Thursday, April 26, 2012

Ever Feel Like This?

A beautiful, primal piece.  Many a time I've sought that patch of sunlight and just stood in it, drinking in the primal unity of nature.  If you've never, ever tried nudism think to yourself . . . have you ever felt like this?  Thanks to Ken of Skinnytrippers for the tip.  Turn on the speakers and give the video a chance to load.

Fun with GIMP . . . photos to sketches

Got way too much time on my hands, lol

There is a feature in some high-end editing programs (including the free G.I.M.P photo-editing program) that allow you to take an image and produce a respectful pencil-like sketch of that image.  Here are a few I made when I should have been outside weeding the garden . . .

First attempt . . . trees give too much clutter

Second attempt, the blank sky helps reduce clutter

Sky and terrain came out nicely in this third attempt

Like any visual element, there should be a message and context there.  To me, looking at these 'sketches' brings back home the experience of being out there in nature . . . and more importantly, being part of the environment I am within.

There is also an oil painting rendition technique for use with G.I.M.P., but that is more involved.  I may try it when I have a lot of free-time on my hands (or autumn comes and weeding is a moot activity).  :-)

Monday, April 23, 2012

NAC Action Alert: Seattle's Magnusen Park & Potential for a Nude Beach Designation

                     NATURIST ACTION COMMITTEE
                           ACTION ALERT

Copyright 2012 by the Naturist Action Committee, which is responsible
for its content. Permission is granted for the posting, forwarding or
redistribution of this message, provided that it is reproduced in its
entirety and without alteration.

DATE   : April 23, 2012
SUBJECT: Seattle Parks
TO     : Naturists and other concerned citizens

Dear Naturist,

This is an Action Alert from the Naturist Action Committee. In specific cooperation with local activists who have made a broad appeal for help, NAC is asking for the immediate local involvement of naturists and other interested individuals and groups in the vicinity of Seattle, Washington. At issue is the possible establishment of a clothing-optional area in Magnuson Park on the shore of Lake Washington.


Seattle's Warren G. Magnuson Park sits along the western shore of Lake Washington on Sand Point, and is part of an immense 350-acre area filled with open fields, shoreline, boating access, and empty warehouses. The U.S. Navy operated a base on the site for years, but when the base was decommissioned in 1990, the property was transferred to the City, which is considering what to do with the hundreds of acres of prime open space.


A small portion of what is now Magnuson Park enjoyed quiet nude use from at least the mid-70s until the mid-80s to the east of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration facility, which is northeast and adjacent to the park. The unofficial nude beach area was reportedly used quietly by Navy and NOAA personnel, as well as by the general public.

A few years ago, the City of Seattle established a fenced off-leash area for dog owners to run their pets where skinny-dippers and sunbathers had previously enjoyed the shoreline. NAC has no reason to believe that the creation of this now popular off-leash area had anything to do with the reported nude use of the site. Currently, the beach immediately to the south of the off-leash area and north of the park's main swimming beach has sporadic and cautious nude use.

Magnuson Park is now being re-purposed for various uses that benefit the public. Naturists are asking/expecting to be included in the planning consideration.

The Naturist Action Committee has taken an active role in the history of nude use at Magnuson. In 2006, NAC sought and received permits to stage two clothing-optional picnics, open to all, on the lakeshore in Magnuson Park. Those nude events went off perfectly.

NAC has further experience with the Parks and Recreation Department of the City of Seattle, having negotiated approval for a series of nude swims at pools operated by the Department. The six NAC Nude Swims were quite successful, and they served as a pilot project for local groups to continue the nude events at public facilities.


If you're in the Seattle area - or anywhere in the Pacific Northwest - NAC requests that you attend a public meeting that's being put on by the Magnuson Park Advisory Council and the Seattle Park and Recreation Commission.

   DATE: Wednesday, April 25, 2012
   TIME: 6:00 PM to 8:00 PM
   The Garden Room at the Brig
   Magnuson Park
   6344 NE 74th Street
   Seattle, Washington 98115

NAC Board Member Mark Storey will be there.


The meeting on Wednesday will NOT be addressing skinny-dipping issues exclusively. It's important that naturists be there, and that they be seen and heard supporting clothing-optional use for a portion of the park. However, it's also crucial for others to know that naturists are an important part of the overall picture at Magnuson.

