Friday, June 29, 2007

Boiling Water at Hot Creek—The Dangerous and Dynamic Thermal Springs in California’s Long Valley Caldera

Hot Creek flows through the Long Valley Caldera in a volcanically active region of east-central California. This stretch of the creek, looking upstream to the southwest, has long been a popular recreation area because of the warm waters from its thermal springs. These springs, however, are unpredictable and can suddenly erupt with violence and at boiling temperature. Because of this danger, the U.S. Forest Service has had to close parts of the Hot Creek Geologic Site to visitors. (USGS photo by Chris Farrar.)

The multitude of the hot springs in the Mammoth area Long Valley Caldera of the east Sierra Nevadas south of Mono Lake have long fascinated me. The area has long been unstable, volcanic activity, earthquakes, resurgent dome rebuilding, massive CO2 poisoning of tree roots from volcanic gases, etc.

Now the USGS has released a series of reports on the geologic activity around Long Valley Caldera that make for some enlightening and educational reading for any hot spring afficianado.
Read about the spontaneous boiling water geysers unpredictably erupting from the waters of hot creek and why the Forest Service rightfully closed this once popular hot spring swimming and soaking spot.

Download this report as a four-page PDF document (fs2007-3045.pdf; 5 MB)

Press-quality illustrations, original artwork you may use (CMYK).

Also of interest

Living with a restless caldera - Long Valley, California (USGS Fact Sheet 108-96)
Invisible CO2 gas killing trees at Mammoth Mountain, California (USGS Fact Sheet 172-96)
Future eruptions in California’s Long Valley area-what's likely? (USGS Fact Sheet 073-97)

Thursday, June 28, 2007

Nude Hiking Day(s)

Sunning on a bend of the Skykomish River upstream of Big Eddy

To hike or write about my hikes . . . aye, there's the rub. Seems there is never enough time to to sit down and write to share about the exquisite enjoyment of the beautiful mountains and rivers of the Cascades . . . au' natural.

This is going to be a stub article . . . in other words, the barest of skeletons to be filled in as I get more free time. Or perhaps I'll just get in another hike. Ah,well.

Scenic Hot Springs

Green Mountain, Middle Fork Snoqualmie

FS 63 - North Fork Skykomish

Boss & Canyon Creek Trailblazing

Kelly Creek Trail Surveying

Lower Johnson Ridge-Mt Fenrow Potholes

Sunday, June 24, 2007

Study: Men View Faces in Sexy Photos

Contrary to popular opinion, men are more likely to look at a female's face before other areas when looking at pictures of naked women, according to a study by Emory University researchers. And women will gaze at pictures of heterosexual sex longer than men, the study found.

Huh? Well so goes the study abstracted at physorg and published in the Hormones and Behavior Journal.

My friend at Gymnophiliac brings this to our attention with a light-hearted article that sort of vindicates the male gender.

Of course, I've always been attracted to female faces . . . particularly the eyes, but it's nice to know that science is finally beginning to agree that us men aren't necessarily the lecherous oglers we are often made out to be.

The article also seems to imply that females are more visually-interested than anecdotal wisdom tells us the are. Heaven forbid the morals police get a hold of this and demand that women cover their faces! Just some food for thought.

Goldmyer Hot Springs

The date for the locking of the gate, according to the Forest Service, will be June 27.

Thereafter, you will have to park at or near the Dingford Campgrounds area and either hike or mountain bike the 4-5 miles to Goldmyer.. The good news is that you won't have to detour two miles to the old footbridge, nor will you have to ford the river. The new footbridge is almost completed.

Saturday, June 23, 2007

Meager Creek Hot Springs: A Bridge?

Received from Mike Sato, the former operator of Meager Creek Hot Springs, and the present owner of Scenic Hot Springs.

Meager Creek Hot Springs is located near the headwaters of the Lillooet River 70 kms north of Pemberton, BC. It was one of the finest natural hot spring experiences until the bridge washout during the 2003 storms made access near-impossible. This is good news for hot springs afficianados.

The Meager Creek Bridge that was washed away during the October 2003 flood will likely be reconstructed this fall. After 4 years, the BC Provincial Government has finally approved the use of the Provincial Emergency Plan (PEP) to fund the reconstruction of the Meager Creek Bridge. I spoke with the Ministry of Forest District Engineering Officer a few weeks ago and he confirmed that the PEP was now available and that a contractor for the Meager Creek Bridge reconstruction will be determined by public tender process.

