In the southwestern New York, we came across an emerald gem. It has a grey bedrock channel through it. In some places it sparkles like tiny diamonds. It’s called Skinny-dip Falls. It’s a canyon gorge with a nude area about a mile long. Some sources say that it is designated, but it appears to speak for itself.
We have been having a peaceful R&R morning in Shawneee State Park, Ohio. It is mid- week, Tuesday, and we are nearly alone. I count just five occupied spaces out of the many in our area.
I take to the asphalt, walking down to the ranger station to square up and ask about hiking in the area. There are park maps pulled out, as I inquire. Not seeing what I am looking for, I mention that we have been a way from eastern forested areas like this and we would like solitude, maybe some meditation.
There is a trail up the road. Suspiciously, it doesn’t sound quite right, but there is little else to go on.
A short trip up the road through the canyon is a boat launch and dam. A lower parking lot is empty. Nobody is around. We get our light gear and follow a sign, walking across the road over to a hole in the foliage. It soon becomes apparent, that this trail is all our own.
Just a few feet in, we confidently strip off. I toss my clothing into the pack and out of the way.
Lawn mowers are everywhere, everyone has a big green lawn. Dorothy, we’re not in Arizona anymore!
We begin with a slow easy start, meandering through the back country roads of Missouri, smelling the cool morning breeze as it wraps around our bodies.
There is a beautiful bridge that we use to pass over to “east of the Mississippi” a sort of demarcation dividing the USA in half. Western Americans know this concept as if pioneers embarking “out west.” We anticipate a change. Oddly, on the other side of bustling Cape Girardeau, sits a strip bar and gas station, surprisingly nothing else, just some fields and trees and the road.
We’re going across five states today, Missouri, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky and landing somewhere in the Ohio River Valley. I’ve checked the nudity laws. They vary from state to state, some more threatening than others. It is best to just use our regular carnuding strategies. We’ll be on Interstate highways mostly. Not much concern, but of the view of a bored truck driver who might awaken from his driving tedium.
I pull over for cell phone reception at a rest stop to make a telephonic doctor’s appointment. With that out of the way, we decide on lunch on one of the picnic tables and have a break from is longer day of driving.
The place seems odd to me. Each tree is perfect and uniform in shape and size. These clones have been here many years and manicured, probably planted at the same time. It reminds me of a Jetson’s cartoon that I saw years ago, where in the future, the trees are all gone. Their replacements are actually metal and uniform. I wander off to the edge of this park in fascination. I find much wild biodiversity attempting to creep in the empty space and take over. It is barely contained by perimeter fences.
As we sit and eat, we people watch. I contemplate that there is a defining identification regionally about clothing. Redneck chic is a big thing. Western outfits began to be replaced more by baseball caps with logos and tee shirts, as we have made our way eastward. Illinois seems more urban with paler skin from lack of sun. Indiana has the redneck look down pat. It seems like a tribal thing. My wrap around kilt, a convenient individuality, gets second glances. If only we would spend our summers dressed as human beings. There is much to do about really nothing. Continue reading →
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.
I had to make sure that the posts would continue, while we would be on our road trip, so I pre-published. I arranging to have automatic posts while we were gone. I neglected to pre-post recognition of six years of publication of TheFreeRangeNaturist.org., which occurred during the middle of June. We are now back in Tucson, after seven weeks of travel and I have access to my familiar tools, so:
HAPPY 6th BIRTHDAY!!!
Here’s to the coming 7th year of publication!
This is a good time to let you all know what’s in the future for The Free Range Naturist. I have now content to last into 2022. I have several articles in the works and a thought or two might pop up. We have some trips in mind this Fall/Winter. But mostly, our trip has provided us with several stories, which will probably keep me busy. Now, they are just on paper as notes and photos are in files. I’ll have to set the trip reports as beginning rough drafts and sort out a couple of thousand photos. It will be a challenge to keep it fresh enough in my memory, before final attention is given each piece.
I was told, that I should number each story about our trip as a chapter, like a book. It will appear as a series called “Naked across America.”
Naked across America is exactly what we did. This website has been from the beginning, a how to and encouragement for others to get out and practice naturism in a free range manner. We figure that most of us can somehow do similar to what we demonstrate.
There has always been an Arizona/Southwestern-centric expression of this “how to.” Part of our trip was to expand free ranging nudity to other environments, legal jurisdictions, across this vast and varied land. It works in Arizona, how about other places? What could be learned? What obstructions might there be for others living elsewhere?
We had other goals in mind. For one, we wanted to see how inexpensive, but comfortable, we could be crossing the United States. We decided to use DF’s small Honda at what turned out to be over 30 miles to the gallon. I figured around 5000 miles, but ultimately 7000 was traveled. Also, DF retired and we were able to have an open ended flexible schedule, that could change on whim, or need. We were attempting to see how a sustained, or spontaneous trip might be done on our discretionary funds alone.
