. I free my pants, then the down jacket. DF has a similar wardrobe distribution and breakfast comes.

As we sit quietly eating breakfast, still in shirts, cuddled by our folding chairs, yet another white p/u truck pulls up and stops where the road gets particularly nasty.  This time, a family gets out and parades past, following the road. The father marches ahead like a tall commander in front of his troops. All are in matching camouflage outfits. A less statured mother is next, carrying rifle on her shoulder. A teenaged son brings up the back. He is nothing of the confidence of his father. He has a very shy gangly insecure walk to him. They disappear up the road.

We’re not going that way today. We’re exploring Ida Canyon. We have decided to delay our trip to Miller Canyon on the other side of these mountains. We didn’t expect this to be so wonderful. We had a long hike yesterday and figure that it is best to just relax and enjoy this place. It is best to take only one hike today and scrap the plan of one hike hurried here and then one into Miller Canyon. There is no hurry. We are free to enjoy this vast playground in leisure, nearly all to ourselves. Miller Canyon is more likely to be busy with Saturday walkers.

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Oversite Canyon

2020-05-15

 

We are going to spend four days in the Huachuca Mountains, a sky island which has its southern tip at the Mexican border. It is Friday to Monday, so I have planned to avoid the weekend crowd by being in more remote areas during the usual high points.

The weather has been changing and this is our backup plan to another part of the state. Often, I just have to mitigate circumstance. Two options, or more, will often save the day, if the weather needs to suit a lack of clothes. The first two days will be in the more remote area on a west facing side of the mountain range. This is also where the warm sun will be on the cooler days. This morning, the quickest way to bring us to this new spot the earliest, is by taking the highway through Sierra Vista. The planning works out well and our story begins.

South of Serra Vista, the trees and grass around new stucco homes, reminds me of California.

There is a turn off of the highway that leads to Montezuma Pass. The two lanes head toward the mountains as we look down the hill at the great black line that is the border wall. Things have changed since the days when a Mexican could just walk across the expanse each week, work and then return home to family.

Anxious to get out to nature, we are slowed to a near stop by construction going up the winding Montezuma Pass road. It looks like there will be asphalt added on top of the dusty trail. Tourists bring money to the economy.

Once we have cleared the pass with its vista, tourists and history, I pull over to slip the lockers into 4×4 to hug the road a bit better. The dirt road is steep and sometimes slippery.

Both of our cell phones go off in ring tones. They are messaging us, “Welcome to Mexico.” It feels unsettling to know that we are being tracked. The recorded voice goes on to explain that our charges will be no different. Perhaps Verizon and T- mobile are not aware of the Gadsden Purchase.

There is a parking area at the base of this hill and it is time for a break. When we pull off of the road, I notice a truck hidden behind a tree. I get out and wrap a kilt around just to take care. It is Border Patrol. It is creepy being spied upon.

We pull out and cross the main road where there is the dirt track to the two valleys. We intend to explore both during our retreat.

The road gets pretty rough. At one point I question that we might have made a wrong turn, as it wanders through the scrub oak trees. Soon, a sign is posted mentioning one of the trails up one of the canyons that we intend to explore.

I feel gratified, when we see that we are chasing a turkey. It flees down the middle of the road in front of us. Fright and flight, it doesn’t seem to know that we won’t follow it into the trees. This is the wilds and soon we will come to a designated wilderness. 

We come to an open camping spot with a large fire-pit. There will be no fire, this week. It’s dry and there are restrictions.

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Cat Mountain: Intimacy with the Desert

2021-02-01

We had been up an unfamiliar trail exploring in the Tucson Mountains about a month before. As we walked, memories flooded in and I recognized the neighborhood from a couple of decades before. I had attended several nude gatherings there.

The most attention grabbing thing around is Cat Mountain. At that time, way back, my friends had told me that there was a way around the impassible southwestern cliff-side to get to the top. They had just gone around the back. We considered climbing the mountain as an afternoon’s excursion, but the party at hand, the call of the hot tub and potluck, dissuaded us.

In our exploration a month ago, just off of this trail, we had noticed some cairns. Today, we will see if those cairns are marking the way up the mountain, which I had heard of long ago. It was a time before the trail system came through here.

Cat Mountain

The plant life in this desert ecosystem can be both tenacious and tough, delicate and dainty. This day’s excursion on the hillside will place this truth in my face…. Continue reading

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Downhill-Rim Road: Part III

September 2020

 

Monday:

We awaken in a pine forest, at the end of a rugged road. We are about eight miles into this forest from the Mongollon Rim.

Continuing in our casual unhurried pace, we break camp. I want to explore the rest of the side road that brought us to this piece of The Arizona Trail. There is a Battle ground Monument near, just a couple of miles further into the forest on the easy road. It is the site of a battle between something like 54 San Carlos Apache and a couple of troops of soldiers with their native accomplices.

