I’m in the Catalina Mountains for a couple of days. I’m on a retreat, a retuning.
I slept in the forest on a hill last night in nude seclusion. After a warm filling breakfast, I’m on my way to a more frequented trail that will lead me to Bear Wallow. It is Wednesday, the middle of the week and I don’t expect many people. I think to just leave all coverings and take risk in freedom, but I’m not absolutely sure what I will find. I don’t want to have my nudity keep me from an adventure into a new place. My journey shall be open ended. I opt for a sarong. I roll it up, place it on my shoulder and use it as a cushion for the straps for my water bottle bag and camera.
As I approach the trail, I see people sitting plainly in their passing cars out on the main road. It runs above, along this creek bed. Right now, I’m above them.
They pass, visible only for a moment through the trees.
I will be a downhill view for them, as the trail begins to parallel the highway. If they look, they might see a glance of me. Most don’t look. They watch the curve of the road.
As I begin my walk, I notice knobby mountain bike tracks. There is biker track degradation. On the forest’s floor, when the ground is wet and soft, treads are digging in and eroding the soils.
I continue on, strolling through a wonderful riparian environment. It is a beautiful day. There is no chance of rain. This is an in-between, a break during the times when a monsoon threatens to storm nearly every day.
I smell …