They say that one needs to use imagination to manifest something.
There has been drought. Now, a month, or more of excessive heat. Did I mention drought?
Last year, we arrived back in Tucson into the results of an historically wet monsoon. I remember those days. Our vacation seemed extended, by playing in the flow of the water in Redington Pass.
It’s time for monsoon again. It isn’t a consistent event, anymore. So maybe, it’s time to manifest this year’s fun by revisiting last year’s. Rain dance anyone?
Casually, we make the twenty miles, or so, to drive across town and the width of the Tucson Valley. The more urban Tucson fades into larger home lots and fewer strip malls. Tanque Verde Road begins its two lane up and down dips through the lush mesquite desert.
Fresh flowers from rains are abundant. Frequently, natural gardens appear where different species cluster.
The trail down into the canyon is surrounded by a verdant garden. The path has become overgrown. The gardens of flowers reach out to brush against our nude bodies. The color and variety is compelling. I have to stop along the way to admire it all.
The roar of the waters below us, echo up to our ears. Our sense of excitement grows.
I lifted this off of a now defunct website, fifteen years ago. I thought it deeply revealing and kept it stored away in a small yellow computer folder, only to rediscover it recently. I also discovered the author.
It describes a first very secret naturist experience, a stealthy sneak out into the English woods. What might be considered a person out of her mind, is the actual discovery of an immersion into a profound perspective of life.
Free range naturism, away from the home, or away from the discrete resort, at first, is daunting. Fear excites. Breaking forbidden barriers may couple with sensual delight. This story expresses that and a woman’s bravery.
I have slipped in a few old archived photos. I hope they do justice to the intended narrative.
Jane’s First Dawn Walk 19th July 2007
The strident beeps of my alarm bring me instantly to full wakefulness. Home alone. This is the day, 3.45 am, the day I will greet the dawn in the forest. I look out, it’s early yet. The twilight has barely begun to spread over the street. I wait a little while and then don dark green cotton jeans, t-shirt and trainers and pick up my little backpack. All was prepared last night. I descend the stairs, check all is well and slip out.
The short drive to the woods is full of nervous anticipation. But this place is familiar to me now and I turn into the car park. No cars, I rejoice. No delay, I glance at the temperature, lock my car, put the keys in my backpack and walk through the forest gate onto the steep path up to the trees.
Up, up along the graveled pathway, my shoes crunching in the silence. Rabbits hop aside. My breathing is labored. Both the hill and the nervous anticipation make the upward journey a labor. I stop and drink some water from my bottle. Better.
There is an obscure spot in New Mexico. It is right near Faywood Hot Springs. You might see the sign and ask, “What could be a City of Rocks?”
The exit is off of the little two lane road that heads east from the hot springs. Over a hill there is yet another hill. In the generally empty terrain, this hill sports a large mound with a stand of generally monolithic granite rocks.
We are at Faywood Hot Springs in New Mexico. We arrived the previous afternoon, after a long drive down from Colorado. There is a strong chance of monsoon, so we may head back home, after visiting a couple of nude opportunities in the local wide open spaces.
This is a beautiful place to wake up to. We are surrounded by tall fountains of pampas grass under mesquite tree shade. There is that green glow from morning light, orange sunshine is beaming through the shadows. It is calm, just the sound of a bird and a peacock. DF is asleep, cuddling in my arms.
DF suggests that we should check the weather to see if it changed. I grab the phone for the National Weather Service. The forecast for this evening doesn’t look good. We do have some time to enjoy ourselves.
We walk in the comfortable early morning air, up the hill to the Henge. We of course, drop our coverings, just as soon as we see that we are alone. The world seems to embrace us more completely.
We have been in Colorado, camped up in the mountains and enraptured by a few days of peace and nature. This morning we break camp and pull out onto the sleepy dirt road that leads to the highway.
We don’t expect much, just where we’ve been. After a couple of days off the road and having been redirected mentally, I’m feeling a bit foggy. There is an orientation about driving cross country, a certain heightened excitement in a nervous system replacing complacent downtime. A fluffy soufflé effect in the morning’s eggs from elevation has been a major and fascinating event. It has been extremely relaxed.
“Whaoh!” Speeding cars, people everywhere! “Where am I going?”
The scenic route through southern Colorado to the Mesa Verde Monument has been knocked out with a landslide. We’ve both had enough of Colorado traffic and crowds. DF has been mentioning hot springs for a few days. We call the Orient Land Trust, but they are full. I suggest just heading home on the Interstate south and trying out Faywood Hot Springs. It has been an itch on the bucket list for quite a while now.
