Wednesday, August 6, 2008

GAT Rooster Rock/Sauvie Island Beach Cleanups - Aug 2-3, 2008

When I gave up the restaurant business ten years ago I swore I'd never put on an apron and step behind the searingly-hot broilers and ovens of a commercial kitchen again. The one exception has been the yearly American Association for Nude Recreation-Northwest Government Affairs Team (AANR-NW GAT) adoption and cleanup of Oregon's two legally-sanctioned clothing-optional beach . . . Rooster Rock and Collins Beach, both near Portland, Oregon. Each year, over an early-August weekend, volunteers take to both beaches and perform massive clean-up and restoration work under the grateful direction of Park Rangers at Rooster Rock, and Oregon Department of Fisheries and Wildlife (ODFW) on Sauvies Island and Collins Beach. AANR-NW has formally adopted both these beaches and committed iself to organizing cleanup events each year. For the past three or four years I have participated and had the honor of once again stepping behind a grill to serve up hot dogs to the volunteers and beachgoers who visit our spot and inquire about AANR and possibly the ways they could help. True to my word, I still do not put on an apron. For one weekend of the year the Floppy Blue Hat gets exchanged for a Floppy White Chef's Hat.

The weekend starts with restoration work at Rooster Rock State Park where typically the rangers ask for help in returning large amounts of sand back onto the trails to abate the winter high water flooding. Then it's on to Mountaindale Sun Resort for a hosted dinner for the volunteers and opportunities to stay overnight and enjoy the tranquil and friendly clothing-optional facilities of this great club. The next day, Sunday, is spent with some tender-loving-care for Collins Beach on Sauvies Island and wherever the ODFW Rangers note there is a litter problem on the northend on the island (heck, we'll even clean up a textile beach!)

This year I was unable to make the Saturday Roster Rock portion of the weekend due to personal medical issues. However, there was no way I was going to leave them high and dry without the culinary skills of a hot dog chef.

Panoramic of the clothing-optional section of Rooster Rock State Park. The image is of the northern shore of Sand Island during a particularly low tide. Since the blogging software will not allow java or javascript to run within the posts, I have loaded a full-size panoramic viewer with the above image of the beach here. It will launch in a new page (or tab) and since the image is 746KBs in size, please give it a chance to load and start scrolling. You may use the navigation button at the bottom of the screen to enlarge, reduce or manually scroll the panorama yourself.

If you are interested in the full-image, you can download it here.

Mountaindale Sun Resort's Clubhouse and Office

Each year Mountaindale Sun Resort contributes and opens their doors to all those who volunteer to help with the clean up efforts. They host a sumptuous buffet dinner Saturday night where we can relax and get to know each other and network. For those coming in from out of town there is lodging available and some good tent sites. The main clubhouse offers refreshments, TV and vidoes room and games . . . all of them clothing-optional. Heck, I've been known to drive all the way from the Rooster Rock clean up without a stitch of clothing, and stay that way the entire weekend (with minor coverups to get from parking lot to beach the following morning).

The swimming pool at Mountaindale Resort

Entrance #5 to the clothing-optional Collins Beach on Sauvies Island

The parking lot at Collins Beach is NOT clothing-optional so the long teeshirt goes on just long enough for me to move my supplies the short distance from the car to the beach on Sunday. This year we set up just inside Entrance #5. Note the great new signage for Collins in the above image. AANR is the proud new adoptee of the beach and formally recognized.

Collins Beach looking north along the Columbia River

We got started early with the cleanup while the clouds did a slow evaporation to heat up the day. By early afternoon . . . cleanup basically done except a beach patrol for cigarette butts, bottle caps and other assorted small pieces of trash . . . the beach was beginning to fill up with sun-worshipers mostly sans clothing. The hot dogs were grilling and buns toasting (pun inadvertently included as it was hot and bright out). People started stopping by . . . drawn no doubt by my exquisite skill at burning hot dogs . . . but also by the ANNR flag fluttering high over the sandy beach. We made lots of new friends, answered a lot of questions and in general, introduced many beach-goers to the newly forming group of AANR-encouraged volunteers that were going to take over cleanup events next year.

We got hot dogs . . . or hot dogs;
but most importantly, we got freshly-chopped onions,
and sauerkraut and relish and and mayo and ketchup and mustard
and we toasted the buns! What more could you ask?

Close to 200 hot dogs, a few large bags of chips, watermelons and other goodies served and AANR has shown i's commitment to keep these two beautiful beach free, nude and unencumbered for the public use. I drove back home to Seattle tired, sun-baked, and happy to have renewed so many good friendships again.

Did someone wish to criticize my cooking skills . . .
or were you inquiring about the watermelon?

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