Bradford Ridge – Again

Saturday I drove up to Bradford Ridge path in what turned out to be a vain attempt at Deep Creek Hot Springs. The weather report said the area west of Victorville should have a high of about 90F. I figure it would be worth a shot. Ninety degrees F is the same as 32C., right around my upper comfort limit for desert hiking. This would be mitigated2019-06-17_10-43-34 by a swimming hole at the end.

I have been out the Bradford Ridge path before. The trail is familiar to me.

Of course I got off to a late start and of course, it took me 3 hours to do what Google maps said should take 2 hours. The trip up on CA Highway 18 is an adventure in itself. The road is steep. Despite being a 4 lane divided highway there are tight curves best taken at well under the 55 speed limit.

On this day, the hillsides were covered in wide swaths of Spanish broom. This invasive was brought over by early Spanish settlers for both its decorative value and its practical value. The long straight stems are perfect for making a broom with.

The Mediterranean climate of the California coastal scrub and chaparal was perfect for this plant which has now flourished here for centuries.


Highway 18 heads west along the southern rim of the San Gabriel Mountains. Along the way and small communities, all which have “rim” somewhere in their names. The first restaurant you encounter is the Cliffhanger, an impressive bit of architecture not quite dangling of the edge of a cliff but close enough.  I was feeling a bit woozy from taking curves faster than I probably should have (vertigo in my middle name) so I stopped here and recovered while I had a bite to eat.

 

Cliffhanger Mexican Restaraunt

 

When I started this trip, It was cold and moist and overcast. As I climbed in elevation, I entered the cloud layer and it became fog.  Just as I reached the top of the cloud layer, the grey haze rapidly became an extremely bright haze. I had to slip on my sunglasses and still I was squinting and felt a headache coming on. Then, almost without warning, I popped thru to clear sky and warm weather.

This is often called May grey or June gloom, depending on the month. A low-level wind coming in from the ocean carries cold and wet air over the land for as much as a hundred miles inland. This is called an “on-shore flow”. Normally air would be warmer at lower elevations due to adiabatic heating and cool off as you gain altitude but this mass is very stable and doesn’t mix. Kind of like if you add cold cream to your coffee very carefully it will accumulate at the bottom and the hot coffee will stay on top.

If the wind were coming from the high deserts to the north, it hits the mountains – and being hot – has no problems rising up and over. It reaches the top and flows down the other side. Adiabatic cooling and then re-heating take place. Valleys close to sea level can become ten or more degrees hotter than the deserts where the air originated. These are called Santa Ana winds here but every area with large elevation changes have their own local name.

All these clouds slide in until they meet a mountain and then stop. Above this layer, the world looks like it is buried in a sea of white. Today the cloud tops were at about 4000 ft. So from the deck of the Cliffhanger, (5000 ft.) this is what you see.


Bradford Ridge Path (10)

Feeling a bit better, I continued on my way. There were LOTS of twists and turns ahead but I took care to go slowly and be gentle with accelerator and break.


Very easy to miss your turn or get right and left mixed up here. That is lake Arrowhead to the right. Once you reach Hwy 173, it is easy. Side note: Hwy 173 used to go thru to near Victorville as the only remaining gravel state highway in the state. Made the trip a lot easier. The CA DOT decided they didn’t want to spend the money to keep it open. Now it dead ends just beyond the Bradford Ridge trailhead. Austerity sux!

Speaking of the trailhead, this is what it looked like. I have crossed the bridge and am looking back south from whence I came.

 

Bradford Ridge Path (11)
In addition to this, there are more cars parked behind me.

 

On most trails, this would be a clear indication that one should keep one’s clothes on. But everyone here is headed out to the hot springs. It is the only possible destination. The hot springs and surrounding trails have massive amounts of nudity so…

This time I stayed dressed. After a comfortable mid-70s in the Arrowhead region, I’d dropped down to 3500 ft elevation and the heat was crazy. I kept my clothes on and my sleeves rolled down for comfort. This was mid-morning and it was already hotter than the forecast had predicted. I may be a nudie but it is a matter of practicality above all else. I may be odd but I’m not stupid.

Much of the trail follows Kinley Creek. Because of the wet winter we just had, there is still water in the creek and a profusion of wildflowers in the creek and on the trail.




Kinley Creek and some of the foliage alongside it.

As comforting as it was to know there was a water source nearby, after an hour’s hiking it became abundantly clear I was not enjoying the hike. I was sweating but not fast enough to keep the heat down. The only part of my shirt that was wet was the area between my back and the backpack. Everything else was bone dry.

