Saturday, May 12th, the Freehiking Utah Group took its first nude travel hike of 2007. Eight members gathered in Salt Lake City at 7:00 am, five men and three women. We divided up into three cars, and headed south down I-15 to Cipeo, then east past Salina about 30 miles. We arrived at the hiking location about 10:15, but then spent half an hour looking for several members of the Group who had gone early to camp. We couldn't find them (too bad, 4 or 5 group members were camping; we suspect they had a great hike as well; send a report). We parked where we thought they had camped, got undressed, and started the hike.
The weather was perfect – sun, fluffy clouds, temperature about 90 degrees. It's always wonderful to feel the warm sun and light breezes on your body. This was the first nude hike for one of the women and you could tell she fell in love with the feeling immediately. You become so at one with nature - hiking simply can't be the same with clothes on. Freehiking is so freeing - away with hot, sweaty, filthy hiking clothes forever!
We freehiked a short distance from the camp area to the edge of a cliff, and were immediately greeted with a spectacular view of the valley below. (See some photos of the hike at http://imageevent.com/kenandjane/salina2007?n=0). The ground was sandy and smooth red-brown rock. We saw occasional black-lava boulders sitting on the sandstone. Beautiful orange, black, and green lichen covered many of the rocks. As we hiked, we talked and enjoyed pointing out interesting rock formations, plants, trees (juniper and pinion), and amazing views. (Enjoying nature with naked friends is such a wonderful gift.) We enjoyed the sun and breeze on our naked bodies as we hiked.
As we started up a mesa, topped with a line of sandstone cliffs, we found some very interesting crystals no one could identify. Ken and PJ picked up several to share with their grandkids.
We climbed through slot canyons to the top of the mesa. That was really fun, although a few group members found the rocks a little steep, so Ben stayed back with them to hike around the base of the cliffs. We always make accommodation for less adventurous members, and for those who are not used to hiking quickly over long distances. Our group hikes are more about enjoying nature together in the nude, than exercising and sweating and rushing down the trail. Those who had climed to the top rested at the very tip of the last cliff, and enjoyed the spectacular canyons below. We took photos of PJ’s famous pose. Then they climbed down to meet up with those who hiked around the base of the mesa.
Ken led the group below the cliffs of another mesa. We stopped to take a photo of the entire group under an interesting rock formation, and soon stopped at a large flat rock where we could sit and eat a bite of lunch. It's so enjoyable to talk and share your feelings with friends as you bask naked in the wonder of nature.
After lunch we continued hiking along the base of the mesa, pointing out interesting sandstone formations, and wonderful scenery. We eventually reached another cliff edge, overlooking a small valley. An interesting sandstone peak rose above the skyline at the head of the valley. We took some nice photos standing on a exciting and beautiful tip of sandstone which extended 10 feet or more out from the cliff edge, over the valley. (In the photos it's a little difficult to see just how far it really extended out from the cliff because of the hills below.)
The group then started back towards the cars, circling around another small mesa, and across a field of sparse brush (not tall enough to scratch us or impede our progress, although Ben managed to get a prickly pear cactus needle in his toe). When we reached the dirt road leading to the cars, the group tried thumbing for a ride. (No luck - no one was around, even on a weekend; oh well, I'm sure we'd have shocked them so badly they'd have simply driven by, averting their eyes.)
Far too soon we arrived back at the cars. D&L were staying to camp for the night, so we said goodbye, and spent a little time just talking about our experiences. C mentioned how much she enjoyed her first nude hike; she'll definitely come next time. We took our time getting dressed; being naked outdoors feels so good and natural that you always hate to get back into confining clothes. In fact, I suspect most of us didn't; driving naked feels great as well, and no one ever notices as you drive down the freeway.
As we headed up the road so we could get back to Salt Lake City by about 5:00, we all felt grateful for good friends and a great nude hike. We arrived just in time to attend the nude swim. What a great way to end a naturist day, floating and talking with other friends in a warm-water pool.