On the spur of the moment, I decided on Monday evening to head up to Vermont to join the Naked Hiking Day (i.e. summer solstice, June 21) hike on the Appalachian Trail. It was announced on HikingNaked.com. Arriving at the trailhead at 9 a.m. on Tuesday, I found the organizer named Ed and a congenial group of 5 other nude hikers. We hiked from near Wallingford, VT, down the Appalachian Trail to near Danby, VT. Along the way there was a waterfall and later a great overlook atop a sheer granite wall affording expansive views of the valley to the west. After about 8 miles we arrived at Little Rock Pond, and took advantage of the opportunity for a skinny-dip in the warm waters. After 2 more miles we reached the end, where we had prepositioned some of the vehicles. We met a few through-hikers, who did not seem offended by our nudity, and (at the pond) one grumpy family who clearly was offended. They went around to the other side of the pond, keeping their distance, clearly afraid that we would traumatize or corrupt their 5-year-old daughter.
One of the hikers, FreewalkerMA, said he had planned to stay an extra day to do more freehiking, so I altered my plans and decided to join him. The next day it was raining, but the temperature stayed around 60 degrees and we were warm enough as long as we kept moving. We did a 5.5 mile hike over Bromley Mountain, and then a four mile hike to Griffith Lake. We topped off the day with the short hike from the parking area to the nude area on Harriman Reservoir (AKA The Ledges, Vermont's "nude beach"). Once again we finished off the day with a skinny-dip, washing off the trail dirt and ignoring the continuing soft rain.
All in all, two fantastic days to celebrate the summer solstice. And, as at the ENG the week before, I was lucky enough to find a kindred spirit in FreewalkerMA who has the time and the interest to do some serious freehiking here in New England. Life is good!
Stay nude and enjoy the summer,