Thursday, September 1, 2005

Barclay Creek Nude Sunning

The view of Baring Mountain as we approach the trailhead of the Barclay Lake Trail

Another one of those sunny early afternoons and the itching to get out somewhere and enjoy the sun naked. It was just by chance that I turned off Highway 2 at the FS 6024 sign in Baring just to see what nude hiking possibilities were to be had. A Wednesday and I figured that I might have a chance to have a new trail to myself. I stopped in the middle of the road just to take the above picture and met my first car coming back the other way with two little old ladies just back from an early morning hike. Good thing I wasn't already naked and standing there in the middle of the road . . . they came upon me completely by surprise . . . LOL

At the trailhead there was already two other SUVs . . . one with four days worth of daily passes (jeez, they could of bought an annual pass for the cost of four daily passes). The other car was likewise . . . a couple of days worth of passes displayed, so these were campers, due back today. Well, I'd never been to Barclay Lake so why not give it a try.

First, the obligatory posing in front of the trailhead sign along with my ever-present cup of coffee.

Then I started on down the trail into dark and cool cover. Fifty feet or so in and I heard another car pulling into the trailhead above. Too popular. Barclay Lake would have to wait for another day. I found my short and pulled them on before entering the parking area; said my 'hellos' to the couple and dog. I'd just have to find somewhere else where I could be undisturbed for a few hours.

Driving back I passed a couple of ruts of an old road heading towards Barclay Creek. I pulled over, figuring on a least investigating. I stripped as soon as I was a few feet down the overgrown road. It went in perhaps a hundred feet, terminating at a berm and fallen tree. A few messy fire rings and numerous beer cans. I continued, hearing the creek not far away. It was just the other side of the berm down a scramble of river-bourne boulders.

The lazy creekbed from Barclay Lake

I love cold, crisp alpine creeks and streams cascading down mountainsides . . . but the lowland streams I'm kind of abivalent about. Down here in the foothills leading up to the Cascades (we're around 700-800 ft) it feels different. Of course, it is. The air is heavier . . . there is a stillness about it, as if just hanging about. Far different from the higher elevations I like to hike.

But, it is interesting and I'm quite alone to amble about in the almost dry streambed . . . stepping from exposed, dry rock to rock. It is extremely sunny, too. The stream an open space. So I'm getting lots of sun. I keep thinking to myself, 'Gee, I'm kinda exposed here in the middle of the creek and I'm not really that far from the trailhead parking area and the trail that leads off east to the lake that feeds this creek.' What is really wierd is that there is little bug problem where I expected there to be a major problem (water, warmth, etc.). The bugs just ain't bugging me at all.

Lot's of locations to just sit on a fallen tree trunk and soak in the sun.

Upstream and downstream is just more of the same so I settle of a tangle of storm-piled timber to spend the afternoon laying out on. Some of the tree trunks are three feet or more in diameter, a testament to the force these creeks can attain during the rainy seasons. For now, it is tranquil and the sun is bright and warm.

Posing with Baring Mountain in the background to the east

A closer, zoom-in on the rugged granite peak of Baring Mountain

Location: Just east of milepost 41 at Baring on Highway 2 (13 miles east of Goldbar), take a left on Forest Service road 6024 over the BN RR tracks and straight past a few house. Continue on FS 6024, snaking in and out of the BPA clearcut and then into forest, At 4.3 miles you will reach the trailhead for the Barclay Lake trail. 200 feet short of this is a disused vehicle track to the left, heading down toward the creek.

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