Friday, May 13, 2005

Deception Creek Nude Hike - May 12th, 2005

Another one of those last minute decisions. A beautiful day and appointments all done. Just turned the car to the mountains without any real idea of what I planned to do . . . well one. I needed a new Forest Service Pass so I figured to drop by the Ranger Station just east of Skykomish and pick one up.

If your anything like me . . . do a lot of hiking . . . the Golden Eagle Pass is a great deal at $65 for a year. Covers all National Forests and National Parks. But I also visit Rooster Rock in Oregon quite often and that state park charges a user fee. Enter the new Northwest Forest and Parks Pass. At $85 it covers everything the Golden Eagle does plus all of Oregons State Parks and most of the Washington ones that charge a user fee. For me, it's a great deal and I suggest you look into it at

Anyway, got to talking with the cute volunteer manning the desk at the Ranger Station about trail conditions. Their reports were more than two weeks old. I told her I'd send a trail report though I was sure I'd been going today as it was getting late (2pm is late to start a long hike). She suggested Deception . . . no one there. A slight twinkle in her eyes? Did she suspect what I really wanted was the trail to myself to hike nude? Yeah, well I think too much sometimes . . .

Deception it was. Only a few miles up the road and I did owe her a trail report. Everything I needed was in the car and I figured I had four to five hours . . . enough time to make it in a couple of miles to the second log bridge and then back again before darkness.

Deception Creek Trail Head Posted by Hello

The trailhead was empty. A good sign because nobody would be heading in this late and more importantly . . . there was in all likelihood, no one on the trail inbound or heading back that I might inadvertently run into. I stripped right there, got my gear in order and headed into the canopy paralleling the creek upstream.

From the trailhead to the first log bridge is very scenic as it follows the raging creek. Lots of opportunities for pictures. This area is also the easiest of the hike and if anyone was in there, this would be the area where I would run into them. However, it felt so good to be naked that I just walked on confidently.

Some more dallying at the bridge . . . pictures and hanging about before the decision to tackle the hard part of this hike. From here it is uphill through a series of meandering switchbacks through the forest canopy. Rough work that few bother to tackle. The creek is way behind me . . . and that's what most people come up here to see. Now it just hiking. But I am alone . . . and I am naked, and I feel free.

There had been some minor blowdown and fallen trees across the trail below. Easily bypassed. By the time I reached the crest before the second bridge I came across one humongous tree . . . fully four feet in diameter. It fully blocked the trail with steep, slippery slope on both sides. Impassable, I would say, but I managed to very carefully work my way over it. Half an hour later I was at the second log bridge over the still fuming Deception Creek. Turnaround point. I took a break here, getting rid of the backpack and just strolling around nude. One of the few places on this hike where the sky is exposed so I enjoyed as much of the late afternoon sun as I could. Admittedly it was a little chilly out but you don't notice that much when you're hiking. You generate enough heat to not feel the cooling air.

I hated to leave but the insects come out around this time. Fortunately they weren't feasting too much on me yet but it would be a problem if I didn't start soon. So pack re-slung and off I went.

On the inbound leg you always wonder if someone came onto the trail after you and is headed in your direction . . . chance encounter . . . very real on the short legs of the switchbacks. I usually carry a pair of short tucked into my belt at the ready but I'd stuffed them in my backpack earlier. If I came across someone there would be no time to hurriedly put them on. I decided to take the chance and if need be, smile and bluff my way with good humor. The closer and closer I got the more I decided to brazen it and hike all the way back to my car nude.

I walked right onto the first log bridge without checking ahead for people. That felt good. A great confidence builder. Fortunately there was no one to test my bravado. But it was with the sme determination that I just brazenly walked out of the forest canopy and straight into the wide-open trailhead without pausing to check first. Again, no one. The sun was just going down . . . and I had fifteen minutes of joyful nudity before I reluctantly pulled on a pair of short and teeshirt to ward off the marauding night skeeters. A great hike!

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