Because of BC Government restructuring, all Forest Recreation Sites (including Meager Creek Hot Springs) are now under jurisdiction of the Ministry of Tourism, Sport and the Arts since last year. I spoke with the Recreation Officer for the Ministry of Tourism, Sport and the Arts, and he told me that Meager Creek Hot Springs is probably not yet suitable for public use. Since the hot springs have been closed for 4 years, he believed that the trail will be overgrown, and that the water course and pools will have to be restored before Meager Creek Hot Springs can be open to the public again. After the reconstruction of the Meager Creek Bridge is completed, the Recreation Officer will need to go and assess the site. Depending on the availability of funding, the hot spring restoration may be started this year and the Meager Creek Hot Springs may be opened to the public next spring. However, this all depends on the speed at which the reconstruction of the bridge will be completed as well as the availability of funding for restoration of the hot springs. Therefore, I believe that it is more reasonable to assume that the hot spring restoration will occur next spring and that Meager Creek Hot Springs will be opened to the public in the summer of 2008.

Even after the reconstruction of Meager Creek Bridge is completed, the Meager Creek road will be closed at the 37km turnoff. The Meager Creek road will remain closed until the restoration of Meager Creek Hot Springs pools and site is completed. Meager Creek Hot Springs will remain closed to the public until further notice. As in previous years, the gates located at 9 km on the Lillooet River FSR, just north of the Hurley River turn off, will be closed and locked in December.

Article: Naked ambition of hikers on the Appalachian

By Abigail Tucker
Sun Reporter
Originally published June 22, 2007

Along the Appalachian Trail // Dave Odorisio unzipped his tent flap yesterday, peered out and stretched; a halo of gnats quickly formed around his tousled head. It was just another morning on Maryland's leg of the Appalachian Trail. But this particular morning, the 25-year-old hiker had an important decision to make: Namely, would he get dressed today?

Hike Naked Day marks the summer solstice on the 2,000-plus mile trail and gives the boldest adventurers a chance to walk -- not to mention scale boulders and gain summits -- on the wild side. The bad news for us is that the solstice falls at the time when backpackers are passing en masse through the Maryland area. These thru-hikers, trudging from the trail head in Georgia to its finish in Maine (a journey that typically starts in early spring and ends in late summer), are the most likely to shed their smelly regalia for the solstice ritual, making the 41 miles of in-state trail potentially perilous for Girl Scout troops or day hikers whose tour buses have paused there briefly on the way to historic battlefields.

The good news is that, although the nude hikers' flesh may be as brilliantly white as the blazes that mark the trail, they make themselves quite scarce.

It didn't take long for Odorisio to decide no, he definitely would not let the sun shine below the timberline, as it were. The morning was chilly, and the bugs were out for blood.

Besides, in the next tent over, 24-year-old Ian Russ of Chicago was yelling: "You better not hike naked! I've got my 11-year-old brother with me!"

Even setting aside the obvious examples, there are many strange activities that can be undertaken sans clothes. Naked bull roasts and naked chili cook-offs. Naked scuba-diving and naked sky-diving. Nude Texas hold 'em tournaments, beach cleanups, 5K runs, blues concerts and "shine 'n' buff" car shows. But naked mountain climbing ranks among the more hazardous options.

Think of poor Pus Gut, who hiked naked a few years back. All thru-hikers who attempt to complete the trail are given nicknames, but Pus Gut truly earned his, said Todd Berezuk, who works at the Outfitter at Harpers Ferry, a hiking equipment store near the Maryland segment. Suffering a fit of modesty in the midst of his solstice celebration, the young hiker attempted to fashion himself an undergarment out of leaves he found growing along the trail.

Poison ivy? He wasn't quite that dumb. It was poison sumac.

"His stomach was blistered, inflamed, broken out completely," said Berezuk, also a nursing student, who examined him when he came into the store. "So everyone called him Pus Gut."

Rather than devising natural-fiber loincloths, many trekkers prefer to "just keep a bandana handy" on the heavily traveled trail, said Al Preston, an assistant manager of Western Maryland's South Mountain State Park, which the trail runs through.

"I really don't know why they do it to begin with," Preston added. No one really does. "It's been passed down. When I got here in '92, I was warned that on the first day of summer people hike naked. And they do." Technically, it's against park rules, Preston says, but on the solstice officials "tend to grin" -- and bear it.

