Friday, July 29, 2005

Humor: Advice to nude smokers

Ah, what the heck . . . we need some humor . . .

Taken shamelessly from

If you are a habitual smoker, or even a casual smoker, eventually a situation will arise where you are without the protection of clothing and desiring a cigarette. This can be a dangerous situation. There are precautions you must take that under other circumstances would not be as necessary. Often a jittery smoker will grab a bathrobe or quickly slip into filthy, disease carrying clothes they find on the floor. This is not necessary! You can smoke in the nude in relative safety provided you follow some simple, common sense rules!

There are many situations that arise where smoking and nudity are common occurances. Nudist colonies, nude beaches and nudist groups often admit smokers and post stringent rules about how one must enjoy fine tobacco products. There are people who rarely wear clothes in the privacy of their own homes and choose to enjoy fine tobacco products. Those who are experienced rarely need rules pointed out to them. They have often learned via their own errors in judgment.

There are also special situations in which an average Joe might find themselves naked and desiring a fine tobacco product. You might be taking a long bath, in which case the water in the tub provides a natural insulation against ash and flaming debris. The most important rule in any such situation is to be careful. Remember that your bare skin is opposed to being burned and that the primary reason clothing was invented was to protect our beautiful bodies from flaming tobacco products.

Of course there are other forms of fine tobacco than the common cigarette. There are other products which can be smoked when one is naked. Special caution must be taken with a pipe and only experienced pipe smokers should smoke a pipe while naked. One who is not experienced in the ways of the tobacco pipe may find much ash and flaming debris flying into the air, especially if one accidently exhales with the pipe in one's mouth. A cigar is also very dangerous to smoke when nude as one does not "flick" the ash and the volume of potential flaming debris is increased, especially if it is a cheap cigar. Products such as marijuana cigarettes are very popular with nude smokers and carry their own dangers. Smoking of marijuana may make it difficult to concentrate on the fate of ash and flaming debris. Depending on the quality of product and the ability of the marijuana cigarette roller, you may experience great danger to your exposed body. A pipe, bong, or other smoking apparatus may be better when one chooses not to wear clothing.

Just be careful out there. Someone might be watching. They might be crazy. They might be armed.

Saturday, July 23, 2005

First Aid: Are You Prepared? Aiding a fellow hiker

I hike an awful lot au' natural. I carry as little as I possibly can. After all, that is the idea behind nude hiking, isn't it? But one thing I never hike without is at least a rudimentary first aid kit for the trail that can address the most common incidents that can happen. When you are hiking miles from assistance or help, you'd be negligent . . . if not also stupid . . . to at least take care of minor injuries like cuts and scrapes, insect bites and the like. But have you ever given thought to more serious accidents and just how you would address them. My small kit came in handy today, along with a little bit of judicious thought of the few small items I do carry that can perform additional services.

The Martha Lake Trail is a reasonably short trail with a pretty alpine lake as it's destination. Two miles in and two out. It can be popular except for the very rough hiking situation that has seen Search and Rescue vans at the trailhead a number of times. Today I started out late . . . one vehicle at the trailhead. Plenty of forewarning on this trail so I hiked in nude expecting an enjoyable hike, some time in the sun at the lake, and out by dusk. I made the lake in just under two hours and started to search for an area to bask for a while before heading back. That's when I saw two young women hikers on the other side of the lake waving their hands in an unmistakable frantic way. I wave back and started heading their way, which took sometime on the tricky and narrow, skree-strewn path. (yes, I did put my shorts on)

When I arrived, one of them was in obvious pain, sitting down and babying an unshod foot . . . the tennis sneaker sitting a foot or so away. The girl's ankle was already pretty well swollen . . . there was no way we were going to get her sneaker back on now. I asked what had happened and I was told she'd gone wading in the shallows and stepped on a hidden snag . . . and now she couldn't put weight on her foot without a lot of excrutiating pain. Should have left that shoe on but that's spilt milk now. The real problem would be how to get her out of there before nightfall.

The considerations during a debilitating (or worse) injury far from reasonably-timed aid is whether to send for that aid or make an attempt to get out under your own power. Cell phones don't work in this valley, nor do they connect at the trailhead. It was a two hour hike back (at best), another hour to the nearest phone and an equal amount of time to return with aid. Six hours and it's already four o'clock. It would be well past dark before any help would be forthcoming. Too much time for these inexperienced girls. They were already panicking over thoughts of bears and mountain loins and darkness. They'd freak! If I could stabilize her foot, it was worth a try at hiking out ourselves.

The first aid kit was, of course, worthless. Bandaids, tweezers and a few gauze pads didn't add up to much. But I always carry a roll of 1 1/2" sports tape . . . the stretch-type that clings to itself . . . because I've twisted ankles before and I know how handy this stuff is, either as a wound bandage or a support wrap.

First order of business, wrap her ankle securely . . . leaving the toes exposed to keep a check on circulation. Then cinch up her other shoe to give her reliable footing on the way back. I had her friend massage her calf muscles (more to reassure them than anything else) while I searched out a good hiking stick for the girl. Then we got her up and did some test walks. It would work if we took it slow. Since I'd come in with only a fanny pack, I shouldered the girls daypack. We got her up on one leg between us, her arms over our shoulders. Slowly, we made it back around the lake to the safer trail leading down and out . . . a place where she could use the walking stick and only myself for support while her friend led on the narrow trail.