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Downhill- Rim Road: Part II

 

September 2020

We are exploring a riverbed leading to a lake in the great forest above the Mongollon Rim. Part I is here:

https://thefreerangenaturist.org/2021/02/13/downhill-rim-road/

Spirits in the Rocks

Heading Back:

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Downhill-Rim Road

 

Sept. 2020

 

Out to Rim Road

Saturday:

We have a casual start Saturday morning. There is no hurry.  It takes about two hours of interstate and freeways to get to Highway 87 and wide-open spaces.  On the other side of Phoenix, we pass along the highway sadly. Because of unprecedented drought, a fire has devastated mile upon mile of lush Sonoran desert. Two hundred year old saguaros are burnt and slowly dying among scorched dark hues of black and brown.  The coating is like earth under a leaky car on the completely barren landscape.

Tall cottonwood trees, formally a riparian habitat, are black sticks on one side of the highway bridge, while it is still abundantly green on the other, accenting the contrast.

Having escaped the somber tone of the once great, the highway brings us into the dominion of the bushy pinion pine forest.  

Soon, the town of Payson marks the beginning of the tall pines. We stop in a parking lot behind a real-estate office and cover our bodies for drive-through ice cream. After pumping  gas, we head into the wilds, the great pine forest of the White Mountains. We are heading to a section of the Arizona Trail to camp.  Tomorrow, we will leave that trail to explore a dry river to a lake reservoir.

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Tucson Mountain Reconnoiter Part III

2021-01-04

 

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.

The Story is here: https://thefreerangenaturist.org/2021/01/26/tucson-mountain-reconnoiter-part-ii/

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.

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Tucson Mountain Reconnoiter Part II

2020-12-31

The Southern End in Tucson Mountain Park

We traditionally take the first nude hike of the year on New Year’s Day, but this year DF has to work. She has New Year’s Eve off. It’s only a date on a calendar. We’ll just have to be early.

Since my move, my new location is in a different proximity to nature. I can no longer just walk out my door and roam for miles in the Tortolita hills. It is time to get acquainted with my local trails.

The closest trails and potential for naked hiking is in the Tucson Mountains. It is a smaller range, not very tall, relatively. There are significant stands of saguaro and I’ve heard that the spring rains can bring wonderment. I am generally unfamiliar with the hiking of them.

Today we will reconnoiter the Tucson Mountain Park, which is a series of trails in the southern end of the range. Because of the local interstate, I surmise that it will only take about 15 to 20 minutes to get to the trailheads that I have researched on the maps and google satellite photos. If this pans out, in my sense of it, that is nude solitude just down the street.

The weather may be too cold, but close to nice for bare skin on desert dwellers. There will be partly cloudy skies, which could make for a chill.  We know all too well that the warmth from the direct sun can make all of the difference to a nude body.

We don’t know yet, what the winds will be like where we are going. It is open country, but hills can increase the velocity like Bernoulli’s tube. Even a slight breeze can make a huge difference in comfort.

Today, a sweat shirt and a thick camouflage kilt should be enough and be quick to get in and out of. DF has full pants and an under-layer of black silk.

This is winter in North America. Sometimes, you just can’t comfortably, or even safely nude hike, but you can scout out an area, to see if it will be a viable nude trek at a later date.

During a cold period, maybe, the sun will pop out for a brief time, or the wind will stop. Perhaps one can become more acclimated and enjoy a brisk hike. People can adapt in varying circumstance. We don’t just hibernate naturally. We can prepare. There is a time and a place.

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Tucson Mountain Reconnoiter: I

2020-12-08

 

Saguaro National Monument

Winter is a good time to plan for the coming warm weather, nude hiking and camping. There are those cold times, when just sitting at a computer and that pile of old maps in a cozy warm house, can be a time of daydreaming and research. With imagination, memories of the sense of it all, nude in an Eden, can surface. There is that hope that humans during the millennia have shared for the end of the shorter dark days of winter. Before the weather gets comfortable again, new territory can be explored. It is better to know where you are first hand, to walk the trail and to imagine what the vegetation will be like in the Spring. Being there, so as to get a feel for an area and note the amount of traffic, can only effectively be done in person.

There are small clues which may be used, such as remoteness, notes found on the internet, personal experience in similar situations. Still, we have been surprised on more than one occasion, either having to cover up more often during encounters with others, or being astounded by the freedom.

Here, in the Arizona Sonoran Desert, we often have days when the temperature rises. However, when nude, it often sits, make or break, in a comfortable balance with just the direction and velocity of the breeze and the cover of a cloud. A day may have a wonderful feel, but only for a few, too short, hours. Any opportunity needs to be exploited, because we don’t know when the next opening for a warm experience will appear.  This year, with La Nina in the mix, we are in an extreme drought. But this also means more days of blue sky and less cold temperatures in the dead of our comparatively mild winter.

This Monday promises to be beautiful. DF has the time off. We decide to make use of the opportunity. We need to keep our hike in a lower elevation, to take best advantage of the inherent warmth of the desert. Even my old home in Tortolita, a mere 500 feet higher than Tucson, it can be four or five degrees cooler. We choose the Saguaro National Monument on the west side of the Tucson Mountains, hoping for the best.

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