Of course, it depends on which park you're in. Stark-naked hikers who don't make it as far north as Maryland on the longest day of the year may encounter patrolmen to the south who are less tolerant of the holiday. Bare hindquarters are given no quarter at Virginia's George Washington and Jefferson National Forest, according to Woody Lipps, a patrol captain there who is not afraid to fine the naked. Penalties range from $75 to $5,000 or six months in jail, he said.

"Once someone called and asked if we would look the other way if they hiked naked to the Cascades on Hike Naked Day," Lipps said. "If you are in a public area nude, you are going to get a ticket."

However, Lipps admitted that tracking down nudes on the move is neither an enviable nor an easy task.

"It's like a needle in a haystack," he said. "How are you going to find one naked person in 1.8 million acres? You could hide a hundred naked people out there."

No one knows exactly how many hikers participate in the informal holiday, said Laurie Potteiger, information services manager for the Appalachian Trail Conservancy. Actually, "we really try to pretend that it doesn't exist," she said. The activity violates the sanctity of the trail and often disturbs other nature-lovers. Besides, because of all that extra exposed skin, the naked "are much more at risk for Lyme's disease," she said.

Not to mention for sunburn, snapping turtle bites and pack-strap chafing that even Body Glide, a special lubricant favored by thru-hikers, can't prevent. And "southbounders" doing the trail in reverse better not even think about it, hikers say, because it's still blackfly season up north.

And yet, despite these dangers, the day of nakedness seems an integral part of the trail's kooky culture, which revolves around reducing one's possessions to the bare necessities until a whole life can be crammed in a backpack. To many of the travelers bound for the trail's end at Mount Katahdin, the naked hiker seems to truly embody the principal of stripping down, and everyone seems to hope he exists, even if they've never met him.

Six hours after dawn on Hike Naked Day, no one had passed by Maryland's Dahlgren Backpackers' Campground less than half-dressed -- not even 23-year-old Scott Ames of Massachusetts, though his trail name, Quarter Moon, sounded promising.

"Too many roads in Maryland" was Quarter Moon's excuse.

One librarian from Queens, N.Y., saw the adventure's appeal. Michelle Ray, 30, had posed as a life model for art students during her college days, and she was still contemplating hiking naked herself. "God forbid I run into a pack of Boy Scouts and scar them for life," she said. "A naked librarian? They don't need to see that."

Leaving other hikers with such a startling memory might violate the thru-hiker's vow to "leave no trace" behind in the wilderness.

And yet, Ray said, it could honestly be worth it.

Friday, June 22, 2007

Article: Naked Activists Fight for Right to Bare All

When Daniel Johnson of the Body Freedom Collaborative (BFC)—a group that promotes nonsexual nude socializing—asked the Seattle Department of Parks and Recreation if they could rent Colman Pool, an outdoor pool in West Seattle, they were turned down flat. Parks department spokeswoman Dewey Potter says that while "it's not inherently against the law to be without clothes," the nude swimmers would be visible to park users, which could violate the state's indecent-exposure laws.

Johnson says the parks department's stance is unfair, given Seattle's openness toward the popular, headline-grabbing naked cyclists at the annual Fremont Solstice Parade. Johnson says that "the solstice cyclists... always get media attention, and it's kind of been a broken record for years." Now, Johnson says his group is leading the charge to get the city to designate park space for clothing-optional use.

Every year, BFC holds a clothing-optional picnic in an out-of-the-way area of coastline in order to avoid surprising other parkgoers who are not going au naturel. Occasionally, kayakers and dog walkers will pass the group, but Johnson says they've never had any problems.

Mark Storey, a self-described "card-carrying naturist," helps plan events for BFC and is a Naturist Action Committee board member. He describes his work with the groups as "massaging the social awareness."

"We're the only state on the Pacific coast without a nude beach," Storey notes. Indeed, Oregon and California both have several clothing-optional beaches, and while Washington has several nude resorts, all are private.

Storey says he just wants a place where he can be active and still be free with his body. "I've hiked naked for years. You just recognize what a nettle is and don't walk into them. Give it a try, and if you're not willing to give it a try, let us enjoy ourselves."

Potter says that while the parks department "require[s] an event permit for any group that wants to take up space in the park," clothing-optional events are not necessarily out of the question. "If it's not visible by the general public, they'll get a permit," she said.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Fremont Solstice Parade, Saturday, June 16, 2006: Giant Slug Reported Marauding City

Heard at the Fraternity Snoqualmie Booth after the parade:

Mother and daughter walk by. Mother abruptly covers her daughter's eyes: 'Don't look!'
Daughter, her face muffled into her mother's armpit: 'Why? He's just naked.'
Mother: Absolutely silent to her daughter's valid question Two booths later, daughter looks back anyway.