It was slow work. We stopped frequently to rest and raise her foot, check the circulation and then encourage her on. At several points I considered carrying her piggy-back but the trail didn't allow for that except at the two stream-crossings we had to make.

Nightfall hit us. I hadn't planned on a night hike but I still carry my headlamp. Out it came and now I had two very scared girls hovering close for physical reassurance. I don't particularly like to hike in the dark and I'm experienced. I could imagine the things going through their minds everytime the wind rustled a bush nearby in the darkness. We slowed down considerably, staying within the bright cone of illumination.

It was almost ten by the time we made the trailhead and I hobbled them over to the safety of their car. I rechecked the wrapping and told her friend not to worry . . . drive normally and stop by an emergency room on the way home just to be sure. They begged me not to leave until they were ready so they could follow me out. I promised with a smile. A while later, we turned onto Highway 2 westbound. They stayed behind me all the way to Monroe where they turned off.

The nice thing . . . I got a phone call a little while ago to thank me again and let me know that she just had a severe sprain, nothing broken, and would be okay (which is why I'm writing this small piece). The other nice thing? Would I go hiking with them some time? It's nice to help people and to be thanked. It's nice to make friends. Makes your day.

Tuesday, July 19, 2005

Deer Flies have Hatched

The Deer Flies Are Biting

I started out on a long anticipated nude backpacking trip to Deception Lake today and lasted all of fifteen minutes. I didn't even make the trail entrance. The moment I stepped from my car I thought I'd stepped into a hornets nest as dozens and dozens of large buzzing deer flies homed in on me and my car. The first of the season and it was a miserable moment as I stood there swinging my shorts around my head to push the insistent pests away.
[Image Source: Wikipedia]

I wasn't prepared for deer flies and their related cousins, the horse fly. Citronella does not work on them and DEET, though effective against mosquitoes, does nothing to discourage deer flies. These nasty critters can impart a nasty bite (the female is the bloodsucker . . . the male more civilized, or whimpish, as you prefer) as they suck your blood for a protein meal.

Like mosquitoes, they are attracted from hundreds of feet away by the carbon dioxide and lactic acid we exhale (which also explains why they had this affinity for the exhaust coming out of my cars tailpipe . . . carbon dioxide). In any case, within moments there were hundreds of these things buzzing around me and a naked hike was out of the question. It was all I could do to duck back into the car and listen to them impact against the windows. Nasty critters!

You find them everywhere . . . forests, meadows, roadsides. I noticed that they seem to prefer the sunnier areas (though I won't swear by that), and on the drive back down the mountain deer flies seemed to drop off below 3,600 feet. A little research indicates the deer fly is territorial and prone to locale. The west side of Mt Sawyer was deer-fly-free, so there may be some truth to this. The west side of Mt Sawyer is bereft of slower moving streams and wet areas, as well; and deer flies need a moist area to lay their eggs.

In a nutshell:

  • Deer Flies and Horse Flies pupate into adults once a year in the summer months and live as adults for 60 to 90 days.
  • The adults are attracted to dark, moving objects and the carbon dioxide we exhale and emit from the tailpipes of our cars.
  • The female Deer and Horse Flies bite with scissors-like mandibles and drink the blood from the bite. The bite can be extremely painful and some people may suffer an allergic reaction to the injected saliva that is intended to prevent coagulation.
  • Deer Flies favor the head, particularly under the brim of a hat. They will swarm the head and attack five or six at a time.
  • Horse Flies favor the legs and will attempt to attack with two or three flies at a time.
  • Deer Flies and Horse Flies will rest in grasses or bushes and swarm when they detect a victim. They are strong fliers and will aggressively follow a car for a considerable distance.

Additional information on the various biting flies can be found at the Colorado State University Cooperative Extension.

REI has the only product I know of that is effective against biting flies such as the Deer and Horse Fly.

To quote the product literature:

Sawyer Broad Spectrum Spray

For skin application. While Deet can repel all mosquitoes, ticks, and some flies, Deet does not repel all flies effectively. For those situations you will need the extra protection of the special fly repellent, R-326, which is added to this formula and is effective against flies, gnats and no-see-ums. For times when sprays are more convenient than lotions, this is the formula to use. Sawyer's Broad Spectrum contains no alcohol which has been shown to increase skin absorption of Deet, and is the only non-alcohol spray repellent in the USA.

You can order it online here, or pick up a bottle at the downtown REI for $5.95

Monday, July 18, 2005

Rooster Rock-Restful Haven-Sauvie Island Aug 6-7th 2005

Well, here's an opportunity that just can't be ignored . . . your chance to get into nudism with very little cost to yourself and to visit some superlative clothing-optional facilities in the Portland area.

August is the month for Rooster Rock State Park . . . when the waters in the Columbia River finally go down enough for the great sand beaches to emerge and warm up. Rooster Rock is the site of one of two official clothing optional beaches in the Portland area and the regular nudist community and the American Association for Nude Recreation (AANR) will be having a beach cleanup party at Rooster Rock starting at 9AM on August 6th. Here's an opportunity to enjoy the beach au'natural while helping to get it into shape but there is more . . . much more.

