Early rise, slow start.
Remember, that you can blow up and see greater detail if you just click on the photos.
We sit naked in our folding chairs. The sunlight courses across the meadow and through the trees and slowly warms us after a sometimes chilly, often clammy night. We enjoy a delicious, almond and apple pate. We then, cap it off with cantaloupe and pineapple in a vanilla yogurt. Our nutrition and air-bath complete, we are ready for a hike. We want to get as far as we can early, before the potential of afternoon monsoon showers.
DF grabs her pink dress shirt, and I have a bath wrap that can go around my waist to get past the new neighbor’s sight. So far, we have used tree, truck, and tent cover to avoid throwing shock and awe into our neighbors…yea, sure. We have been cautious so as to avoid any potential for hassle. We make our way around a stand of spruce and pine to avoid them. We explore another patch, where a good campsite might be done and walk along the fence to the gate. Here, in their view, we must cover.
The stick and barbed wire gate is tight and it takes both of us to get the loop over the posts and back, as we pass through.
We had been down this road in the rain on the day that we arrived, while looking for a campsite. Today, it is gorgeous. Shadows flutter as aspen leaves dance. Their white bark contrasts beautifully with the dark green forest.
Morning light makes the world glisten. The air seems perfect. We don’t hesitate to immediately doff our coverings as we pass the gate. We bask in it all, feeling more of a part of this lovely place. Naturist perfect!
The road is like a smooth chip seal, with occasional spots of rock. It is level and a comfortable walk. We are able to hold hands as we walk. This is much different from the wild thin trails that we have been frequenting in Baja Arizona.
We come to a larger rain pond in the middle of the road. I remember just the other day, that I had driven along the side, not knowing what might be under the water. There are slippery exposed roots there. As we passed the rear tires hit these roots and the rear end slipped deep into the puddle. I was glad to have 4×4 rear auto-locker’s traction in that slimy underwater surface. Today, deeper still, the roots are buried. We walk along the other edge and climb through the low dead branches of a spruce, pushing them out of the way and continue on this pleasant road.
During the ’98 Rainbow Gathering, there was a trail through the market, a trading place lined with people with wares on blankets. This trail then led to a gorge where the alcohol consuming, more rowdy, less spiritual were corralled. It had been big enough for numerous cars, vans and converted school busses. We should be able to find this place on foot and that is our intention for this day.
At a Y in the road, we go through another rustic gate. This leads us to a wet meadow, which appears to run into a gorge.
We decide to follow the road and see where it goes. Soon we are in the huge meadow near Carnero Lake, to the north of the Gathering spot. We walk through the masses of purple mountain flowers and others to the berm that holds the lake in.
There are several fishermen.
It is mostly reeds and weeds. To fish, a non-mechanized boat is necessary. DF comes up behind me and an Osprey flies overhead and then out over the lake. Photos are attempted.
Having seen that, we are curious where that Jeep load of kids had gone the previous day. We discover a spot to cross the creek which feeds the lake. It is deep, requiring something prepared for off-road, but doable. Someone has been through here recently. This shows us why they never returned.
Where Fairies Live
We return to the marshy area by way of the creek, which drains from the lake with a mechanical valve. It brings us down into the hollow.
It is lush here. Mosses in many florescent colors grow everywhere.
A short rock cliff is to our north and it is covered.
Lichen covers many of the rocks that moss misses. This micro rainforest is enchanting. DF declares, “This is where fairies live.”
Who could argue, maybe a hobbit lives there, too.
The spruce drop a significant amount of small pinecones and debris under their canopy.
This stuff has built up feet thick. It is spongy to walk on. The going is slow.
We don’t mind the slow pace, this fascinating place deserves to be savored.
After a while, we meet a back road in this hollow.
We have yet to find any place to park even one school bus. There is a good campsite there. We decide to rest and have a snack of grapes, almonds, cashews and chocolates.
This has been pure strolling naturism. We consider attempting taking the new found road back, but really don’t know if it would connect. The clouds are building up to the east. It is best to return the way that we know, explore the other side of this hollow and be safe.
