Sunday, September 2, 2012

Nudity on Labor Day Weekend?

That traditional last fling of summer and you know that everybody and their brother is going to be out in the National Forests for camping and just plain old fun in the sunshine.  But who can pass up marvelous weather such as we had.  The trick, of course, is where can you go to enjoy being au'natural in the wilderness without encountering every camp site, every river access and multitudes of carloads of people occupying just about every possibility to be alone?

I was going to do the Blanca Lake hike and I arrived early . . . eight am . . . with the idea that I could get the trail before anyone else and be able to hike this popular destination nude.  Such was not to be after I'd driven deep into the mountains only to find five other carloads of people already there.  

The good news . . . if such were to be noted . . . is that I'd discovered the top loop of the Index-Galena Road was again open all the way back to the original road break north of Trout Creek, re-opening the Troublesome Creek and San Juan campgrounds as well as cutting five miles off a future Silver Creek-Mineral City excursion.  Still, everywhere I hoped to pull off and park for a nude hike, someone had already claimed the spot.   All of my favorite hiking areas were hampered by simply too many people wandering about.  I was about to give up when I found one small pullout between the occupied San Juan Campground and the old townsite of Galena on the North Fork of the Skykomish.

On the North Fork of the Skykonish River near Galena
The North Fork of the Skykomish River scours a wide floodplain and is a favorite of mine to get in some nude riverside hiking because to the amount of sunlight exposure and the gentle breezes.  Between Galena (where there are still a few mineral claim cabins) and the San Juan Campground (where there were a number of tents pitched) I had almost a mile of riverside to myself to hike along and enjoy.  Of course, such short excursions do not satisfy the need between driving nude along forest service roads and hopping out at other unused spots to take in another half hour of nude strolling around.  Driving back down the Beckler River side of the loop I'm surprised at the number of cars heading inbound, probably looking for spots as well.  Passing them at five to ten miles an hour on the dusty gravel roads at a pullout, you can help but feel just a little bit self-conscious of your nudity when the other car is so close to yours.  But no one seems to take notice or even be aware as they get past you and spin up a cloud of choking dust on their way inbound.  I quit pulling a piece of cloth over my lap and just put to trust that driving is on their minds and not looking into the interiors of cars they meet of narrow forest service roads.

Finding a suitable trail to enjoy nude
A trail need not be official to be enjoyable to hike.  I know of a number of them and back on Highway 2 it is a simple matter to note whether someone has already pulled off there and if not, my turn.  No campsites here . . . just a steep trail which suits my purposes just fine . . . and it's off to hiking nude and in quiet contemplation.  Even on a busy Labor day weekend you can have your cake and eat it too.  Hike on nude everybody!  We're taking back the wilderness for nude recreation one tree at a time ...

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