Timing is Everything in Paradise
Sunday morning we took off to Aravaipa Canyon. This is a wildlife preserve and designated protected wilderness area run by the BLM and The Nature Conservancy. Only 50 each day are allowed by permit to enter, 30 from the west and 20 from the east entrance of the ten mile, and more, stretch of canyon. On our days off, during the monsoon and summer heat, there were only two takers for the east entrance…us. There were a few coming into the west, which is a closer easier access from Tucson and Phoenix, but it is over eleven miles through wilderness with generally no trails. It is mostly slogging through the creek itself. The east requires high clearance, and this day, four wheel drive. I had just gotten a four wheel drive two weeks before. This was the first big trip. I’ve been without a 4×4 for about 15 years. Now, DF and I have access to remote PRIVATE areas, which have been missed for sooo long.
This being the first trip to Aravaipa, we weren’t sure what to expect. We had the website, some anecdotes and some topo maps. http://www.blm.gov/az/st/en/arolrsmain/aravaipa.html
The Best Both Ways
A couple of months ago, a friend offered us a place to stay in his motorhome to visit The Naturist Society’s Western Naturist Gathering for 2015. It was being held at De Anza Resort a wonderfully relaxed desert hideout with amazing hiking opportunities. He had always wanted to go and it would be a first experience for his new girlfriend with social nudity at a resort. We took him up on that offer.
The Naturist Society has been at the vanguard of naturism and naturist’s thought for decades. It has had a major influence. Each year, the organization has regional gatherings to promote naturism, coordinate actions, educate, and promote the organization. The Naturist Action Committee (NAC) and the Naturist Education Foundation (NEF) have grown out of this. I’ll get into this more, later. What I want to convey, is that these gatherings are not only fun, but informative. There are many highlights. One finds oneself sitting next to and conversing with the who’s who of naturist action. The organizers of the WNBR events in LA, accomplished authors, heads of naturist organizations and people involved for decades are in attendance. They present workshops and lectures amongst pudding fights, dancing and hiking forays. I don’t think that people know what they are missing. When it comes to a theater near you…GO! Continue reading
The Pinaleno Mountains are in southeastern Arizona. The mountain reaches 10,720 feet (3,267 m) in height. We had been scouting the area for free range use for two years. Posts of those adventures will follow this in time.
The weather here is weird and difficult to predict this year. All week we had had to vacillate between three locations for our three day weekend. A nude body appreciates as nice a weather as can be had. It’s good to have alternative contingencies. The White Mountains would be warmer, but better chance of rain, The Verde River would certainly be warmer, but maybe too much so and the rain forecast was flip flopping. The original destination, the Penaleno Mountains promised cold weather, but no rains. This is June and the dry extreme heat still wasn’t yet happening (oh, but the next week, it did arrive, everyday over 109F!).
A pair of friends called and just happened to have a trip up in the Penalenos planned. They wondered if we would meet. The weather prediction on Thursday was showing us 60F’s and lows in the upper 30F’s, not good nude weather in the shade of a forest, but we went for it. The rest showed more rain and this place was at least clear.
Last week, DF suggested a camping trip as she had a Sunday, Monday, and Tuesday off. I jumped on it. We decided on a place very special to me in the world, that I had never shared with her, and hadn’t visited for a few years. It is a relatively thin canyon with steep rock slopes and cliff walls. The walls are peppered with caves. It’s as though giant woodpeckers have visited. Many of these were whittled out, then used for homes and protection in a prehistoric time in Arizona. I have climbed up toward a few that looked unapproachable, only to find hidden passages to them. A rope or ladder was probably used to climb up and into some of these the rest of the way. The valley floor is a forest of multiple trees which is a stop off for over two hundred bird species during the year. I have stopped, closed my eyes and just listened at times hearing 6 or 7 different distinct bird calls in a short minute’s time. The walk has many trail areas lined with ferns and grasses and unusual plants and flowers. Through it a crystal clear stream meanders. This dry time of year it would disappear at places leaving just rocks, and then reappearing once again later. The rock cliffs are beautiful pink, yellow, orange, red generally highlighted by multitudes of other colors and the greens of lichen. They drop refuse down into the canyon floor, giving amazing color to the pebbles under the crystalline waters.
Middle May 2009
I picked up Df at the airport Monday night. She told me that she had Tuesday off, too. At the crack of dawn, we decided to drag out of bed and go see the Ironwoods. The Ironwoods have come in bloom in the last week and this week has got to be the time to see them at their best. Ironwoods are about the size of the mesquite and palo verde trees. The palo verde are masses of bright yellow blooms. An ironwood blooms in a mass like that, only the colors are generally lavender. They range from white to deep purple. They are even more impressive than Washington D.C. cherry blossoms. The trees are generally 2-400 years old. It is awe inspiring to behold a 6 to 800 year old tree that has survived. They aren’t particularly massive and are often bulldozed in mass by illegal cavalier developers. There are only two intact Ironwood ecosystems left on the planet.
They sometimes go by the name ‘Ol Smokey because of the gray bark. Looking down on the “forest’ of them in bloom today, I saw that they do look like smoke amongst the other greens. They have dark green foliage during most of the year. Continue reading