Thursday, December 3, 2009

Banged Up Shins Report

Though I post a number of my trips in my blog, I have certainly done a number of nude activities that I never got around to posting (not for lack of an interesting trip). The main thrust of my activities have been working on getting through the bureaucracy of permits for Scenic Hot Springs and in general, urging the owner of that beautiful property to keep it rustic and nudist-friendly. I'm happy to report that Scenic is close to it's final permits to allow reconstruction of hot spring pools, and that the owner, who already can see no other way to soak than to soak nude, is seeing the value of working with affiliated nudists and making his entire property a nudist-friendly area for hiking, soaking and eventually camping.

Through the year I have been active in advocacy issues through my local club (the SLUGS) and AANR-NW. Activities included cleanup events at Rooster Rock State Park and Collins Beach, Glassbar Island where interaction with Oregon's SOLV and local officials have resulted in good working relationships between nude beach users and those officials who have the power to allow or restrict clothing-optional usage at these popular locations in Oregon.

Closer to home in the Seattle area I have been corresponding with several county sheriff departments to better understand conditions under which they respond to complaints of public nudity in the National Forests, to educate those same departments in the respect local nudists and naturists deport themselves. Though there is a general cynicism amongst nudism vis'a vis law enforcement I generally feel it is better to be on friendly terms with LE and understand (and respond) to their concerns. Most deputies and officers do not see any difference between simple, expressive nudity and indecent exposure. It is my desire to change these perceptions . . . as the law already acknowledges (though obliquely in the definition of indecent exposure). My correspondence has been a mixed bag but at least I have contacts who are willing to talk and who do acknowledge (though off the record) that there are people who enjoy hiking nude in the mountains . . . and that they are not necessarily doing anything wrong.

Within the municipal limits of Seattle I've participated in several events that advocate of nudity within Seattle. I started the year with the Body Freedom Collaborative's Annual Polar Bare Dip in Puget Sound . . . for which we received some local publicity (and strategically pixellated news images). I also did the ORCOBA New Year's Day Polar Bare Nude Plunge in the Columbia River off of Sauvies Island. This year I plan of doing three Polar Bare Dips (The BFC in Seattle, the ORCOBA at Sauvies, and the AANR one off of Rooster Rock State Park).

Related to advocacy events, I missed the World Naked Bike Ride but did participate in the Fremont Solstice Parade by getting myself body-painted with many others and riding a small mountain bike the parade route down a gauntlet of ten of thousands of cheering parade spectators . . . spending an appreciable amount of the day nude. (Normally the SLUGS enters a giant SLUGS float in this parade where we move it down the parade route nude. Unfortunately, our float needed major repair, leaving me in the lurch . . . I rode a bike nude instead.)

The SLUGS had a number of events which I participated in. Several hikes which I enjoyed. Unfortunately, medical necessity kept me from participating in several nude campouts and our popular Doe Bay Retreat this year. Each month during the winter we have a nude swim at a posh, private facility. I have enjoyed these moments to get together with fellow members.
A major part of my summer was spent exploring the camping areas and riverside of the North Fork of the Skykomish River above the road washout on the Index-Galena Road. That washout has left a major portion of the river inaccessible to motorists and a major hiking effort to hikers. I've enjoyed finding secluded little sandbar beaches and having the area all to myself.

Finally, Merry Christmas to all of you. Have a great New Year . . . stay warm (preferably naked in front of a roaring fire with Christmas cheer and friends . . . as I intend to do). Hear's looking to many new Skinny Trips this coming year.

- Rick with the Floppy Blue Hat and Banged Up Shins Blog: http://nudehiker.blogspot.com
- C/O Map: http://www.communitywalk.com/clothing-optional-places

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