We head out of Marfa, Texas toward Big Bend. There have been exceptional seasonal rains, making the countryside remind us of Sonoita, Arizona. We’re feeling more like home, after spending weeks in the eastern forests. There are not as many mountains, here, the horizon is quite a lot further out. A host of clouds run out from behind the edge of the Earth, drifting our way.
Cruising naked across these wide open spaces, just reeks of freedom.
Jaybirdsen recently brought my attention back to an essay by Ralf Waldo Emerson on “Nature.” In his poetic style, he expresses the lesson, the oneness, the disappearance of identities when immersed in nature and its awe. He mentions what he describes as finding oneself as a child in nature, the simple sense of being and doing.
My experience nude in nature further enhances the experience of life. After seeing smelling and tasting nature and its universal appeal, removal of clothing creates a more distinct feel of nature, what I might call a more complete immersion. It follows from his overwhelming state, that I’m allowed, or gifted, further transcending into the all. My body is a vehicle to experience life and life is realization of all natural, the blessings from the touch of my skin, to the grand constellations of stars. I am not alone in nature. Nude, I feel embraced.
Here is a piece of Emerson’s expressions. You may recognize my pilfered quote:
Ralph Waldo Emerson from “Nature”
The plantation of God
In the woods […] a man casts off his years, as the snake his slough, and at what period soever of life, is always a child. In the woods, is perpetual youth. Within these plantations of God, a decorum and sanctity reign, a perennial festival is dressed and the guest sees not how he should tire of them in a thousand years. In the woods, we return to reason and faith. There I feel that nothing can befall me in life,—no disgrace, no calamity, (leaving me my eyes), which nature cannot repair. Standing on the bare ground,—my head bathed by the blithe air and uplifted into infinite space,—all mean egotism vanishes. I become a transparent eye-ball; I am nothing; I see all; the currents of the Universal Being circulate through me; I am part or particle of God. The name of the nearest friend sounds then foreign and accidental: to be brothers, to be acquaintances,—master or servant, is then a trifle and a disturbance. I am the lover of uncontained and immortal beauty. In the wilderness, I find something more dear and connate than in streets or villages. In the tranquil landscape, and especially in the distant line of the horizon, man beholds somewhat as beautiful as his own nature.
Jaybirdsen also wrote about an experience along these lines. I think that it is worth sharing. There is a compelling following of ones joy when nude in nature. One thing leads to another:
I walked the trail in covered forest a few minutes and was completely stunned as the forest and trail opened up to the edge of one of the most beautiful hidden alpine meadows I had ever seen. I was so taken by the beauty and my innate desire to be one with nature that it was several minutes later as I followed the trail as it skirted the edge of the meadow that I realized I was barefoot and nude having stepped out of my clothes and pack leaving everything in a pile where the trail met the meadow.
It was past mid-afternoon and as I gained my senses a bit, I realized that no one would probably be out in this area this time of day. Rather than walk the hundred or so yards to collect my clothes, I left them lay there and continued exploring this new found sylvan wonderland, which was chock full of all the things a meadow and pine forest can offer the senses.
The trail carried me away from the meadow and deeper into the woods and my soul was flying along above me in the warm pine scented air, the breeze rushing through the pine needles wafting around me, warming every inch of me, as I strode through sun and shade in these magical woods.
I felt a true out of body spiritual and sensual oneness with my surroundings. Each bare foot falling on meadow grass, or pine needle covered trail, or sandy loam sent an electric-like energy from the earth through my being and out to the sky above. Nature and her beauty can only truly begin to be felt when fully nude on a day like this. The sights the sound of birds and insects, the aroma that can actually be tasted and of course the warm breeze, the welcoming embrace of mother nature winding around every inch of the largest organ of the body, our skin. I was completely rapt in this sensual trance as I walked through these lovely woods.
FYI, that is not Jaybirdsen in the pictures. It’s me in some old photos that were lying around and used to illustrate.
I am on the forum of FreeRangeNaturism.com often, if you would like to converse…so is Jaybirdsen.
We’ve had a very busy month, anniversaries, B-days, parties, hot springs, broken household necessities. It’s been tough to get one written out each week. I’ll be getting back to the trip and hiking, etc. in sequence, soon enough. It’ll be Big Bend for a couple of weeks, then.
We have arrived at Big Bend. We’re looking out at the Rio Grande River. As the fish swims, somewhere in that river is the United States/Mexico border. The hills just beyond are another country.
A road side attraction, one of a very few roadside attractions, does what it does best and we are drawn in to stop and to rest.
This has a series of Teepees constructed of metal. There has been no real shade for miles and here is an oasis. Each has a picnic table to lunch at and it is lunch time.
All appear full, so I wrap my kilt around and DF slips her ever present red Hawaii print sundress over her head, expecting textile people.
Just as we pull up a prominent RV pulls away, leaving us the last teepee on the block. I get out to stretch and investigate. Perhaps I can find a place that we can be nude, but I sense the futility of that outcome. This is a very dry desert, with little ground-cover and only a few bushes. There might be something further down by the cool water river.