Restful Haven, a very nice nudist resort west of Portland has just offered to drop it's grounds fees on August 6th to anyone registering and helping out with the Rooster Rock cleanup. You don't have to be an AANR or TNS member to enjoy this gracious offer . . . just a member of the cleanup party.

You get to visit the grounds of Restful Haven, enjoy the spa or sunning lawns and the other facilites, enjoy a low cost dinner ($4) and if you've travelled a distance, pitch a tent and camp overnight. Update: Camp fees are half-priced for participants: Tent $3.00, full hookup $5.50 and water & electric $4.00

Add a visit to Collins Beach on Sauvies Island the next day and give a hand doing some light cleanup and then enjoy the rest of the day sunning on the clothing-optional beach.

It's not often these kinds of events converge together to make a wonderful weekend. Consider showing up at Rooster Rock at 9AM on August 6th and take advantage of this great offer. It is open to everyone participating in the cleanup.

ORCOBA Website for Rooster Rock and Collins Beach

Restful Haven Nude Resort Website Consider emailing them if you plan on taking advantage of the dinner or need to reserve a camping location. A nice thanks in advance would probably be welcome. (Restful Haven Office email)


9AM Aug 6th: Rooster Rock Cleanup begins, followed by hot dogs and fun in the sun.

Directions from Seattle to Rooster Rock Take a right at the toll booth to the park ($3 parking fee, covered if you have a NW Recreation Pass) and drive to the end of the east parking lot. Go down the stairs near the restroom. The signup area will either be there or on the beach at the end of the trail.

Afternoon of Aug 6th thru Aug 7th, head over to Restful Haven to relax in the spa or enjoy the grounds and facilities. $4 dinner, volleyball, socializing, camping overnight or rent a cabin. Grounds Fees are waived for cleanup participants.

Directions from Rooster Rock to Restful Haven

10:30AM Aug 7th: Car convoy over to Sauvie Island for a brief cleanup of the parking area, then join us for the rest of the day on Collins Beach

Directions from Restful Haven to Collins Beach. Parking Fee is $1.50, purchased at the General Store just after crosing the bridge to Sauvies Island (NW Recreation Pass is good here, as well).

Late in the afternoon, Aug 7th: Head back to Seattle. The directions avoid heading back into Portland and take 30 north through Longview and Kelso.

Directions from Collins Beach back to Seattle

Sunday, July 17, 2005

Sauvie Island: Collins Clothing-Optional Beach

Thanks to the continuing efforts of the Oregon Clothing Optional Beach Alliance we can enjoy two excellent clothing optional beaches that are unique in that they are officially sanctioned and recognized as clothing-optional by the State of Oregon. These two beaches are known as Rooster Rock State Park (east of Portland) and Collins beach on Sauvie Island (north of Portland).

For those of us visiting from the Seattle area, Rooster Rock is the better known and easier to get to . . . I-5 to I-205 and then east. However, Collins is by far the better beach. Collins Beach is also the home of the Yellow Flag program which I intend to highlight in another post as I've become very interested in it and would like it introduced to other clothing-optional locales.

To get to Collins Beach from Seattle, follow these MSN MapPoint directions.

Further information from the ORCOBA website, including the need for a parking permit:

By car, take Highway 30 north from Portland, or south from St. Helens. North of the town of Linnton, watch for a sign, "Sauvie Island Bridge" at a traffic-light-controlled intersection. Turn onto the bridge. Note: If you have not already purchased a daily or yearly parking permit, you will need to do so. They are available at the general store at the base of the bridge as you cross the river channel. A daily pass is $1.50; an annual permit is $11.00. Be sure to place this on your dash when you park at the beach.

You have two choices as to routes to Collins Beach: One is to take GIllihan road, which runs from the general store underneath the bridge, and follow it for several miles to the intersection with Reeder Road, turning right onto Reeder Road. Or, take Sauvie Island Road north from the store (turn left out of the store parking lot), and turn right onto Reeder Road a few miles up. Continue on Reeder Road after it intersects with Gillihan Road.

Whichever route you choose, follow Reeder Road, which will become a bit narrower and rougher as it crosses into Columbia County. Stay on Reeder Road, passing Reeder Beach, a small RV park and marina, and a few farms. Stay on Reeder until the road turns to gravel (the beach parking lot along the paved portion is a clothed beach, known as Walton Beach). One you reach the gravel portion, you will see a sign: Entering Clothing-Optional Area. Parking is along the left-hand side of the road; foot trails to the beach are on the right, marked 1 through 6.

So plan a visit now that Portland is baking in 80 to 90 degree temps, say 'hi' the the regulars (around the yellow flags) or join a lively game of volleyball. I can't wait to get back down there.

Saturday, July 16, 2005

Beautiful Lake Lillian

Here I am cresting the ridge high over Lake Lillian, the upper of two Alpine lakes near Hyak Pass east of Snoqualmie Pass. The view from up here overlooks the Ramparts north toward the White Mountain Range and Glacier of the North Cascades. Those views are spectacular by the breathtaking views are of the lake, itself, down below and of Mount Rainier to the south (which is behind me in the picture).

So just a selection of Lake Lillian photos from last year. I hope to make a return hike sometime later this week . . . possibly Sunday as part of a SLUGS-sponsored nude hike. If the weather cooperates, that is . . .