Naturists have a deserved reputation as responsible stewards of the land they gently use. The Magnuson Park Advisory Council and the Seattle Park and Recreation Commission are looking for volunteers who will help with various restoration projects that will benefit the general public. This sort of thing is a natural for naturists and their groups! NAC encourages a proactive stance in becoming a significant part of the community.

It may become important at some point to address standards of behavior at clothing-optional beaches. Naturists recognize that they are sharing a public resource. There is no proper basis for excluding anyone. Nevertheless, naturists are strong advocates for the accepted standards of clothing-optional beach etiquette. Behavior while on the beach is the criterion. Expectations related to age, color, religion, sexual orientation and so forth are immaterial.


Whether or not you're able to attend the meeting on April 25, NAC suggests that you keep up with this important issue. Additional information and links are available, along with this NAC Action Alert on the web site of the Naturist Action Committee.

Select "Alerts" and find this NAC Action Alert under Current Alerts.


The Naturist Action Committee is the volunteer nonprofit political adjunct to The Naturist Society. NAC exists to advance and protect the rights and interests of naturists throughout North America. Working for the clothing-optional recreational use of public land is expensive. To do its job, NAC relies entirely on the voluntary generosity of supporters like you.

Please take a moment to send a donation to:

   PO Box 132
   Oshkosh, WI 54903

Or call toll free (800) 886-7230 to donate by phone using your MasterCard, Visa or Discover Card. Or use your credit card to make a convenient online donation:

Thank you for choosing to make a difference!


Mark Storey
Board Member
Naturist Action Committee

Naturist Action Committee (NAC) - PO Box 132, Oshkosh, WI 54903
Executive Dir. Bob Morton       -
Board Member Mark Storey        -
Online Rep. Dennis Kirkpatrick  -

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Cleaning the greenhouse today

Necessary chores done so much pleasanter when you're nude and don't have to deal with clothes to launder

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Use High Ground to Your Advantage

One of the greatest boons of hiking nude in the Cascade Mountains (or anywhere, for that matter) is that you develop an increased awareness of your surroundings and what is going on. Naturists and nudists immerse themselves into their surroundings much more so than the typical, destination-oriented hiker. We drink the tactile sensations of sunlight, breeze, etc. impinging on the greater-exposed surface of our skin . . . the largest sense organ by far, we smell much more acutely as we synthesize everything in our environment to add to the experience, we hear not just the surroundings but a cacophony of clues to guide us. And our eyes become exquisitely acute . . . sensitive to the slightest movement.

Not to say that this is anything unique to nudists . . . I've just found that my senses are much more acute and encompassing when I'm open and have imbued essentially part of the environment I'm within. I attribute this continuous epiphany to hiking nude. Our senses of the environment are simply much more receiving and open.

Of course, part of this increased awareness is due to our need to co-inhabit the wilderness with those who may take exception to our hiking nude (the paranoia factor) . . . something that is always in the back of our mind when we strip down nude with the knowledge that we just may encounter other hikers on the trail. Though I espouse a 'grin and bare it' attitude in general . . . if I do have advance knowledge of approaching hikers I will often don shorts out of respect for potential negative attitudes (unless I am really deep in the wilderness where few care one way or another).

Using the high ground to your advantage is one way to keep yourself involved in what is happening around you. Humans have exquisite binocular vision but unfortunately mentally 'see' in the horizontal . . . a result of our evolutionary development from a foraging species. There is one climaxing scene to the original Star Trek movie where the Enterprise and the ship commanded by Khan are waging battle in a sensor-inpenetrable gas nebulae. Khan is winning, the Enterprise already crippled  . . . Khan hot on Kirk's trail. Kirk is unable to shake Khan. But Khan is a twentieth-century man used to waging battle on a planetary surface . . . two dimensional. Kirk, on the other hand, 'flies' star ships in outer space, a three-dimensional environment. In the blind environment of that nebulae he moves the Enterprise vertical and out of the perception of his pursuer. Khan simply cannot envision anything but what is directly in front of him. He blazes blindly ahead only to have the Enterprise suddenly drop back down and behind him for the killing shot.

Little does Khan realize that Kirk is now behind him
and about to finish it off.
(Poster from Star Trek: The Wrath of Khan)
 When we taught air combat tactics during the Vietnam 'conflict' we emphasized thinking in three dimensions (energy maneuvering). Those of you who have been involved in air-combat understand this potential blindness of an adversary fresh out of flight training. Many more examples could be cited from submarine tactics to simply holding Pork Chop Hill as the high ground.  Humans think two dimensional and rarely note what is above or below us. We evolved on the flat plains of the Serengeti. Our threats did not come from above but rather from the two-dimensional grasslands around us.