Father and young son pause at the booth. Dad is interested in the upcoming Bare Buns Fun Run and reads brochure. Son, standing by says loudly 'Dad, you're not going to do that, are you?' Dad says, 'Looks like fun' and winks at his son. Mother chuckles from a distance.

Parade Report

I'd like to add my thanks to those who showed up and made the SLUGS float 'happen' at this years parade. Particularly Karen whom, bless her, mothered us fumble-fingered, two left-handed SLUG assemblers and got us on our way, barely-functional but moving by the actual start of the parade.

At one point during assembly, we were actually considering forgoing one of the arch-supports due to lack of enough volunteers to power the Slug. Somehow we made the absolute, minimum critical mass with one brave lady stepping in for the beginning and replaced by another volunteer later. The Slug was ambulatory and moving.

Yours truly was stuck in the tail section again . . . still duct-taping supports and tying off braces as the Slug moved onto the parade route. I continued to have to make frame repairs throughout the route. It's a good thing that I had a large roll of duct tape handy. Unfortunately . . . I never got a chance to strip and be an au'natural pair of feet in the back end. I participated fully clothed [gasp!!!!!]

We were announced at each grandstand station as 'the Sun Lovers Under Grey Skies, the SLUGS, a naturist group whom we are assured . . . is at least wearing sandals beneath the Slug.' We got cheered all along the parade route, necklace beads tossed underneath the Slug as it passed by. Cameras attached to anonymous arms seemed to magically appear underneath the flapping fabric. One young lady slipped under the Slug's innards, weaved back part of the length and out the other side, cheering 'yaaaa . . . they're naked!'

So again, the float was a success . . . loved by everyone. We were remembered from last year . . . helped at points by those who recognized the SLUGS name, and generally just adored and cheered by the parade watchers. Thank you again to those for participating with the SLUG.

More Fremont 2007 Solstice Parade images from Natasha

Off Topic: Lawyers in a how-to video: as in how to avoid hiring an American

Watch this video and keep it in mind the next time you hear a high-tech industry titan such as Bill Gates complain that he simply cannot find qualified American employees and therefore the country needs more H-1B visas: You'll see a panel discussion that looks like a sit-down with "the families" on The Sopranos, only instead of talking about organized crime these lawyers are discussing the ins and outs of helping employers side-step immigration law. The discussion particularly galls me as I've experienced this type of side-stepping in my career.

The objective, says Lawrence Lebowitz, vice president of marketing at Cohen & Grigsby, couldn't be more straightforward.

"Our goal is clearly not to find a qualified U.S. worker ... our objective is to get this person a green card," Lebowitz tells his audience.

And how does an employer go about doing that in light of the legal obligation to first search for a qualified American? It's all about where you search, he says.

"Clearly we are not going to find a place where the applicants are most numerous, we're going to find a place where - again we're complying with the law - and hoping and likely not to find qualified worker applicants," Lebowitz says.

And if despite looking in all the wrong places a gem of an American candidate pops up anyway?

"If someone looks like they are very qualified, if necessary schedule an interview; go through the whole process to find a legal basis to disqualify them," he says.

That's just a taste; there are lots more.

Lebowitz prefaced that first remark - the one about the objective being "not to find a qualified U.S. worker" - by saying, "this may sound funny."

Don't know about anyone else, but I didn't even crack a smile. It doesn't sound funny. It sounds like it ought to be illegal. At the very least, it sounds like Congress should be tightening the screws on current law before increasing the number of H-1Bs.

Update: Lou Dobbs on CNN picks up on this story:

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Article: Restoration of Bates Beach Sought

Bates Beach, also known at Rincon Beach, is located in Santa Barbara County north of Los Angeles. At the behest of the homeowners of beach-front property overlooking this beautiful area, deputies have been enforcing the county's No Nudity laws on the beach.

Photos by Joseph A. Garcia / Star staff A sign is posted on the cliff-side path leading to the long, narrow Bates Beach. Members of the Southern California Naturist Association are campaigning for a designated place where they can be free of laws and clothing.

. . . about seven years ago, when local residents started complaining about the hundreds of nudists who flocked to the beach, along with the perverts, gawkers and other nefarious characters who came to watch, Carpinteria police starting cracking down on those who stripped down. Soon, the nude beach that for years had slipped under the radar of officials was gone.

Now, a "Nudity prohibited" sign juts from the cliff-side path leading to the long, narrow beach, an ominous warning for those who dare to try to embrace the beach's past.