Friday, July 15, 2005

Why am I a Nudist?

That question was recently asked in the NWFunintheSun Yahoo Group and I felt it appropriate to post my ideas here as well. Here's my reply to the question, 'Why are you a nudist (naturist)?'

1. FEELS GOOD: Covering the skin with clothing is like blindfolding a man and then asking him to describe the flower you place before him. The skin is the largest organ on the body and is jam-packed full of sensory nerve-endings. Stand naked on a sunny mountain ridge (or a nice beach) and feel the warmth of sunlight on your skin, or the tactile tickle of a breeze triggering the nerve endings near the roots of your body hair and you'll know what an indescribable sensation that is.

2. A CONFIDENCE BUILDER: A person who is comfortable with their nudity has built confidence in themselves, their bodies and their sexuality. It's an on-going process. A nudist or naturist must have confidence in themselves to transcend expectations of society. Confidence is an outgrowth of nudism.

3. HEALTHY LIFESTYLE: Others may take the easy way down to the textile beach . . . I work on getting to my nude beach. I lead a much more healthy lifestyle as a naturist; I seek the outdoors and activities where I can be nude . . . and that has lead to fitness of body and well-being of spirit and mind.

4. NO PRETENSIONS: 'The person sitting next to you in the Onsen could be a simple worker or the CEO of a major Fortune 500 corporation' . . . but without clothes you wouldn't know. So says the Japanese lore on hot spring etiquette . There are no pretensions when the person you are speaking to is just as naked as you are. We can drop the false-fronts and just be ourselves.

5. BODY ACCEPTANCE: Surprise! Women have breasts and men have penises. Why do we keep trying to deny a basic fact of anatomy? At the nude resort no body cares and we can quit trying to have bigger, larger, more symmetric . . . whatever. No body is comparing and judging you which goes a long way to building that confidence in item #2.

6. BEYOND SEXUAL WORRIES: Clothes are sexy . . . nudity is not. Half the fun of sex is in the unwrapping of the package . . . the surprise and reward. There is no sex in the champagne room so why do people continue to equate nudism with sex? Ban the enticing Calvin Klein jeans. When you are nude sex is often the last thing on your mind . . . there are so many other sensations to enjoy. And since we are much more body-accepting we are often much more honest about sex . . . instead of skulking in the dark as if you ashamed to be seen naked.

7. THE LITTLE JOYS: Swimming naked is sensuous and easy; bugs don't get trapped under my trousers legs when hiking (because I ain't wearing any); I don't overheat when backpacking; I don't stink because of sweat-drenched clothes; my backpack weighs less; mosquitoes don't seem to like my naked body; I don't have tan lines (to the envy of my friends); I meet lots of people on the trail who think it's neat and wish they had the guts to hike naked.

8. MUTUAL SUPPORT: There are thousands of people in these forums who think alike and share. There is a network of support . . . fellow nudists helping other nudists. I've made several new clients through these channels. We all seem to want to support each other even though we have the same diversity of religion, politics and culture as the larger society around us.

9. It's fun!

10. . . . and I feel FREE!!!!!!!!

A friend of mine wrote in a op-ed piece for his website (which unfortunately is not available anymore) He suggested a challenge to a potential nudist . . .

" . . . hike clothed out to the middle of nowhere. When you get there leave all your clothes in a secluded spot and bravely walk naked 100 yards in any direction. By the time you return you will have had an epiphany that will change your life."

Nudism and naturism are about having that epiphany!

Wednesday, July 13, 2005

Bare Buns Fun Run (legs 2 & 3)

Now that our legs are beginning to recover from the FS Bare Buns Fun Run, consider signing up for the other two legs of this event.

• The second run will take place at Kaniksu Ranch in Loon Lake , near Spokane , WA on Sunday July 31 , 2005 . Phone 1 - 509 - 327 - 6833 , or write to B.B.F.R., PO Box 911 , Loon Lake , WA 99148 - 0911 (Map here or MapPoint Driving Directions from Seattle here

Download the PDF Registration Form for the Kaniksu BBFRun here

• The third and final run will take place at Wreck Beach on Sunday, August 21 , 2005 , 1 pm sharp! Walk down from the top of Trail 6, off Marine Drive near the University of BC (see Beach Area Map link below)

Vancouver Area Map

Beach Area Map

MapPoint Driving Directions from Seattle

An online registration form is available here for the Wreck beach Run:

Monday, July 11, 2005

Bare Buns West a Success

Fraternity Snoqualmie is quite a nice place and certainly not what I had envisioned in my mind as to what the place looked like. Today was my first visit there . . . though I've had plenty of opportunities to visit in the past as a member of the SLUGS. For some inane reason I expected FS to be up in the Snoqualmie Pass area when in reality it is on the side of Tiger Mountain not far from Issaquah.

I've never run a marathon before let alone a nude marathon. Bare Buns West 2005 was my first and I thank FS for hosting this event. The run was 5K (3 miles) up Tiger Mountain and back down again. When I arrived I was surprised at the number of people already there. The tent and RV areas appeared pretty much full and the grounds were full of clothed and unclothed people. But what particularly struck me was the number of younger people up there enjoying the opportunity to be textile-free. It is not something you see often at nudist resorts and I'm happy to see that attempts are being made to attract the younger generations.

