We’re off on an ADVENTURE! We haven’t done a long road trip in…decades. DF has retired and we can have an open-ended vacation across America…naked.
We wake up with the Alarm? Dang, DF forgot to stop the reoccurring setting on her phone. She rolls over, first confused and then angrily she starts to peck at the screen.
The peace and well-being intruder is off for good now, unless we choose so. Now, our excitement is getting in the way of our slumber. We begin in a casual series of stretches and exercises, a little yoga, just enough. We’re going to be doing a lot of sitting in a car, best to have our bodies ready.
This exercise establishes a good pace for us. We hug and acknowledge that we’re okay. DF produces “The Daily Word” a small book of spiritual wisdom that we read each morning. Today its daily advise is spot on. It talks about adventure. We feel in like we’re in sync with the world.
We have been loading and final prepping for over a week. Everything that we need has been tucked into the little good on gas Honda Civic. Each piece placed more at the ready in its rank of usage. In the trunk tent/bedding out front, kitchen front and center. Clothing minimized, we just have the space in the rear driver’s side door for access. Food goes behind the passenger’s seat on the floor and the cooler is packed and placed on that seat. Doodads, this and that is placed in available nooks and crannies. It’s all ready.
After a quick breakfast, we walk naked through the garage and into our trip.
We are carnuding. The plan is to carnude just about everywhere, clear across the country. There is resolve in the intention, we’re going to go across America naked, but even more than that, are the matters of comfort and sense of freedom. We will be spending untold hours, weeks in the little car and we had best be as comfortable as we can be. How much comfort can be had bunched up, hot in clothing with no release. We need to feel at home. Fresh towels are draped across the seats, we need to be naked in our little home away from home, like we’re in our living room.
I have already researched and printed out the nudity and gun laws of each various state that we will be likely to pass through. They all vary so much. We know Arizona law. New Mexico is about the same, but with the addition of top freedom for the ladies. Reviewing the paper work, we’re prepared for the next couple of days.
The entire southwest has been in unprecedented drought since a year ago last February, which is as long as the covid has had its grip. As we drive along, we note where we had previously known fields of flowers that now look like dirt. We know that in a few days, we’ll be seeing what we have only seen in dreams lately, green!
Out on the wide Arizona highway, we pass where we usually turn for the hot springs around Safford, but then continue on. It has been awhile since we have been out here. Memories are being jogged as we venture further.
Arizona passes at a sign marked “New Mexico. I make use of my childhood education from the state of New Mexico. I belt out the New Mexico state anthem, “Oh fair New Mexico, we love, we love you so. Our hearts with pride over flow…”
DF grins and groans at the same time.
I continue about, “Home of the Montezuma….”
We both know my lunacy is teasing, but I defend myself anyway, “It was required in the third grade and when else have I had to put it to use?”
DF endures all the stanzas. A couple of hours later, we are hungry as we look down into the Rio Grande valley at Las Cruses.
I point out the Organ Mountains towering on the horizon, as we are looking for Mexican food. I’m indulging in my quest for a better chili relleno. New Mexico is the world’s class pepper producer.
Before we walk into a randomly found restaurant, I wrap a kilt around me in the parking lot. DF lowers a sundress over her head.
After we receive our order, “Um, this one is just alright. I’ve definitely had better, but good.”
When we’re done here, we ask two employees smoking out front for the best priced gas. “I don’t have a car and I’m from California.”
We fill up, pull toward the street, but remaining in the parking lot, undress and head up toward the Organ Pass. I look for remnants of the early sixties when I lived at White Sands Missile Range, which is on the other side of these Organ Pipe Mountains. The subdivision of cheap army surplus quonset huts is gone from the side of the highway. The highway itself has expanded to four lanes. The old steak restaurant, a converted stone home is gone, but the building remains.
Memories pop up, until on the other side of the crest, on the side of the road, a missile stands erect. It is seemingly ready to launch in a wide gravel parking lot!
Back in the day, my dad was a honcho on the missile base. As we entered, all of the old missiles that had been tested there were displayed in a sort of missile museum park. I think that this one may be the one that I had my picture taken with for the newspaper in El Paso to advertise and PR the base. They don’t keep many of these around, but they do have a collection of each missile style. We get out and get a nude photo.
A car stops, so we cover up. The entire desert valley and base is seen from here. I have some reminiscing to do. I’m raking up memories sixty years old and sharing them with DF. I mention the times that we climbed Sugar Loaf Mountain as kids.
I picture the desert tunnel forts that we would dig. I explain how I safely had the run of the entire base on my bike and movies with Buck Rodgers serials on Saturday morning. The matinee cost was fifteen cents. It is amazing what comes out and sticks to a mind. I remembered a dead cow that we found out on Cox’s ranch, the land next door. I pushed it with a stick and it deflated, hissing a stench. It surprised we two eight-year-olds in Levi jeans, cowboy boots handmade made in Juarez and pearl snap western stomper shirts. Scared, we figured that we had smelled death itself. A younger man from the base listens as I talk. I ask him about the changes down there. He respectfully accepts the weird old guy in a kilt that lofts in the breeze, who is off on an adventure.
