The first snow of fall 2008 fell overnight – it’s certainly too cold for a freehike today.
Monday, less than a week ago, Lee and I got together for perhaps our last freehike together for the year. PJ had encouraged me to go, bless her, even though she was too involved with lots of other activities to come along.
I drove south from Ogden, Utah, and met up with Lee at the Flying J, north of Tooele, Utah. I jumped in Lee’s truck, and he drove us to Stansbury Island. No one was out on this quiet Monday, so we were able to dressed and start from the main trailhead.
The weather was perfect for a freehike – high seventies, very few clouds, no breeze. The sun warmed us and felt so wonderful on our naked bodies as we climbed the trail up to the main pass, then down a little and along the cliffs marking old Lake Bonneville’s ancient shoreline.
Stansbury Island is dry and wide open, with expansive views of the Great Salt Lake, salt ponds, Stansbury Mountains, and Tooele Valley. The scenery is spectacular in its own unique way.
As we hiked we conversed about hiking and naturism, and the disappointments and joys of life. It was natural and very enjoyable freehiking with such a good friend. After about four miles we turned around as I’d told PJ I’d be back about 5:00pm.
Nearing the end of the hike, as we descended to the truck, I realized just how meaningful this hike was. Just 3 ½ years earlier this had been the same location Lee (then Ben) and I had first hiked together – my first social naturist experience. So much had happened since that hike. Both of our lives had changed in so many ways. And now PJ and I have different employment that has taken us to Southern California. I usually hold my feelings too close inside – even a naturist has private emotions that can’t quite emerge. It’s so wonderful that friendships last forever.
Too soon, our (likely) last hike of the season was completed. We were dressed (at least I was) and heading home. But this will always remain a freehike filled with wonderful memories.
You can view photos of the Stansbury Island hiking area at: http://imageevent.com/justmeina/islandhike )