Some one hundred and fifty registered to run the marathon. I was one . . . goaded into it by a fellow SLUG who said 'only a few will actually run it . . . most will just walk up and then run down.' I figured, what the heck, I like to hike nude . . . this will be like a hike. So I signed up . . . I think mainly to get the teeshirt. Did the stretching, avoided stuffing my stomach with food and milled around waiting the start of the race. The official marathon certification people and the EMS paramedics on hand should have clued me in.

The race started and off we went. Like everyone else, I started jogging but the course soon turned up a steepening gravel road and my lungs began protesting. Soon I was down to a fast stroll and the ranks started stretching out. The road became muddy and tricky on the footing but hey, I was starting to get into this. Water tables, a quick gulp without stopping and . . .dang . . . the leaders are practically flying back down on the reverse leg . . . and my friend says snidely that we're almost halfway to the top. Only halfway and runners are already racing down on the return leg?

A kid passes me . . . a pregnant woman. Now it's personal . . . I can't be this badly out of shape! I start jogging again. The second water table and around a bend to the turnaround cone and no one is checking tags as I think to myself I could have cheated and turned around anytime. I round the cone in a breathless jog and start downhill. I have my second-wind and a pace that works. Past the water table and pick up the pace. I'm enjoying the run now, feeling good.

Running downhill has it's own hazards. For one, a certain unrestrained part of the anatomy sets up a harmonic swinging which is a little distracting. Now I know why women joggers wear sport's bars. Also, it's rough on the knees, the jarring to check your speed . . . or if you get going too fast you risk losing control on the uneven surface. How the barefooters did it still eludes me. About halfway back down, finishing place doesn't matter anymore . . . it's the running because I'm really enjoying the sweat and wind and the shear pleasure of doing this naked among so many other people. I imagine myself some Greek Olympian. It brings a smile to my face. The leaders coming back down earlier looked like magnificent atheletes (and they were, I found out later).

We round the bottom of the road and head up toward the finish line and the cheers of several hundred spectators . . . a gaunlet and I realize everyone is looking at us, urging us to pour the speed on.

A young boy is just in front of me. I pull up close and am about to pass him when I check myself and let the boy finish just in front of me. Why? Who knows. Place was not important. I just let the kid beat me, gesturing at the backwards-looking boy and shouting at him, "go ahead . . . go!"

Cool down and I'm surprised I still have the ability to walk. Now I know why people run marathons. I feel really alive. Water at the post-race exit . . . energy bars and a bowl of bananas which I finally figured out is an easy way to replace electrolytes (potassium). I watch and cheer a few other finishers and then head for the pool after a quick shower. The rest of the afternoon was spent either chatting away with perfect strangers in the two large hot tubs or enjoying that ever so sensuous feeling of swimming free and nude. I get bopped on the head by a sopping wet beansack and get involved in a game of toss with a family. Everything so normal and fun. Like I said earlier, the majority of the people at FS for the race were not affiliated with any club but they felt absolutely comfortable, male and female alike, with their nudity. I find that a good sign.

Out of the one hundred and fifty or so I finished at 103. Not spectacular but good enough for me. I have long-term stamina for backpacking but not the sustained energy burst of a marathon runner. I'm happy and can now work on improving that. I plan on trying Bare Buns at Kaniksu and Wreck Beach later in the season.

But more importantly, I liked the number of younger people who participated in the nude. Nudism and naturalism is still alive. Resorts would do well to stage similar activities. These are the future members that we sorely need.

Saturday, July 9, 2005

Event: Bare Bun Fun Run West, July 10th, 2005

Bare Bun Fun Run West
Starts: Sunday, Jul 10th, 2005
Hours: 11:00 AM - 6:00 PM

Bare Bun Fun Run is a clothing optional 5k run up the side of Tiger Mountain at Fraternity Snoqualmie Family Nudist Park in Issaquah Washington. All ages encouraged to participate. $20 in advance, $25 day of race. After the race folks can relax in the sauna, 2 hot tubs, swimming and wading pools, play sand volleyball, or just soak up the Vitamin D and fill in tan lines on the beautiful green sunning lawn. Saturday Night FS will provide a carb-loading spaghetti feed and Karaoke Party.

It is 1 leg of a 3-way run with Kiniksu Ranch near Spokane, and Wreck Beach near Vancouver,Canada. Runners and spectators welcome.

14th Annual Bare Buns Fun Run (West)
Sunday, July 10th, 2005 11:00 A.M.


Be Brave, Be Tough, Beat the Mountain in the Buff

The Annual Bare Buns Fun West is sponsored by Fraternity Snoqualmie

It is a 5K (3.1 mile) Trail Run/Walk on beautiful Tiger Mountain. The challenging course runs over unpaved road, with a short section of cross country. Up hill to the turn around and back downhill. If you find the risk of sunburn challenging enough, the course is a serene walk through the forest.


Fraternity Snoqualmie is a member owned cooperative, incorporated as a non-profit organization with the state of Washington since 1937. It's location, Park Forestia, is located on Tiger Mountain just a half hour from Seattle.


All runners, walkers and guests are invited to use our hot tub, full size pool, sauna and enjoy our expansive sunning lawn after the event. There is also a wading pool and playground for children, volleyball court and basketball court.