The Mountain Goat's horizontally-slitted
eye pupil gives greater visual acuity in
vertical field of view.
Our eyes (with round pupils) have evolved binocular and peripheral vision sharpest above all in what is before and around us. We do not forage nor hunt in the vertical, unlike goats with their horizontally-shaped pupils that allow them a greater depth perception to threats or food on the slopes above and below them. I have often stood on a trail high on a slope and watched approaching hikers for a long time, only to have them notice me only when they turn a switchback and then bring their eyes to bear on the trail in front of them for the next leg. Rarely do they scan the trail above . . . they only see what is in front of them, often only where their feet are stepping.

With the high-ground I can see incoming hikers long before they will see me.
(image taken on FS6028 during a conditioning nude hike April 20th, 2012)

The gist of this little piece is that you can (and should) use high ground to your advantage. Think not only in the two-dimensional, but also in the vertical third dimension to be aware of what might be coming your way.  Look up once in awhile.  You may see me up there watching your approach like a predator.  :-)

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Nude Hike thru clearcut to Deer Creek Flats

GPS track of Reiter Ridge-Deer Creek Flats hike

 No snow hikes (nude or otherwise) for me this year as my metabolism has not been able to take the cold.  So it was a treat for me to finally get out on a sunny day and enjoy some six or seven hours of sunshine and warmth with a nude hike from Reiter Ridge near Goldbar to Deer Creek Flats above the town of Index.

Road closure of the Old Reiter Index Road

 Reiter Road is (or was) the backdoor way into the town of Index if you wanted to enjoy scenery, a twisting, scenic backcountry road, and access to activities missed by taking the US 2 highway route.  Reiter Road winds up the north side of the combined Skykomish River onto a ridge before dropping back down into the town of Index.  Most of the land adjacent is DNR land (Department of Natural Resources).  These areas have been extremely popular in past years for off-road vehicle riding areas.  There are dirt roads, tracks, and sometimes less than tracks torn up in the area.  There are also a number of mining claims within the DNR lands.  The popularity of the area, the number of dirt bikes  . . .  and proximity to populated areas has taken a toll and the Reiter Ridge ORV Recreation area has been closed to all use but walkin traffic for the past two years.  Last year, portions of the Reiter Road suffered major damage and that road (and access) has also been closed.  The entire Reiter Ridge area is under restoration.  Little use is seen nowadays (except for fishermen heading up to Lake Isabel) . . . . and that makes this area a prime venue for some unhampered nude hiking.

In the clearcuts of Reiter Ridge
Restoration involves mainly stream restoration and reversion of much of the damage done by ORVs tearing numerous tracks through the undergrowth of the forest canopy.  A major BPA corridor cuts a wide swath of clearcut across the ridge but hiking the length of that corridor is piecemeal because of the numerous closures where streams are under restoration.  To get to the next major section of clearcut one has to travel down Reiter Road to the next access point.  But now, Reiter Road is closed.  I could do it on foot but hiking nude on a paved county road (even if it is closed) . . . in Snohomish County . . . is tempting fate just a little bit too much (not that I haven't done so for short distances).  Still, there are enough gun-toting yehoos out and about violating road closures that I don't think it is a good idea (the county has also seen it prudent to post dozens of No Shooting by County Ordinance signs in recognition of the problem.  I'd much rather find a way around the fenced off restoration areas by heading into the wild and around.  That has been the subject of a few exploratory hikes prior to this one.

Exploring what looks like a jeep trail into the
canopy above the BPA clearcut
 Hiking in at this particular access point leaves one in the open right from the start . . . and you can tell from the excellent maintenance of the road, the litter of spent shotgun casings, and the recent indentations of horseshoe tracks that this area does see some use.  But there is only room for one or two cars so I feel pretty good about stripping right at the car and hiking in nude from the get-go.  After all, my body has been starving for it's share of vitamin D.

