Backpacking Trip

Michael sent in this great story about skinny dipping while backpacking in the wilderness:

I was unemployed one summer and looking for a new job. Wanting to get away for a short trip but with almost no money, I decided to take an overnight backpacking trip at a nearby state park.

Since I had a job interview with a company near the park, I packed my gear when I went for the interview and headed to the park afterward.

It was early July and a beautiful day in the low 80’s. By the time I got to the park, it was almost 4pm. To make sure I made it to the campsite (almost eleven miles away) before it got too dark, I had to move quickly through the trail.

Arriving a few hours later, I was sweating quite a bit. Since the campsite was accessible only by the trails, I didn’t expect it to be very busy. However, I was pleasantly surprised when I arrived and there was no one else there. I chose the spot next to the lake, set up my tent, and got my gear arranged. As I got things set up, a few mountain bikers passed by and said hello.

Once I was done setting up camp, it was starting to get dark. It was getting too late for anyone else to be coming by, so I realized that I had the camp to myself for the night.

Sweating from the hike and camp set up, I decided to take a swim in the lake. Since there was no one else around, I realized that I could just take my clothes off and go swimming in the nude. Of course, the water felt amazing, especially after the long hike.

Just after I jumped in, two young women came hiking by on the trail and stopped by the small beach wear I was swimming. Not sure how these two women would react to a strange guy coming naked out of the water, I made sure I kept my bottom half under the water.

One of them called out to me, “How’s the water?” I told them it was great and really hit the spot after hiking for a few hours. The one woman then asked, “Do you mind if we join you?”

“You’re welcome to do so, but I should warn you that I’m not exactly decent under the water here.” They laughed and the other woman said, “We would love to join you, but we still need to finish the last few miles of the trail before it gets dark. In fact, we really need to get going now.” With that, they waived goodbye and started heading down the trail again.

I decided to swim further out into the lake. As I did so, the sun was setting in the west as a three-quarter moon rose in the east. Watching nature’s magic happen around me made me want to just stop time and keep hold of that moment forever.

When the sun was almost down, I finally got out and built a campfire. The fire dried me off as the last of the sun disappeared and the stars came out. I wanted to stay undressed as long as possible, but the cool night air finally convinced me to get dressed.

The next morning, I got up early and went for another swim as the sun rose. After taking down camp, it was time to head back out on the trail to finish my trip and return to the real world.

Unfortunately, I didn’t get the job, but that interview helped me have one of my favorite camping experiences of all time.

What a wonderful experience, Michael! I’m sorry you didn’t get the job, but thanks for sharing this memory!


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