We know that Lake Willoughby’s free beach is on the south side of the lake. It isn’t difficult to find they say. We drive past, we drive back. We ask a guy by the side of the road, “Where’s the nude beach? “
“You’re here.” His further directions are “Keep to the left, of the left.”
The parking lot is full. We are lucky to find a spot near the entrance, or just off the road. We get out of our little Honda and slip into kilt and sundress.
We haven’t gone but a few feet and are walking with probably a bit of an aimless expression. We ask a guy (yea, again) to make sure.
“I’m heading there now. You can follow me if you like.”
He’s local and tells us that he comes here “all of the time.”
As we had wandered lost, we had seen a beach right next to this. We saw it filled with people, but they were all in clothing. It looked like this was the case here, but as we arrive, several people assure us with their own example.
The local Good Sam finds his local friends and we smile a parting, walking on to explore. We are out to find our niche and to get a better idea of where we are, and what goes on.
There is a trail that goes on around the lake, up a hill and back. It comes close to the nude, or clothing optional section. The overflow and chaos of next door, apparently has several clothed people here. DF takes exception, “The textiles have a great beach and we can’t use it nude. So why should they be coming over here crowding the nude beach?”
She has a point, but clothing optional rules out any restrictions on migration. I’m thinking that it only seems fair, if they require clothing, then we should require nude over here…oh well.
We continue on down the trail, looking for a serene escape and satisfying our curiosity. We are by any definition, enjoying a nude stroll amongst an accepting public backdrop. Of course the population begins to thin once we have passed the main beach area.
This isn’t Miami, but it is in all certainty, a pleasant little beach.
The trail wanders along. There is a coastal feel. We look through the trees, feeling hidden from the lake in secret woods.
Occasionally a sunning rock sits next to the water. The trail is peaceful and user friendly enough for bare feet.
It is a grand view, being a large lake. The cliff face of a prominent mountain is seen across the way. I decide to try a couple rocks out for sunning purposes. One is controlled by a fisherman that I don’t want to disturb, or intrude upon.
I climb upon a fallen boulder, with its smooth rounded surface and enjoy the perch.
I can see around the bend and there are people all along the way on spots like this.
We head back to the populated beach:
What will occur during the day is that people who want to hike the trail, including teenagers, will pass all of this. Some are curious, some a bit creepy, some giggle and smirk. The passersby are largely ignored. Nobody is here to be on display, it appears.
We get to the popular area, finding a secure place for our stuff and lay out towels near a roped off spot. Some vegetation is being protected. There is already a man nearby. He is polite and offers to move over to better accommodate us, but we respond that there is plenty of room.
We talk with him and another local fellow, watching the scene. They talk about a “heat wave.” Well, we’re surprised by that assessment. We walk across the beach toward the water. It strikes me with some familiarity. To the right, the massive rock face reminds me of Lake Geneva. It just needs a Castle De Chillon.
Well, the Alps must be in my imagination’s clouds. There are boat houses, almost chalets along the towns access to the water.
The left side of our view has a green slope that strikes me of the Caribbean. I associate warm water.
When we place our feet in, after hearing the horror of “Vermont’s cold waters,” we’re surprised. It’s very nice. We wander out on this sandbar. The slope is very slight, people way out are only as deep as their knees.
The further out, it is still a wonderful temperature. I suppose that it being a wide shallow area and being cooked by a “heat wave” might have something to do with it. But no, once it gets deeper, although cooler, this is a wonderful place to hang out and even swim.
The water is very clear; there are fun ridges of sandy ripples below the surface. The mica glistens everywhere.
We go back to take a break. Although there are many people, we somehow feel that we can trust the polite strangers around us to keep an eye on our valuables.
We sit and drink, watching the people play. There’s a guitar, a chess game, a plastic blow up painted watermelon slice donut to float on. A lady’s friend brings in a kayak from the lake’s distance and she then takes off herself. She has not paddled but a few feet, before her two dogs hop aboard for the ride.
This is a community space. A naturist’s community.
There is facility. Tenting is across the street for a fee and porta potty is in the beach’s parking lot. We decide to head on down to an invitation in Solaire Resort on the Connecticut border.
We get reservations down past Brattleboro to New Discovery Campground at Ft. Dummer, Vermont. We have a casual plan to drive there this afternoon. We stop off at the nearest good sized town and take in the tourist ice creamery with its museum display of the way things were here, back in the day.
I have had an observation along this trip. In Arizona, flags come out for holidays and demonstrations. There are a few huge ones around all year. Otherwise, when you wave a flag you are generally one of a variety of angry people from the current right wing perspective. But then again, that’s a protest, a demonstration. It just takes away waving a flag, just to wave a flag, or from those that support other things.
As we have crossed the country east, there have been more and more flags out. We’re not in Arizona anymore. Finally here is Vermont, the flaggiest place yet. My sense is that that AZ. demographic doesn’t hold anymore. It is true that we are in the cusp of 4th of July, Memorial Day and Flag Day, but this red, white and blue celebration stuff is obviously being left up throughout the summer. The 4th coming around, it feels really good to once again, have a feeling of “our flag”, or “we united as Americans”, instead of just an identity of someone’s political agenda. It feels like everyone’s flag. Thank-you Vermont.
It is a relatively quick trip getting down this beautiful state on their Interstate highway.
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