Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Alpen Falls (a belated posting from May of this year)

Standing on the precipice of the roaring Alpen Falls
I hear bemoanings of "There ain't nowhere to hike nude" all the time yet if you just look around, there are all sorts of opportunities to shuck the clothes and enjoy nature somewhat on it's own terms. My visit to Alpen Falls (officially known as Alpine Falls on the map, but historically known as Alpen Falls . . . a long story of ethnic controversy from the 40s) began as a visit to Scenic Hot Springs on a needed check up of conditions, and turned into a day-long foray into seeking out where this or that pullout or dirt track went . . . the upshot, Alpen Falls on the Tye River, which you can hear from the highway . . . shows on the maps . . . but I never really knew how to get to them (or, actually, never invested the time . . . always bigger or better-known fish to catch). But Alpen Falls is an absolute gem in the Cascades . . . easily accessible yet almost completely unknown and unvisited. A nude hiker's chance to really enjoy the majesty of nature.

I could have spent all day exploring around the falls but the legs wanted stretching that only a distance-hike could provide . . . and that added the third segment of my day . . . the old logging road up the side of Captain's Point. Unfortunately, our fickle weather did not cooperate and when I see storm clouds piling up against the crest of the Cascades I know it is probably not a good idea to continue in the open.

Despite spending the majority of the day nude, since I still had daylight I did some more of that exploring at the lower elevations with a trek along the Tye River to L-Chute Falls. Not as robust as Alpen, there is something vital about feeling the unimaginable roar of water . . . about accepting the fine mist of spray on your body when you stand just a little too close. What can I say . . . how can you possibly enjoy and participate with what nature is displaying if your body is shielded with water-repellent clothes? It just feels oh-so-glorious to stand there and soak (literally) it all in.

Alpen Falls

I put together a photo album of this day of enjoyment (including a couple of videos of the falls in action). Hope you enjoy them. You can access the album here:

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