We are feeling refreshed from our dip in the natural bathtub. We are comfortably barefoot, head to toe, road ready. We leave Dog Canyon, passing through Alamogordo, New Mexico, continuing our journey.
I’ve used the word “carnude”, or “carnuding” several times lately. Just to do some housekeeping, it is a contraction of “car” and “nude” that several of us came up with several years ago. It was a takeoff of the contraction “canuding” meaning canoeing nude. It simply means traveling by car without clothing. Here is a complete Carnuding Handbook, which explains the how to’s that we employ to safely carnude:
We slow through the quiet town of Tularosa. I have been through here numerous times over my lifetime, but never have taken true notice. I spot a large neighborhood of dressed up older homes. They are what I’d call New Mexico styles. They have much in common with the popular Santa Fe style, but are less restricted to the boxy pueblo look.
We wake up in our cozy tent, looking out of the net, hungry. That huge mountain rises up above us with its sense of beyond. There is more hidden up there, lots more, eventually there is a National Forest filled with pines and lush life.
Stepping out of our nest is like stepping into adventure. The view is spectacular. The valley is now its normal self, under a big turquoise New Mexico sky. We are on vacation. Breakfast comes, as I tear down the tent. I carefully tuck each component of our campsite in its assigned place in the small car.
The plan was to be out somewhere in the Lincoln National Forest, this morning, somewhere near Capitan, New Mexico. Yesterday, we altered that in a moment and visited White Sands National Monument instead. We then stayed here, just a few miles away.
So, we’re hours from that original goal, in no particular hurry and about to alter our plans again. Like I said, “We’re on vacation,” But what I haven’t said is that this is an open ended trip. We can stay on the road as long as we like. Just that, feels mighty liberating.
I pull out my notes and check our parameters. What can we do today? There is a compelling notion of a hike up a spectacular looking canyon that we have been curiously viewing from our breakfast table.
We are on our first day of our epic road trip. We have been enjoying the threat and turbulence from a storm menacing the Tularosa Valley of New Mexico. We just left my childhood stomping grounds and the White Sands National Monument, but now, we need to find a shelter.
We pass by Holloman Air Force Base and more memories are triggered. Before space was deemed safe for men, it was here that chimpanzees were trained to be sent out into orbit. These earliest astronauts were trained with the positive reinforcement of banana pills. My dad, an Army Lieutenant Colonel had toured the training facility and brought some of the “top secret” pills back home to me. He joked about using them to train me like a monkey. Those pills were absolutely the essence of banana, delicious and I did want more.
Things have changed, this was once the world where Billy the Kid camped out under the stars of the big sky. Today, as we approach Alamogordo, I am searching for the National Weather Service on my smart phone. Do we go for a tent site up in the foothills of the Lincoln National Forest, or hunker down safely in a stuffy motel?
I look to the forecast and the evolving satellite weather map. I look out at the storm across the vast valley from here, ground level. I figure odds are that the storm will pass west and south of the mountain range. We’re feeling hopeful. We drive off to investigate the Oliver Lee Memorial State Park.
After dropping our camping permit papers into a small box, we’re watching rain and storms all across the great valley. We’ll pitch our tent in the evening sun.
There are numerous adobe picnic shelters spaced across this hillside. I find a space under one that is just big enough for the tent. If my weather research is proved wrong, this will be an additional insurance.
As we set up camp and dinner. The sun peeks out from under the clouds and illuminates the massive hillside to our east. It is bright, a sharp golden spectacle. I think of Pizzaro and his army wandering in search of tales of mountains of gold. The natives along the way all concur that there are mountains of gold. His resolve increases and his thirst salivates, but his lust is never quenched on the fool’s errand.
Tularosa bats come by from mountainous shelters for their evening meals. We welcome them and wonder if they may be headed north to Colorado and the cave next to the Orient Land Trust hot springs.
We inspect the car that we started out with. It is coated with fine white powder, spotted like a Dalmatian by the large rain drops that found their way to us in the sandy storm, earlier in the day, at White Sands National Monument. It isn’t a sand blast, but more like flour dust stuck to the metal and paint. Oh, well….
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 →