There will be plenty of food and drink available, including espresso! Our store, Bare Essentials will be open with plenty of sunscreen, t-shirts, books, and other fun items for you to purchase. Bring a towel, plenty of sunscreen and enjoy the rest of the day at Park Forestia.


We are encouraging you to take advantage of our camping facilities on race weekend. It is a wonderful opportunity to enjoy the great outdoors, naturally (no luggage worries). Children under 18 are free with parent or guardian. We have showers and rest rooms available so bring your tent and spend the night. Camping fee is $10 per adult, per night.

Friday, July 8, 2005

Article: Sonoma County nudists seek public place to bare it all

Call of the Wild

Sonoma County nudists seek public place to bare it all

By R. V. Scheide

From the July 6-12, 2005 issue of the North Bay Bohemian. Copyright © 2005 Metro Publishing Inc. Maintained by Boulevards New Media.

They say the truth hurts, and when it comes to the naked truth, that goes double. Some Americans just can't bare it. That's pretty much the main reason why Mr. X, head of the Sonoma County Naturists, can't use his real name in this article. It seems that the company he works for frowns upon managers who promote cavorting about in the altogether, even if it is for nonprurient purposes. In spite of this forced anonymity--or perhaps because of it--Mr. X continues to pursue his long-held dream of establishing a legal clothing-optional public recreation area somewhere in Sonoma County.

To that end, the Sonoma County Naturists are holding their first-ever Naturist Carnival at Mr. X's house on July 6. Featuring many of the activities humans are known to love performing while nude, including darts, horseshoes and tetherball, Mr. X hopes that the family-style naturist event will provide the catalyst for a countywide naturist movement. It's the first step in his three-part plan to establish a naked dominion, and it's a good thing his property is located in a secluded rural area, because otherwise, under current Sonoma County regulations, the event might be deemed illegal.

"If you're in your own backyard and someone can see you and is annoyed, [law enforcement's] interpretation is that it's a public space," the fully-clothed Mr. X fumes over a steaming plate of kung pao chicken at a Chinese restaurant in downtown Santa Rosa. "You have to do something to protect your privacy in order for it not to be a public place. Where I live, it is so remote, someone would have to use binoculars or a telescope to see, and that means we are in good shape, as far as it being legal is concerned."

Whew, that's a relief! Because the current regulations, embedded in the Sonoma County Code, are frighteningly explicit, as exemplified by this excerpt from section 19-11, which forbids the exposure of, in any person over the age of 10, "the genitals, vulva, pubis, pubic symphysis, pubic hair, buttocks, natal cleft, perineum, anus, anal region, or pubic hair region of any person, or any portion of the areola of the breast of any female person other than a female person breast-feeding a child, is exposed to public view or is not covered by an opaque covering."

For those still thumbing through their dictionaries, the pubic symphysis is the joint between the pubic bones in the front of the pelvis. Talk about prurient interest! The code appears to prohibit not only nude sunbathing in public, but the wearing of sheer fabric and those natal-cleft-exposing low-rider jeans as well. Obviously, enforcement of the regulations is not exactly rigorous, and usually doesn't occur unless a member of the public complains, says Lt. Matt McCaffrey of the Sonoma County Sheriff's Department. "When we get a complaint, we just ask people to throw some clothes on," he says. Usually, people peacefully comply and no citation is issued.

That doesn't sound so bad. But that's not the way it's always gone down in the past. Longtime Sonoma County resident Mr. X recalls the heyday of local nudism (or naturism, as he prefers to call it, a term implying a family atmosphere where clothing is optional vs. the mandatory adults-only nakedness of nudism), when hundreds of people flocked to Sunset Beach on the Russian River near Rio Nido. Mr. X first began playing nude volleyball at the beach in the late 1970s and early 1980s, until tragedy struck. "Canoeists who come down the river have an unobstructed view, and a church group in canoes raised holy heck," he laments. Citations were issued, and the naturists were forced to move upstream five miles or so.

"Wohler Bridge started to grow in popularity after that, because it's more isolated," he recalls. But the remote location's popularity would prove to be its undoing in the early 1990s, when private landowners in the area began complaining about encountering the occasional pair of naked savages in flagrante delicto. The sheriff's department again began citing nudists, fining each $50 for the first offense and $500 or six months in jail for the second.

This effectively put a damper on nude sunbathing in Sonoma County; the region by then had earned a reputation for being hostile to nudists. San Francisco Bay Guardian writer Gary Hanauer, in his annual guide to the state's nude beaches, downgraded Wohler Bridge from a favored A status to merely a C in large part because of the raids, even though they have since discontinued.

"Most of my life, I've enjoyed feeling the air and the sun on my body," says Mr. X, but in the years following the raids, he went underground, at one point nearly forgetting the activity that gave him so much pleasure. But then a chance visit to a naturist resort with his wife opened his eyes again. "We said to each other, 'You know, this is so much fun, we need to find other people who want to share this lifestyle.' Six of us got together, and we started building Sonoma County Naturists from that."

The group set up a booth at this year's Harmony Festival and attracted 40 or 50 new members, says Glen Graves, who recently joined the effort himself and is fielding phone calls from prospective carnival attendees. Graves first came to appreciate the clothing-optional lifestyle living in Santa Barbara, which has a well-established nude beach.