That lightning and thunder clapping and booming the other day, has left an impression.
More Revisiting and Some Stealth Tactics
Where we went through the last gate, I had seen another lesser one that would lead into the Rainbow Gathering area. It isn’t a usual passage, hardly noticeable. I have to twist and retie the wire, getting a couple of bloody scrapes, but we are soon looking down upon where the teepees once stood and vision council was taken using its feather as the rules of order.
DF soon tells me she has become a bit teary eyed. It is somehow very good and sacred here for us. Welcome home!
We walk through what had been Kids Camp and discover some old rainbow carving in the white birch-like bark of a fallen aspen. A map of the gathering site is revealed. “I remember that!”
The dark clouds are still at bay. We are compelled to have more long embraces in the main circle area and some meditation. I find that I remember where a large firepit was circled by a deep trench, protecting the forest. Nude people would dance freeform around in this trench, alight with the fire. All of us attached to the rhythms of hand-drums under the dark skies of night. DF moves to her personal inner drummer, while I attempt to capture her with photography.
We decide to try the western fork where the creek runs, this time, partly because it is new and partly to avoid getting dressed for the neighbors. It takes us through knee high grasses. The creek looks as though someone has laid out a road of flat dark stone.
I notice the offending campers ahead and talk DF into trusting me, following me into the forest, thus weaving around them.
We have to climb up an interesting ridge of lichen covered boulders, much of which is encased in moss.
This leads to another meadow. The road is in sight, but there is no one on it, nor that likelihood. Quads are heard far away as they lumber through forest. I couldn’t imagine ever spotting any wildlife, or naked hikers on one.
We cruise down the road, cross across the spring’s lush foliage and stepping stone rocks. We drape coverings as we climb upon a long rotting log that is the bridge across the creek. We could be noticed from here.
DF is concerned that tying my wrap at my waist isn’t effective. I explain that even if they see us/me, there is too much distance for detail. They will know that I have been hiking nude and that is a good education for them. They would have to look very hard.
Back at Camp
DF makes us guacamole while I make notes of our hike. We sit down to this with blue corn chips. I give her two thumbs up on the guac.
We pour seltzer water into cups of rock ice and enhance it with the fresh wild mint that DF discovered today and we harvested.
We’ll have a warm fresh wild Mullen tea tonight.
The dark clouds retreat. We toast to a gorgeous day and an enchanting habitat.
I am learning and seeing so many new things.
Yesterday and this morning I had been walking barefoot all over on thoroughly saturated pine needles, springy sticks and debris from a long rain. It was delightful. I was completely bare, with no consequences hidden under the tree litter. I had never walked so easily bare on such a user friendly wild surface.
As this day has progressed, all has been drying. None of these are as malleable as when soaking wet, providing sharp hard surprises.
I pluck guitar for a half of an hour, but it is time for payback massage. I scout the nearby field for a spot with less tree litter, shade and no potential for the view of the neighbors. I clear a spot and then grab my Thermarest camping mattress, massage face pillow, some beach towels, and oils. I come back to the tent and take DF by the hand, leading her bare all over through the trees to the clearing and my arrangements. I have her lay down.
My calculations are off, because half way through her massage, our shade moves and we have to re-situate. It had taken me a while to find the optimum spot and a shady spot has to be found quickly. I do not want an interruption of the flow of things. A substitute is chosen, but it has a possibility of us being seen, that is, if the neighbors walk out in front of their parked truck. This spot was a reject for that reason, but we take a bolder attitude. We are not doing anything unwholesome and deserve privacy. If we are to be happened upon, we are a good distance away, our genitals are not exposed, and they should not be staring. At some point hiding our nude activities needs to shift to rightfully reasonably expecting a degree of privacy.
We snack and I play a little more guitar and study.
I do a promised hypnotic past life regression session on DF.
There is an omelet for dinner, as things chill off and that mullien tea is just right.
We stroll out through the night and onto the meadow to stand and watch an incredible star filled sky.
We find our way back to camp honing onto the light of one lone candle sitting on a table next to our tent in the distance.
We have an early good night.