Robinson and her fellow nudists want to change all that.

On a recent Saturday, Robinson and about half a dozen other members of the Southern California Naturist Association sunbathed clothed while flying a banner for their group to raise awareness for their cause.

They want a little stretch of beach to call their own, a designated place where they can be free of laws and clothing and be naked as the day they were born.

The article is worth reading, especially the give and take of the comments pro and con by readers.

A more recent article and an online poll was published in The Santa Barbara Independent on Jun 25th

Saturday, June 9, 2007

Rooster Rock Water Levels

USGS Water Levels below the Bonneville Dam

The water gets lower that by the beginning of August there should be an appreciable beach at the end of Buffalo Trail and you should be able to wade out to Sand Island if you are careful . . . the the water will still be bellybutton to chest high and deeper many places. At the moment the gage water levels are measuring between 18 and 19ft (measured below Bonneville).

Water levels will steadily drop as we go into August with the mean around 15 ft and dropping to around 10 ft by the beginning of September. The water levels stay steady throughout the months of September and October before beginning the rise slowly again during November.

In general (a couple of people are working on a model for the group); when the water level (as measured at the Bonneville gage site) is:

>15 ft (until the beginning of August) - most of the clothing optional area and the un-vegetated areas of Sand Island are covered by water,

12-15 ft (into the middle of August)and it is possible to wade/swim out to Sand Island though little beach will be evident,

10-12 ft (last week of August) and much of the beach is becoming exposed and the trails/vegetation are drying-up. As the water level approaches 10 ft you will be able to walk to Sand Island in no more than ankle-deep water.

Tuesday, June 5, 2007

Legal: Los Angeles County Sheriff Says Nude Forest Hiking is Legal

Preface: The posting below is well worth the read to understand the political and legal climate in regards to simple nudism in many places along the west coast.

A similar situation is brewing in King and Snohomish Counties in the State of Washington in regards to enforcement of state laws on federal lands . . . and a request for clarification of the meaning of indecent exposure in those contexts. I'm involved in those contacts and will post an article within a week or so. Rick

I have redacted the names of 'incidental' people listed in the original to respect their privacy.

Posted to

Dear Friends of Being Natural,

For twelve years I have been hiking the same trail here in Los Angeles County above my rented home in Altadena. I never tire of it. It is always changing with the days and seasons and years. I have seen mountain lions, a bear, bobcats, rattle snakes, rabbits, coyotes, bucks, does, and fawns, and a rich variety of birds. I have watched the plant life live out its seasonal cycles.

For twelve years I hiked this trail without incident though I hiked it as often as possible with as little clothing as possible. In the early years I made great effort to avoid running into other people. I would wait until I was high in the mountains before hiking naturally. Other times I would hike before sun up or after sun down. Occasionally, I would still run into someone, but usually could quickly hold my jogging shorts in front of me and give the appearance of wearing them. The light was dim and the occasional fellow hiker seemingly oblivious to what I was doing.

Over the years, I befriended the many foresters who worked up at a ranger station in the hills. They came to know that I hiked the trail nude. Occasionally, they might suggest that I be careful, but never expressed any real concern. One said with a laugh, "My mother always told me if you're not half-crazy you're not living." Another told me lightheartedly that the one female ranger was looking forward to running into me. I got to know all their names and would often walk with them on the trail when they were hiking up or down from the station. I would wear clothes in their presence.

During the last two years, the trail has become less used. A landslide at its entrance discouraged most hikers from using it. More ardent hikers began using an alternate entrance, more difficult to get to and steeper.

Monday, October 23, 2006, I went hiking at 4:30 in the afternoon. About twenty minutes into my hike, I came across a man coming down the trail. I held my jogging shorts in front of me, expecting him to pass me by. He asked me why I was hiking nude. He said he would call the sheriff if he ever sees me there again without clothes. I asked him his name. He said that he is a forest technician. I asked him if he had authority over the Deputy F █████ with whom I had a friendship. He said the Deputy F█████ was his boss. I said, "Well then I suppose you should do whatever he tells you to do." I was confident that the Deputy F█████ did not have problems with my hiking naturally. I did not tell him that the other forestry employees were friendly with me.

