Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Wellsville Mountains Freehike - June 2007

Saturday, June 9, 2007, the Freehiking Utah Group traveled north to hike the Wellsville Mountains south of Logan, Utah. Six members and visitors gathered in the Woods Cross area at 8:00 am to share rides. They drove to summit of Sardine Canyon where they met three other members. In all, ten members hiked, seven men and three women – Ken, PJ, Ben, Cherie, Steve, Yarl, Craig, Rocketman, Warren, and Gloria. One member came from Idaho, and one couple drove twenty four hours from Minnesota to hike with us.

We were a little afraid of the weather when we started as it had been cold, and the peaks were covered with snow from the rain earlier in the week, but the weather turned out to be perfect and snow had not accumulated where we hiked. In fact, the snow capped mountains in the distance added to the beauty of the hike. We drove several miles down a dirt road from the summit of Sardine Canyon to trailhead. Ken and PJ had taken this hike last summer, and Ken and Ben had taken it the weekend before to be sure it would work well for a Saturday group hike (when clothed hikers are often out). We found it to be an excellent location.

We parked near the trailhead, put on our shorts/kilts/tops because we were still by the busy dirt road, crossed the gate, and hiked up a pretty steep hill. After a short distance, at the first shrub maple tree, we paused to get naked, then continued the climb to the ridge and the first mountain valley, where the trail leveled out for most of the hike. This is an easy hike for a group. As we reached the top of the hills we noticed a herd of sheep moving through the valley.

We hiked quit a ways, and then got dressed again when we saw a sheep dog. A short time later we met the herder riding a horse. After hiking a little further, we got naked again and continued along the trail – no problem.

This hike passes through several large mountain valleys. Everything was beautifully green. Maple-covered hills rise above the valleys, with snow-capped mountains beyond. There were just a few clouds in the deep-blue sky. The temperature was perfect, and the sun quickly warmed our nude bodies. A light breeze caressed and cooled us. It felt wonderful as always to be nude and at one with nature.

This was the first nude hike for several and all loved it. We enjoyed talking and getting to know each other as we hiked. Nude hiking makes communication so easy. Usually we stay close together as a group. The large valleys and distant views on this hike made it easy to see those who wanted to hike more quickly so some hiked ahead this time. PJ and I stayed behind to take some photos. (We took a photo of a tarantula spider we passed – cool.) It was nice to have a little time to be somewhat by ourselves.

After hiking about three miles we reached a summit on the trail, and paused to take a few group photos, and a shot of PJ’s famous pose. The valleys and mountains looking back were awe-inspiring. (See the photos for this hike at: http://imageevent.com/kenandjane/wellsvillehike )

Then it was time to return. The cooling breeze felt so nice as we turned to hike back down the trail. We talked a little less, and just enjoyed the gift of being one with the sun and the breeze in a beautiful, natural mountain valley. It is so wonderful to hike naked with friends. Hiking in clothes can never feel as freeing.

The mountain views were even more beautiful as we returned. On the way we passed a baby sheep that had been left behind. Its crying was so heart-wrenching, bringing new meaning to leaving the ninety and nine in search of the lost sheep. Nude hiking often brings surprising feelings of spiritual closeness.

After six miles of hiking beauty we arrived back at the cars. We had to dress quickly as we were at the fairly-busy dirt road. We said “Goodbye”, looking forward to the next Freehiking Utah Group hike. Several of the members got back with plenty of time to attend the group swim in Salt Lake City – a perfect end to a nude hiking day.

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