It is a Birthday. It begins casually, leading to a brunch on a sidewalk café in an eastside strip mall. The food is good, but all of the hanging plants and wrought iron won’t escape the fact that we’re eating in their big parking lot.
Afterward, I use a door panel and the other cars next door in that parking area, to get out of my pants and into my hiking kilt. With the addition of toe shoes, I’m nearly ready.
We are near the base of scenic Mt. Lemon Highway, a long meander up into the Catalina Mountains. It starts in desert and finishes in alpine conditions at 9200 feet. Our destination is a beautiful 20 mile drive from the restaurant.
About half the way, we pull off into a familiar small parking lot on the side of the road, at around 7000 feet. This was the trailhead for our Lower Bug Springs Trail hike a couple of years back. With birthday celebrations in the order of our day, we have decided to do this shorter easier trail in the compressed time that we have. DF wants to feel nature, the solitude, the sensual nudity and be in touch with a grounding spiritual experience. It is her day, her celebration.