He repeated that if he ever saw me again without clothes he would call the sheriff. I explained that I had discussed this with a sheriff already and he assured me that what I was doing did not deserve a citation and that he would not cite me. He had obviously discussed me with other forestry personnel. He claimed that they said they had "warned me" already. It became apparent that my friends working at the forestry station might not be so confident of their tolerance of my nudity when one among them was willing to make an issue of it and be quite vocal about it. He asked me if I was a teacher to which I responded yes. "Well then, you should know better." I bit my lip as this mid-twenty year old told this mid-forty year old that I should know better. "What if you run into children?" he asked. I could appreciate his anxiety and respect his feelings. I explained that I had never run into children without my clothes in twelve years of hiking. I assured him that I would always cover up in his presence. He repeated that he would call the sheriff should I ever be seen without clothes on this trail again. I responded respectfully, "I suppose you just have to do what you have to do," and I continued up the mountain without putting my shorts on.

When I got home, I called some politically active members of the American Association for Nude Recreation (AANR), Alonzo and Debra █████. They told me they would contact an attorney friend of theirs and ask him to call me. Within an hour, Attorney Allen Baylis called me. Though I was trying to be brave, I felt frightened that my hiking freedom might be threatened. I not only enjoy hiking without clothes. I feel a need to hike without clothes. My daily hike during the last two hours before sundown is a time of refreshment, inspiration, prayer, quietude, and renewal of my place in this universe. This young, bold forest technician was not only threatening my right to hike naturally, but my very source of daily centering.

My conversation with Attorney Allen Baylis was tremendously encouraging. He assured me that everything was going to be okay, that I was operating within the law, and he would email me detailed information I could share with the Deputy F█████. I received the information within a short time, studied every detail of it excitedly, and printed it out to present to the Deputy F█████ on Wednesday morning. Following what turned out to be a disappointing meeting with the Deputy F█████, I wrote the following letter to Allen.

Wednesday, October 25, 2006, 1:35 PM
I just got home from meeting with the Deputy F█████, Jose M█████, stationed at Henniger Flats here in Altadena. We talked for about an hour, but he was not interested in looking at any of the information I brought. He said that in anticipation of my meeting with him today, he had called Altadena Sheriff's Department to ask for advice from them. They stated that simply being nude up there was cause enough for arrest and if he or any of the other forest technician's called them, they would immediately dispatch sheriffs to arrest me. The sheriff assured him that if necessary even a helicopter would be employed to pick me up mid-trail.

When I tried to explain the meaning of anti-nudity laws, ordinances, etc., he said simply that interpreting or enforcing the law was out of his jurisdiction and that his role if someone complained would be simply to call the sheriff. He made it clear that he was telling all of his forestry technicians the same thing. In other words, if this new technician, Juan C█████, is bothered (as he has so clearly stated to me) he will definitely call the sheriffs' department and they have assured the boss that they definitely will arrest me.

The Altadena Sheriff also said that Deputy F█████, Jose M█████ (the boss with whom I met) should encourage me to go down to the Altadena Sheriff's office and talk with them. Jose said that as a friend he would encourage me not to do that. I can only imagine what might happen if I did. Some "kind" officer would invite me into a "private" room, offer me something to drink, and have a nice little man to man talk, all of which would be videotaped and audiotaped. He would then arrest me on the spot, thinking himself to be quite brilliant and thinking he "had one in the bag" with full confession and everything.

Please advise me as to what to do. As I said, I am not going to stop hiking nude on this trail. However, I need to be prepared with what to say should sheriffs arrive to arrest me. My guess is that I should only give them my name, address, telephone number, any identification information they might ask, but not answer any questions regarding whether I was hiking nude or not or "what exactly happened." They may come across as if they want to clear my name or solve everything simply by getting me to tell my side of the story, or who knows what, but the fact is, I don't trust the majority of officers. May I call you again or will you call me?

Thanks, Allen.

Brian K█████

Allen again assured me that everything would be fine, that we would do some research and he would write a letter to the captain of the Altadena sheriff's department and explain the laws particular to this area. During the next few days, Allen and I worked together to gather the information needed for Allen to compose the following letter:

October 31, 2006
Los Angeles County Sheriff's Dept.
Altadena Station
780 Altadena Dr.
Altadena, CA 91001
Attn: Capt. Joe Gutierrez

Dear Captain Gutierrez,

A client who wishes to remain unknown to you at this time has retained my services to assist him or her in protecting the rights of individuals engaged in lawful conduct. This client fears unlawful arrest due to an apparent misinterpretation of the law on the part of Sheriffs at the Altadena Sheriff's station.