There is plenty of daylight when we arrive at the White Sands National Monument entrance and spontaneously decide to have a look inside. Our senior pass takes the twenty dollars per carload away. “Wow, what the heck. Let’s go!”
We ask the attendant in her Smokey outfit about the opportunities to camp in the dunes. There is a limited availability, but covid and now a trail upgrade has that closed… until further notice. We do get the name of a recommended nearby campground and begin to look for a spot to run amuck in the lovely powder, naked. Run amuck is what one does in this place. As a kid birthday parties were held in this 10×25 mile sandbox. We kids would be knocked out asleep, before we got home.
It is great fun to run in this alien scheme. We would keep running, until the dune crest propelled us into air. There is no getting hurt landing in soft white sand and sliding down the other side of a dune. On a good rather level one, fresh and solid, enough speed can land you several feet out and down, a small flight off of a cliff.
The road looks like an icy surface after a bulldozer has cleared it. The gypsum sand is pilled up along the side discolored like snow. It is as if out of the car, a blizzard has raged in the desert on a summer’s day.
With a threat of rain on a week day, there are fewer people here, but still it is difficult to find a private spot. Going up one dune often only leads to another picnic area.
A small valley in-between dunes can be over looked by another dune.
In spite of this, our bare feet lead us to a place for a few picks and some fun along the way.
We launch off of a steep drop, falling and then land, sliding in the deep sand, just short of the desert floor with its sparse vegetation and rough chunks of clogged gypsum. It isn’t the grit of beach sand; they make teeth out of this stuff.
There is a dune in the middle of this field and it will hide us from a group of distant sightseers on a taller dune, above and to our right. The place is surreal. The dunes, white as fresh fallen snow have a cooling effect.
There can be glare like snow, but it is lessened by the clouds hanging dark grey in contrast.
We get some freedom. The others disappear, but only because the wind is picking up and the black clouds that have been threatening, are apparently heading our way. In this space between dunes there is a surface covered with the gypsum. The sand here won’t be blowing in the wind so much. It is clogs. In the still there is a crunch as it gives way under our feet. Here, life clings and adapts to its harsh treatment tenaciously.
The wind is picking up. A large green donut, an escaped errant water toy comes rolling up over the dunes like it has a mind of its own. It rolls across the top of a dune and then lays down at the base, as if playing hide and seek from its owners. We head toward it, but as we approach, it jumps up and joyfully runs away, escaping to freedom over another dune. It is gone in a frolic.
We grab our garb and carry it out of there, up the steep soft sand dune that seems one step forward and two steps back, if you aren’t quick enough. Covering for the sensibilities of others to return to the car parked below, a kilt and sundress don’t do much for us in the lift of the intense winds.
The wind and the clouds, the dust with odd shaped picnic shelters designed to block the sun, remind me of that old fifties movie “The Day The Earth Stood Still” which took place in the Artic in snow flurries. It is appropriate. We’re standing in the valley of the era where the first atomic bomb was shot off, where most of the missiles were tested during the cold wars, and Roswell, the birthplace of modern UFO lore, is just over the mountains to the east.
We’re getting left to ourselves more and more, as the black clouds close in. I look and they seem to be coming at us. I look again and they are skirting us, heading southwest. The wind on the edge of this massive showering system, is in a similar turmoil, circling as if changing direction, whipping us, whipping at our clothing. Stripping, it is a sensual delight, to be aware of the wind direction and intensity. The push varies, sometimes strong enough to make me wonder if it could knock me down. I remember as a child in the Tularosa Valley, running out into these winds to catch tumbling tumble weeds bigger than me as they bounced past faster than I could run.
A few large drops of rain plop here and there and fine sand pummels the car and us.
We scurry to the toilets, now in an abandoned field of picnic shelters. We jump out and read the plaques, while experiencing the effect all over.
The car looks like salt has stuck all over it. The once clean car is now a mess.
Our desire for adventure is being fulfilled. This is fun. This is naturism. We have found that the park stays open late on full moon nights and most others. We also find a trail that wanders out away from the rest. I’m certain that even though we can’t camp alone and nude under a full moon in blue dunes anytime soon, we will be able to experience this surreal place freely for a short time in the future. Maybe we’ll come back this way. Right now, we need to find shelter for this evening.
If you’d like to discus this post with me, or any free range issue, I can be found at FreeRangeNaturism.com in the “forum” section. This story will be in the “free range naturism” section under “Trip Reports” at the top.
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You look wonderful
Another terrific outing and beautiful photos to support it.
Northern NM has had a lot of rain this summer, a lot more than usual. Your pictures from White Sands show rain clouds too. Drought is over for now. Happy travel.