"My issue is the whole thing about legislating morality," says Graves. "A few people want to impose their will on innocence. One of the things we're doing is reclaiming that sense of innocence."

Once the naturist group has gathered enough members, Mr. X plans to take the second step: finding a suitable location in Sonoma County. Sunset Beach and Wohler Bridge are obvious choices, since use of both areas by nude sunbathers has long been accepted by most locals. However, "user conflict" between naturists and the few people genuinely offended by public nudity may remain, necessitating a change in the county code--the all-important third step.

"Then you're getting into some serious politics," explains Allen Baylis, an attorney for the Naturist Society, a national organization that promotes clothing-optional rights. Political signals from the public on the issue are mixed, he adds, noting the society's national poll conducted by Gallup in 2000. The poll found that 80 percent of the public believe people should have the right to enjoy nude sunbathing, but only 48 percent felt that state and local governments should set land aside for that purpose.

An easier route may be to establish a nude recreation area somewhere along the Sonoma Coast State Beach, which extends 17 miles from Bodega Head to north of Jenner. Then jurisdiction would fall to the state park system. Although the state hasn't officially designated any of the beaches within the system as clothing-optional, it permits beaches that have been traditionally used for such purposes to become unofficially designated under a decision known as the Cahill Policy.

Such a stance is not unlike the approach currently employed by the Sonoma County Sheriff: If someone complains, then rangers ask people to put their clothes back on. The policy is in effect at Red Rock Beach in Marin County, perhaps the most popular nude beach this side of the Golden Gate, where up to a hundred or so nudists gather every weekend, weather permitting. Complaints are rare at Red Rock, in large part because the beach has a well-developed user group, with volunteers who help monitor the beach, pick up trash and monitor behavior.

Of course, the truly desperate Sonoma County naturist can always pony up the bucks to go to a nudist resort such as Harbin Hot Springs. That's not good enough for Mr. X, who believes naturists need and deserve a public place they can call their own, free from even the thought of being hassled by law enforcement for something that comes, well, naturally.

"There needs to be a place where we can go that's not someone's house," he says. "Do you have to pay to go to the beach? To go to the river?"

The Sonoma County Naturist Carnival is slated for Sunday, July 10. $20, includes food, games and prizes. First-timers welcome. For details, call 707.334.6208.

Wednesday, July 6, 2005

Surprise Creek Nude Hike (partial, called because of rain)

The obligatory trailhead-sign pose and a latte before the hike

Well, I'm gonna pictorially get you all up to the lakes at the end of the Surprise Creek Trail yet if the weather cooperates. Wednesday is my traditional hiking day and despite looking out the window and seeing low, menacing grey clouds hanging out over Seattle . . . and thicker cumulus moisture clouds piling up over the Cascades in the distance, I wanted another hike. It wasn't raining yet and there is always the chance the sun will peek out in the afternoon. So I drove into the mountains. Hell or high-water . . . I was going to get some hiking in.

There was one other vehicle at the trailhead when I arrived around noon . . . in a drizzle of sometimes rain . . . sometimes heavy mist. This was going to be a wet hike so I turned up the heater to get myself 'in the mood' as I undressed. The vehicle, a jeep, had been there sometime. You can tell by the tire tracks and the leaf debris on the vehicle. More than likely a PCT hiker or extended backpacker. It would be unlikely I would me them on the trail and I seriously doubted anyone else would be arriving for Surprise Creek with this weather. Also, it was a little late to really be attempting this trail . . . the lake is four miles in and with an hour playing around at the top you really needed 6-8 hours to do Surprise Creek properly.

Was momentarily surprised by a BPA maintenance jeep sipping through the trailhead and on up onto the BPA Easement ahead so I decided to hike the BPA clearcut to the actual trail entrance textile and then slip out of my shorts once inside the forest canopy. Bummer since there is a little bit of a thrill hiking nude straight from my car . . . I guess I have a slight exhibitionist streak in me anyway . . . or is it just being naughty and getting a high out of not being caught? Who knows. Part of the ritual.

About an easy half hour into the hike
you enter the Alpine Wilderness Area

Surprise Creek is a very popular trail and easily hiked (except for the last mile or so of switchbacks). As a consequence, the trail is well-maintained with lots of puncheon bridges over wet and boggy areas . . . and in the lower sections, stairways to get up steep areas. But once you enter the Alpine Lakes Wilderness Area the amenities peter out and the trail becomes one to watch your footing on. You soon sidle-up to Surprise Creek and are presented with a huge log crossing to the left. There are no handrails and the walkway cut onto the top of the log is somewhat slippery. The old trail hugging the west side of the creek is blocked and abandoned. Once on the east side you start a more moderate climb up in and out of cover and past an ancient, major rock slide. The size of the boulders throughout the hike is stupendous. This slide is just a sample of bigger ones ahead.

The trail turns back toward the creek and here you find some great camping locations close to the creek on level ground.

Camp site area near creek
(I don't normally post full-frontal pics but I liked this one)

This picture (and the one following) were taken at a large, flat clearing between the trail and the creek nearby. I'm estimating that three or four good-sized tents could be erected on the clearing and it has obviously been used for this purpose in the past. Though Forest Service rules 'suggest' that camp sites be 200 ft from creeks and be located away and out of sight of trails, no body seems to have applied those rules here. It has all the markings of a sanctioned camp location . . . and it's a great one.