My client enjoys hiking on trails in the San Gabriel Mountains. Some of the trails used are in unincorporated Los Angeles County, while other areas are within the Angeles National Forest. The issue is that this client, and other hikers as well, enjoy hiking these trails dressed only in the clothes that God gave them, that is to say, in the nude. For several years, my client did so with no problems. The NFS Rangers, forestry technicians and fire authorities have encountered these nude hikers, and realizing that there is no general federal statute or regulation prohibiting nudity on federal lands, have done nothing to discourage the natural hikers.

However, a recently hired forestry technician, assuming that simple nudity is illegal, approached my client and threatened to call the County Sheriffs and have him arrested if he saw my client nude in the area again. My client has attempted to clarify with the Rangers the state of the law in California. However, Deputy F█████ Jose M█████ elected to call the Altadena Sheriff's station to inquire as to the legality of nude hiking. Unfortunately, it appears that a member of the staff at the station misinformed Deputy M█████.

Deputy M█████ informed my client that the Sheriff's Department told him that simply being nude on the trails would be cause for arrest and that the Sheriff's Department would send a helicopter in to assist in the apprehension of any nude persons if necessary.

Since the Sheriff's Department did not specify which crime the nude person would be charged with, I will assume that any such arrest would be made for alleged violation of California Penal Code section 314.1, indecent exposure, which reads in pertinent part:

314. Every person who willfully and lewdly, either: 1. Exposes his person, or the private parts thereof, in any public place, or in any place where there are present other persons to be offended or annoyed thereby.

It is settled law in the State of California, that simple nudity does not constitute indecent exposure in violation of P.C. 314.1. The California Supreme Court ruled in In re Smith that; "Absent additional conduct intentionally directing attention to his genitals for sexual purposes, a person, does not "lewdly" expose his private parts within the meaning of section 314." (In re Smith (1972), 7 Cal3d. 362, 366) Additionally, The California Appellate Courts have interpreted the terms "offended or annoyed" in cases such as, In re Dallas W. (2001) 86 Cal.App.4th 937, and People v. Archer (2002) 98 Cal.App4th 402. These and other cases make it clear that the intended offence or annoyance must be sexual in nature. Therefore, the California Jury Instruction for indecent exposure includes the following:

1160. Indecent Exposure
The defendant is charged [in Count�] with indecent exposure. To prove that the defendant is guilty of this crime, the People must prove that:

1. The defendant willfully exposed (his/her) genitals in the presence of another person or persons who might be offended or annoyed by the defendant's actions;


2. When the defendant exposed (himself/herself) , (he/she) acted lewdly by Intending to direct public attention to (his/ her) genitals for the purpose of sexually arousing or gratifying (himself/herself) or another person, or sexually offending another person.

As to Los Angeles County ordinances, section 17.04.480 prohibits nudity in any County Park, as defined in 17.04.130. This offense is merely an infraction per section 17.04.300. Therefore, my client, wishing to obey the law, intends to avoid being nude in any County Park.

Outside of any Los Angeles County Park, in unincorporated sections of the Los Angeles County and on federal land such as the Angeles National Forest, there is no law prohibiting simple nudity. I will suggest that spending valuable law enforcement resources to apprehend unclothed hikers in such areas would not be a prudent use of county assets.

I hope that this letter clarifies the situation and works to avoid any misunderstanding or un-due conflict. I would appreciate a response to this letter at your earliest convenience.


R. Allen Baylis
Attorney at Law

CC: Jose M█████

After several days, I spoke with the Deputy F█████ about the contents of this letter. He assured me that none of the forestry personnel would be calling the sheriff. He asked me to be respectful. I was glad to assure him that just as I had always been respectful in the past, I would continue to be. Allen and I waited and waited hoping for a response from the sheriff's department of my city. Just when Allen was considering sending a second copy, he received a response from the Los Angeles County Sheriff, Leroy D. Baca, and the captain of the sheriffs department of my area. Leroy D. Baca is the head of the largest sheriff's department in the world. Below is his letter:

County of Los Angeles
Sheriff's Department Headquarters
4700 Ramona Boulevard
Monterey Park, California 91754-2169

Leroy D. Baca, Sheriff

November 8, 2006

Mr. Allen Baylis
Attorney at Law
Los Alamitos, California 91001

Dear Mr. Baylis:

I have received your letter that states your concerns that some of our deputies may be misinterpreting the law as it pertains to section 314.1 of the California Penal Code. I asked my staff to research the applicable laws and ordinances to determine if simple nudity in the unincorporated county area of the Angeles National Forest was prohibited. Their research revealed that simply being nude in the Angeles National Forest is not prohibited by law. Therefore your client appears to be within his legal rights to hike in the forest in the nude.