We had several friends to visit and planned to spend a good amount of time hiking, or backpacking. We both prefer stars and fresh air, opposed to feeling cooped up in stuffy hotels. Continue reading →
Here we are, it’s Spring again and a first warm opportunity, a perfect day has presented itself. We were looking for a hike, to enjoy our deep tropical tans. Just over a week ago, we were in Zipolite, Mexico. Spoiled, we’re after sand, water and more of that terrific sense of liberty.
We have to stay down in the desert, because elevation makes the air much cooler up in the mountain’s trees, at this time of year. We also, want to try something new.
Redington probably has water from the recent rains. We thought of hiking the sacred mountain Babaquvari, but that is such a strenuous hike. We just feel like taking it somewhat easier. There is fresh ground up past Redington Canyon that would be new to us. We’re off.
When I ran to a temple in India, I was seeking knowledge and transformation. I had the curiosity to learn ancient ways first hand and not through a book. I wanted secrets. I was intrigued with possibilities that I could find oneness with that something/everything. What do they mean by “to end suffering,” to “loosen attachment?” How is that so? I also had a paper to write for my Master’s degree and I wanted something fresh.
Each day, I was given a litany of various yogas. Most were not about western ideas of health; most were not physical. A yoga is a path to Awakening there. Where I went, it was treated like shotgun medicine. If you try ten yogas, perhaps one will be your holy key, you’ll stick to that one, if it works for you.
One that I particularly enjoy is what this temple called Japa Yoga. I have seen other things here in the west called the same. This one, I find, can be practiced without any strict proprieties. It is fun, yet it will bring one into the moment, away from the periphery of imposing influences of daily modern life, and uses the whole body in a most healthy and rejuvenating way. The basic idea is to allow the body to let go, to let go of the body and to allow something essential to take over. It arrives as a free form dance.
Clothing can be fun. I suppose that that sounds odd coming from me, but clothing has been a festive accessory for millennia. DF and I have dressed up in nude outfits on occasion.
I had a long blonde wig sitting around for several years waiting for an occasion. DF and I needed new costumes for the big Halloween bash. Our friends were putting on a special show. Neither of us could get away with nude in public but hair, aka Lady Godiva and we had but one wig between the two of us.
I found nude body stockings at a ballet shop. With the wig and my masculine features, like the thick mustache, well it just looked silly. A comical impression of the lady Godiva…good!
DF needed something for her nude form fitting tights and she decided on an Eve. We made leaf patterns out of a green felt material, which was much like a pool table cloth. These were placed strategically.
We walked into the open air bar, grabbed drinks, walked around a corner and were barely on the dance floor, when a mike augmented voice blasted out, “Lady Godiva.” I won a prize, then and there!
The outfits went over big, which was fun. But we did realize that there was a bit of a see-through effect in certain areas without the opaque coverings. I noticed a pair of older women staring as I danced. Apparently when the hair shifted… I had to be on a diligent duty, keeping DF informed of any shifting of her shrubbery.
Of course in a one piece outfit, toiletries presented an obvious difficulty.
We had lots of fun.
So Next Year, Just Plain Naked:
The next year, going back to the usual very authentic pirate costumes wasn’t enough whimsy, so, we decided to go completely naked. Again this option just couldn’t cut muster with local law and the leftover nude body stockings came back out of the drawer. Again they were revealing.
This is the end of the previous tale about navigation when hiking. I am on my way back to Terra Sante across wide open spaces of various terrain. The first part can be found as the previous post.
My memory of the subtle differences in my landmarks faulty, I am having a tough time staying on my route, except when I find the jeep trail that crosses my path. Soon enough, I’m making my way toward the sticks that I placed to point the way.
This jeep trail has been a relief from the random wandering through the open desert. The harsh thick plant life makes a straight line of any kind impossible.
Several times, someone has asked how we navigate. I have a GPS that I have used once. I got it to not get lost in the forested mountains. There I can’t see far and the foliage and terrain is redundant enough to confuse landmarks. I’ve used this devise only a couple of times over the years.
We usually use more primitive navigational means. Where we go is mostly mountainous, or between mountains, with plenty of distinct landmarks. We often use marked trails.
I do use technology to get acquainted beforehand. I get everything that I can find off of the internet. I use Google Maps and then their satellite images to surmise what we might expect. I sometimes use raw hand-drawn maps, and sometimes topo maps.
There is always something else that needs to be done to not get lost, common sense, extra senses, observations, vigilant memories, either on the trails, or bushwhacking.
This will be two tales. The first takes place in the spring, me alone. The second is brief, when DF accompanied.
I will combine the photos of two stories here. You see, I went alone the first time and wrote the story. My photos from that experience were not adequate illustrations. A few months later, DF and I returned, cameras in hand, which made another story and more on this topic of navigation.
The spoiler alert is that in each tale, we nearly got lost wandering in the desert, again, but for our wits.