There is a long drive ahead. It is a long way just to get to Santa Fe to get off of the two lane roads. We’ll see how far we get.
We are coming out of the Great Plains. Viewing out across to the west and the first glimpses of the tall Colorado Rocky Mountains. The sky opens. It feels celestial. I feel like the westerner that I am, is coming home. Now, I want some undisturbed nature.
The Mighty Mississippi River is a landmark, a demarcation, a border of sorts in America. Since pioneer days, there has been for millions, a sense of a jumping off from east to west. Things quickly seem more vast. It is a bisect in our imaginations.
I want to experience, after so many years, the great arch of St, Louis. It is the promising “Gateway to the West.” As I spot it on the Illinois side of the Mississippi, it seems as big as I remember it. It still towers as it did when I last drove on the eastern bank in my red VW microbus, as a young man.
After being guided by a GPS on a winding drive through a threatening looking neighborhood of old historical red brick industrial space, we find a parking lot packed with tourist’s vehicles. Slipping on some fast cover garments, just enough to pass as respectable, we tour and try our best to find ways to get all of the huge arch into our camera frames. The perspective feels enormous.
Behind us, a Mississippi paddle boat arrives, spilling out its cargo, which is a mass of tourists, who have taken a cruise on the artifact.
One day last summer, the water was up high at Redington Pass. It was a wonderful day. Freely nude, I was roaming over the rock formations and playing in all of that amazing water. The falls were tall, short, fast and slow, the ponds, shallow and some deep. Each delighted us in a unique way. Some were effervescent. Always it was refreshing and joyful.
Being nude in nature is the more complete experience. I’ll see things that were not seen before, simply by awareness, sight, sound and smell. I feel all around, picking up on the nature of nature. It is one thing to experience this in a back yard, a resort, or around the house, but then a step further and there is that immersion into the rich natural world.
Immersion is to understand that nature plus nudity is naturism. Without coverings, it is quite different to sit, to walk, to contemplate, and spontaneously discover the complexities of the web of life. There is a sense of a gift, when feeling the nuance of the moment through the sensuality of the many ways that nature is reaching out to touch, to accept, to take and to give. There is a naturalist in each of us, if we can walk out in humility and respect, and wonder.
What better way to interact with the divine gifts, than to present ourselves naked. What better way than to surrender to the elements, just as when we entered into life as babes. Our ancient forebearers coexisted and harmonized for millennia before history. We grew out of; we evolved in this mixing bowl, this blessing for us. We are adapted and attached to the natural world in a multitude of ways that living in man-made shelter in man-made garments can’t express to us.
All of these lessons and directions given to us as human beings of this earth, are constantly being expressed, or they are dying in us. Millions of interactions are happening every moment, which we are just not aware of. So much of this is life missed, sacrificed to immediate needs, channeled into a survival mode, replaced by stress, the future, those many plans and the games which lie in conscious thought. To expand consciousness, to be amazed by the wonder that is life and universe, then we must sometimes, or often, need to stop and look and listen and smell and feel and just be.
The direct link, the key, is to drop out of our man made world and visit into what created us. Naturism can be in the complex reality of natural environments and away from the creations of our egos, fears and our self-inflicted stress. The simple harmonious joy is our birthright.
Nature is not just to conquer, to fight, or to master, but to surrender to our true existence, which is our world less characterized by reactions to fears. There is trust and oneness with it.
Take off your clothes and walk down a natural path, feel every step with nothing more than the whole of the blessing that is body, spirit and a sense of being a part of all of the rest. Each and every step can be a wondrous moment. A footstep an amazing savored nibble, or decadent bite out of life.
So, the water was particularly strong at this little rapid. I climbed into the force of it, grasping for purchase, anything that would anchor me, searching blindly under the suds for a grip. At any moment, I would be swept away back downstream. The force of water and Mother Nature is fascinating. A movement of just a few inches would catch me up in a particular current and toss me in a different direction. I fought and I laughed. I felt played with, a child and his mother, nature. She just tussled and gamed me. I was all on her terms, in her arms, immersed in her joy with me.
At this point, we begin our second day, an exploration further into the ten or twelve mile paradise.
Naked into the wilderness:
Sleep works out well. I’m happy with the new ultra-light housing from Six-Moons designs. Opening the flaps, the sunlight coloring the amazing cliffs is astounding, thus the exclamation in thought, “Am I still dreaming?”
DF got a call from a friend of ours offering permits for Araviapa Canyon’s west entrance. The four of us, our two non-nudist friends and we two, will now be leaving the following weekend… It didn’t take much deliberation. After all…”Paradise!”
We hadn’t been out backpacking in over a year and not visited the Aravaipa paradise since 2017.