Altadena Station Deputies will be briefed that simply hiking in the forest, in the nude, is not a violation of the law. They will also be briefed about section 314.1 of the California Penal Code to ensure that law is being properly enforced.

If you have questions regarding this matter, please contact me at (626) 798-1131.



Joe L. Gutierrez, Captain
Altadena Station

So that's where we're at today. I am grateful to AANR members, Alonzo and Debra █████, for putting me in touch with Attorney Allen Baylis. Allen is a Board Member of the Naturist Action Committee, the political arm of The Naturist Society. I am grateful for his friendship and professional services. I am grateful to Leroy D. Baca for his professional and supportive letter. I am grateful to God for putting within me a desire for living life authentically and naturally, the courage to do it, and surrounding me with like-minded and supportive people.


Brian K█████
Altadena, CA


Article: Nudity can be erotic and naturists should not have to deny it

The relationship between social nudity and sexual feelings is complex, says Glenn Smith

Wednesday June 6, 2007
The Guardian

Patrick Barkham seemed unaware that the main reason younger people are not becoming naturists is the inability of modern naturism to engage with the issue of sexuality (A Stitch in Time, May 31). While it is true that "naturism became popular in a healthy outdoor lifestyle", this lifestyle also included a recognition that, socially, nudity could sometimes be erotic. It was only when naturism arrived in a more sexually conservative Britain that sexual feelings were censored out to make naturism culturally acceptable. Locating naturist clubs in isolated locations, closing their doors to younger single males, condoning activities that limited views of genitals, and creating strict rules and regulations - all these indicated that sexual feelings had become feared and denied.

Ignoring this historical and cultural context can lead to a simplified view that fails to challenge the well-rehearsed comments which naturists often use in their defence, such as those quoted in Barkham's article: "naturism is not the least bit sexy"; "it's not an orgy"; "there is no sexual tension at all".

A highly selective body of research on nudity and sexual crimes, and increased public concern about paedophilia, led to changes to the Sexual Offences Act in 2003 regarding public nudity. In this emotive political context it is not difficult to see why the issue of sexuality and naturism remains such a taboo subject and one that naturists are wary of engaging with.

My own journey into enjoying social nudity and dealing with my sexual feelings got me interested in exploring how other naturists coped. During my research it became clear that the relationship between social nudity and sexual feelings was, for them, more complicated and subtle than either government legislation or modern naturism captures. Neither extreme view - being nude is asexual, or is a "ruse for randy men" - offers a helpful way forward.

We need to manage naturist environments differently, so that the experience of naturism as sometimes erotic is not stigmatised or criminalised, while those who are experiencing social nudity as asexual do not feel exploited, harassed or abused. How we address this dilemma should be the main focus of any discussion.

Barkham is right when he says that "we may be surrounded by nakedness on television and the internet", and "our society may be less prudish than ever"; but it's worth considering that nudity in modern society is mostly confined to the virtual realities of commercial pornography, which suggests nakedness is always sexual and tends to be experienced in social isolation, or commercial sexual environments such as lap dancing clubs, which play on sexual exploitation and sexism.

The idea that naturist environments potentially offer a unique space to explore the breadth of sexual feelings, and to experience these in a more balanced and real way, could make them very attractive to a younger generation. And breathe new life into naturism.

· Dr Glenn Smith is a research fellow at Imperial College London and the lead author of Social Nudity and Sexual Wellbeing: Broadening Our Approach to Sexual Health

Friday, June 1, 2007

USAToday: 10 Great Places to Leave the Swimsuit at Home

In the Friday, June 1st, 2007 edition of USAToday

Vacationers rated access to nude recreation higher than golf or tennis in choosing a destination, according to a recent poll by YPB&R/Yankelovich Partners

Three of the best clothing optional beaches, according the USAToday's listing, are found in the great Pacific Northwest . . . Wreck Beach in Vancouver, BC, Rooster Rock State Park and Collins Beach, both in the Portland, Oregon area. The List:
  1. Little Beach, Maui, Hawaii
  2. Wreck Beach, Vancouver, British Columbia
  3. Cap d'Agde, France
  4. Hawksbill Bay, Antigua
  5. Haulover Beach, Miami Beach, Florida
  6. Gunnison Beach, Sandy Hook, New Jersey
  7. Collins Beach/Rooster Rock, Portland, Oregon
  8. Orient Bay, St. Martin
  9. Samurai Beach, Port Stephens, Australia
  10. Blacks Beach, San Diego, California

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