In the trees overlooking one of the large, flat camping areas. Me, Tarzan . . . lol

The trail diverges from the creek once again to start a moderate criss-cross climb first through some open forest and then into the open . . . though the vegetation growth spurt has hemmed in a lot of the narrow trail as we work ever upward on the eastern slope toward the head of the valley. It is fortunate that I am naked because any clothes I might have been wearing would have become soaked bulldozing myself through dew-covered new growth. I like this the best . . . walking through wet foliage nude. It's a very sensuous pleasure as the supple leaves and stems brush across my bare skin with a wet caress. The trail is narrow here, and treacherous. So I take it slow and watch my footing on the hidden rocks and skree.

We cross another ancient collapse of granite on the slope and marvel at the surprising sound of a major brook gurgling deep beneath those large boulders on it's way down to Surprise Creek below us. It's been two hours now and I have classes tonight. I'm watching my time and figure half an hour more. Alas, I know it is not enough time to reach the lake because I have been dallying at every creek-approach I could find. Out here in the open, the drizzle that has accompanied me most of the way, has now become rain with a breeze. Surprisingly, I'm not in the least bit cold. But I turn around and start the downward trek back. The going is fast once I luxuriate in the foliage on the flip-side.

My one and only rest stop

I dally again at the camping sites. From here on it is gentle and easy trails and I really enjoy the hiking . . . more of a stroll now. I find myself slowing down . . . exploring this or that. I'm delaying because I know that soon I'll have to put my clothes on.

Horsing around with the trail sign on the BPA Easement

The end comes soon enough when the trails spills onto the BPA access road. I assume the maintenance crew from earlier is gone and after horsing around continue the quarter mile down to the trailhead. Next time I do this trail I am going to take you right up to Surprise and Spark Lakes for some tremendous views.

Monday, July 4, 2005

West Cady Ridge: July 4th

West Cady Ridge Trailhead Posted by Picasa

I suppose I'm getting a little reckless. July 4th is a major 'get out the family and go hiking' day and it was no less so at the trailhead that serves three trails, including the West Cady one that is short enough for couples and families to attempt despite the constant moderate to steep climb all the way up to the ridge. It's not a bad hike as hikes go . . . some spectacular water-scenery near the beginning and great views once you make it to the ridge line after three miles of uphill toiling.

There were about fifteen cars in the parking area when I arrived around 3pm. I'd been thinking about hiking Quartz Creek but it was rather late in the day to be starting that one. It was a toss-up between the other two. Figured I'd give Cady a try because I could make the ridge and back down before the sun got too low. Starting late also meant I'd be the only one heading in and I was banking on being able to spot returnees with enough time to cover up. So I stripped and got the obligatory picture of the trailhead sign . . . and then it was off down the trail, which starts out flat and winds in along the western bank of Troublesome Creek.

View from foot bridge of gorge over Troublesome Creek near trailhead Posted by Picasa

Soon you come to a well-built wooden foot bridge over a gorge in the bend of the creek where the waters cascade down rapids from above and hit a sharp bend in the channel beneath the bridge. The result is this pool of very inviting water.

Exploring the confluence of Quartz and Troublesome Creeks back down below Posted by Picasa

Further along the upstream side of the creek and off the trail there are lots of opportunities to wander around the river-boulders and you can imagine the flash-floods that have careened down this gorge at times.

On the trail up through the trees and switchbacks Posted by Picasa

But I have a hike to do and it's soon under the canopy. The trail is in good shape but this is not a nude hikers trail as I soon found out when I met my first couple, totally unawares as they descended around a sharp switchback. Grin and bare it, I said hello and just kept on going getting a nod and smile from both of them.

It's nice when people are cool with your nudity but there was another couple rounding a switchback further up. I decided to short-up . . . much as I hated to . . . and get all the descending parties out of the way. Nude when I had clear sight-ahead . . . definitely nude all the way down when I figured no one would be heading up because of the hour.

And it's a good thing I did because I surprised a family group that included several young teenaged girls. I was glad I hadn't provoked a reaction from the father of these kids. Others disagree but that's how I prefer to share the trail.

Hot, tired and sweaty near the ridgeline Posted by Picasa

Eventually, I reached the top . . . or as near as I care to go today. The trail wanders for quite a distance along the ridge, ducking in and out of the treeline. I'd come for the sun up here and I enjoyed it for awhile. Finally, it was time to head back and this time I managed the entire hike naked and without encountering anyone. Very enjoyable.

All in all, this trail is too popular to blatantly hike in nude without some idea of how many people are on the trail. The switchbacks closer to the ridgeline make sight distance a factor . . . you are too easily surprised by a descending hiker. The situation is better on the downslope trip as you can see down onto the switchbacks below you to give advance warning. There is not much room off-trail for ducking under cover . . . when you are surprised, you can do little but 'grin and bare it' like I did.

Too many families on this trail. Kids don't care, particularly the teens . . . some get a kick out of it. But parents get awfully protective. I do not recommend this trail during holidays and weekends for these reasons. Other than that, the trail does give you exercise because it's moderately steep all the way up.

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