The good section of road does not last long . . . just to the first set of BPA towers.  Then it degenerates into cobble and erosion . . . always a welcome sign to anyone who wants solitude.  There is plenty to enjoy.  Sun and a light breeze for sure, but also signs of wildlife, though not seen, certainly noted.  Plenty of deer track as the deer favor the handy access roads to travel across slopes.  Also fox (or some small canine) as well as the tracks of feline showing no claws.  Closer to the uphill sides of the clearcut are unmistakable signs of recent bear tracks . . . whose reversed thumbs give unmistakable identification.

Part way in the dirt track does a short loop into the canopy to get around a steep ravine or cut.  It is at the apex of this cut that what looks like a continuation into the canopy intrigues me enough to set off into the woods rather than the clearcut twenty-five feet away.  A hundred feet in and it becomes obvious that this is a trail . . . and it is wide enough to have been a jeep track at some time.  Horseshoe tracks into the soft mud confirm my suspicions.  This trail goes somewhere.  It's not on the maps but by a quarter miles into the canopy I'm on road surface that has been there for a long time and is relatively level and easy to travel.

Upper Austin Creek and that easy way around
 I lose the trail a couple of times and have to backtrack numerous wide spaces until the ravages of nature no longer obscure the route.  At one point I have to descend into a slow-running creek bed only to figure out that the creek is the road . . . or what is left of it.  Then I come up to orange construction fencing . . . the same stuff that is blocking the wide spread of wetland below.  What the heck . . . around it I go because now I know I'm on the other side . . . if I can find a trail or path back down to the clearcut.  Across a dicey, rotten old log bridge and I eventually find a trail.  It's back into the full sunlight of mid-afternoon.  Ahead of me is a steep clamber up to the top of the ridge and Deer Creek Flats.

Atop the ridge
This section of the clearcut is steep and seriously eroded.  Only ATVs would make it up this far . . . and not all the way.  On foot it's a scrabble but I soon gain the ridge only to be surprised by a very well maintain (and used) gravel road . . . and I pause a moment below the edge before I cross it . . . fully expecting cars to come by.  I gain the other side . . . on a crown before the final crest and peruse my topos.  It's FS 6010, inaccessible at the other end because of the Reiter Road closure . . . though the fresh tire tracks mean somebody has been up this way, and recently.  The muddy water in a nearby pothole is occluded from that travel.  FS 6010 doesn't seem to go anywhere much except up onto the flats, with a side loop to a major, automated radio facility.

I climb to the crest and gaze out over the sheer drop east toward the Skykomish North Fork valley near Index.  At the crest is another memorial for someone whom I suppose had an accident off-roading these rough roads.  It's while I'm taking pictures of the cross and memorial that I hear the unmistakable sound of metal clanging on metal . . . and it is very nearby in the canopy to my right.  At first I ignore it by it starts up again.  I head in that direction, come across a neatly-folded denim jacket sitting on the side of the ridge and hear the unmistakable sound of a heavy hammer on metal.  Then I spot him . . . fifty feet down an eighty degree slope . . . in dense underbrush is this guy banging away at a discarded oven-stove, ripping it apart.  It is so weird that I don't even think to cover up.  I ask him how he's doing . . . catch him off-guard.

He states he's scavenging metal and I reply "up here?".  Weird.  He hiked in from the steep side and was stripping electrical wire to cart all the way back down.  I left him to his devices, shaking my head,

I followed FS 6010 in for about half a mile before I decided to turn back before I lost the sun.  Partway down I spotted another cross and memorial which also marked another track back into the canopy to explore . . . which I did.  Eventually I ended up on the right side of the closed area and back onto the familiar access roads.

Heading back down to the car
Of course, we always linger when we near the end of our hikes.  One thought that was going through my head was the debate of when I would stop and put on shorts . . . because the curve at the bottom and the paved county road was coming up quick.  Eventually I just walked up to the gate . . . got one last picture, and then walked up to the car to fish my keys out of the small case across my torso . . . thinking to myself that this would be a bad time for someone to come driving down the road.

Yep . . . someone did and with the door half open and the pack slipping off my back, an SUV appears around the asphalt bend and pulls in neatly behind me.  LOL . . . grin and bear it.  Turns out that the middle-aged woman was headed inbound to do some cleaning and restoration of her own on her brother's memorial just a ways up the access road.  If my nudity fazed her it was not apparent.  We had a nice little chat and then off she went with garden shovel in hand to do her thing.  I got dressed before anyone else showed up.  What a great hike!

The photo album of this hike is here: Nude Hike to Deer Creek Flat album

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