We have left Garner State Park, needing to leave earlier than we did. It will be a long slog to Marfa Texas, unless we happen upon a good spot to camp. Garner, a friendly park, has been a naturist’s frustration and that continued this morning.
We’ve been getting into some wide open spaces, flat plains and some desert on our way to Marfa. It is a long drive across this state.
I want to make a point to check the famously super blue waters of the river in the Amistad Recreational Area. There is supposed to be something very special about their blue. They do reflect the clear sunny sky, as we cross on the extensive bridge system, near the Rio Grande at the Mexico border.
It is lunch time and a spot by the lake sounds good. We pull off the highway, but soon enough, discover that it is several miles to the lake, the boat launch and we can’t be sure what else. It just doesn’t have the vibe that says undeveloped, skinnydip in the refreshing clear waters. There appears to be many opportunities on Google maps, but not for a Honda Civic and a tent. It is perhaps a nude boaters paradise. Perhaps a stealth dip at night.
A simple roadside sun shelter presents itself on this small road to the boat docks. It is an opportunity to continue our day nude. Traffic has demonstrated itself to be nil here.
The resumption of our “To Georgia and Back” series
After leaving Austin, we have to cross the great state of Texas. There is no hurry and so we’ll avoid the desolate lonesome feeling of Interstate 10. We’re looking for back roads through the Great Plains, the legendary western desert and a place and flavor that neither of us has yet to explore.
There is little notable, or famous, that is nude out there. We’ll be looking for natural beauty and space to roam free. We have no real idea, no picture of what is out there.
First, I’ve always heard about the San Antonio river walk. It seems a good place to begin. I’ll check it off of the bucket list. We thought to take a chance on a “lifestyles” optional sort of resort, which is on the way, as something different, but ultimately decided to take the naturist option. I suppose that it might have made an interesting story.
We eventually have reservations west of San Antonio at Garner State Park for the night.
Every seven years, or so, the spring temperatures, the amount rainfall and its timing, work together, to create a spectacular desert blooming. This year is being called a “super bloom.”
We had been a few days at the hot springs, when a friend, who had been out taking pictures, stopped in for the afternoon for a soak She told us of the occurrence. Leaving Monday, we decided to take the long way home and see what it was about.
Leaving about 1:30, we are off for a four hour drive. Having been nude three or four days, we leave, staying the same. Clothing doesn’t make much sense anymore, not after that long without.
The road up to Globe passes through the San Carlos Indian Reservation. That’s where the show begins in earnest. There are patches of yellow flowers in the desert fields along the road.
Suddenly, a field of yellow Arizona poppies shows, glowing in their florescence.
La Nina and climate change have brought us a much longer winter. Springtime hasn’t happened. Business obligations were followed by a hernia operation to further stretch my frustrations. I haven’t been out hiking all year and it is mid-march!
Then, one day, I feel recovered enough to walk away from my stir crazied life, my clothing and coverings. One last piece of barbed wire is stretched to allow my nude body to carefully climb through the last obstacle and I am free.
It is a familiar spot in the Arizona desert. We haven’t seen it in years, however. I climb the hill and at the top, my bodily inventory tells me that I’m doing just fine.There is no returning burning pain and no exhaustion from inactivity.
I love waking up in the forest. This is like coming home.
Everyone is up early. A-blue jay is on the ground near the tent. There are lots of bulges in the packed leaves. Birds have been digging. I had heard someone poking around in the leaves next to the tent just before dusk.
I had spent a few minutes awake as the world came alive. There were more of those voracious bats just before sunup.
I sight a butterfly high above through the mesh tent cover, “Good morning.”
Stepping outside, the weather is inviting.
We march a quick short nude walk, .2 miles on the graded road and trailhead.
Four grey squirrels sit and romp around at a familiar looking rock. It is peaceful and pleasant. Walking nude up the middle of the road, we know that we are alone. Anyone approaching can be heard a mile away. It feels so free.
We both jump, startled by the crash of a larger animal, which suddenly shoots out of the brush a few feet from us. It is running away into the scrub forest at a fast rate. It jumps like a deer over obstacles. We’re surprised to see that a javalina can jump like that on their short legs.
The story of this trip was the trees. The highlight was a magnificent alligator juniper where the water springs out of the creek bed and then ponds.
Alligator Juniper have a distinctive bark. It generally looks much like an alligator bag. Fires and other challenges damage “Gators.” Often there is a dead grey section which is not covered by the bark. The tree lives on. Branches grow out, die and new arrive.
There are plenty of Gators in the forest when we arrive at camp. It is interspersed with scrub oak and other vegetation that grow happy at 4 to six thousand feet elevation. These trunks are somewhat the same, but upstream, where moister is more abundant more often during the year, or a perennial stream and other species naturally intermix, they all take off with growth. There, we find trees with the character of time, abundance and scars of disruption and survival.
Well, the most effective solution might be to move to where it is warm, become a snowbird, or take a vacation. This isn’t an option for many. There are family considerations, work, goals, sense of home, or milder summer days. So here we are.
I live in Tucson, which has many naturist advantages, but still I like to mitigate my daily nature and naturist needs as best that I can. Some of these solutions may help you northern exposed folks.