Soon I found myself stopping to hide under scrub oaks and mountain magnolias for every scrap of shade I could find. (Always look for snakes if you do this. They need shade too!) No room to lie down and relax, I was always scrunched up and uncomfortable. It was along this trail I met a single guy, wearing just shoes and shorts and carrying nothing. He would regret his lack of sunscreen later. Then there was a young couple trail running from the springs back to their car. No water or any kit of any kind. The guy would run way ahead of the girl and then stop to let her catch up.

I concluded several things from this.

  • They were both extremely fit. Running in that kind of heat would have killed me. You’d have heard about them recovering my corpse on the evening news.
  • They were both extremely stupid. No water. One misstep and it would be a painful and damaging fall one might not be able to climb up from. You could see a number of places where previous people had stepped near the edge of the trail and the trail had simply collapsed under them and down the hillside.
  • Or they might be immortal A lot of young people go thru a phase where nothing can hurt them and nothing can ever go wrong.
  • He was a less than optimal running partner. A good running partner matches pace. She was obviously not in as good a shape as he and couldn’t keep up. This isn’t a groomed running track. You need to be there if your partner needs you. The one who is exhausted is usually going to be the one who gets into.

So I talked to the guy until the girl comes around a bend and over the hill behind him. She caught up to him and I was on my way.



Bradford Ridge Path (1)There was a wild honeybee hive right by the trail in a burnt out log. I watched the bees zipping back and forth between flowers (this flower was a thistle) and their home. Looked like a small nest. A large one would have had dozens of bees commuting and guarding the entrance. This one only had a few commuters. I believe that is a painted lady butterfly. (I could be wrong.) There are literally a billion butterflies in California this year due to the wet winter. And that is an alligator lizard frozen into an odd position while I took his picture.





There was no shortage of flowers for the bees to pollinate. Haven’t had a chance yet to identify all these. They don’t seem to grow in my usual hiking areas.

Walking turned into trudging. These photos are from the easiest hiking stretches. I was getting sleepy and a headache was coming on. This was not fun. At this rate, it would take forever to get there. I’d empty my 3-liter bladder and be down to sucking creek water through my Sawyer water filter and soaking my clothes in it to get wet. Deep shade was in short supply.

I knew I wasn’t in any real danger. I could soak in creek water then hole up under a scrub oak until I cooled off and then repeat all day but that would be a PITA and leave me little time at the hot spring itself. In this case, I decided that discretion would be the better part of valor today and headed back, shy of my destination.

It really wasn’t the heat that did me in. It was age and lack of fitness. A couple of months from now, under the same conditions I would have made it. I would have acclimated.

Heading back, I passed two groups of people. One was two guys and a gal. Youngish, in the late teens or early 20s. They were on a day hike to the creek. Minimal lightweight clothes. They indicated they had lots of water on them but I only saw a liter apiece. Ah well. Young and immortal!

Bradford Ridge Path (19)

The next group was two gals and a guy. Maybe ten years older? I’d describe them as hippie types if this were the sixties. They were covered from their feet to the top of their heads with loose clothing, wore well-used hiking boots and carried full up backpacks. I knew I was only a couple hundred yards to my trailhead but he grinned and said it was only 4 more miles. As we passed on the trail he tapped my shoulder and said, “Take care.”

And then I saw the search and rescue helicopter fly overhead. I watched it make a bee-line to Deep Creek.

Back in my car, I started my car and cranked the a/c. At 1:30 pm it was 99 in the shade, not even the hottest part of the day yet. I would not have enjoyed that day. Instead, I drove up to Arrowhead where it was a comfortable 75 and took an hour’s nap in the shade. Now that was fun!

Bradford Ridge SAR

 

Bradford Ridge – Again

Naturism in LDS/Mormons

We discuss participation in naturism by Mormons from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (LDS) with Stacee (practicing) and Mike (lapsed). The religion’s focus on respecting the body creates an interesting (and arguably erroneous) dichotomy for those who want to be naturists.

Links to items mentioned in the show:

Photo: Freedom in Joshua Tree National Landmark (Utah) by Donald Fletcher

Episode CVIII

The post Naturism in LDS/Mormons appeared first on The Naturist Living Show.

Naturism in LDS/Mormons

Florida naked winter part 1: Partying in Pasco County.

Alligator warning sign by Florida pond

After a long drive last October I was stepping up into our RV, The
Toaster, when I felt something slap against my naked butt. It was a small,
whitish glob. A frog.

The frog clung to me for a moment, then leaped onto the doorway like he
was ready to party. I caught him and let him go outside in the humid night.

“Not tonight buddy,” I told him. “As much as I’m into
inter-species partying, I’m tired. And besides, what will the neighbors say?”

Let’s see: I’m naked, it’s humid and there’s frog on my ass who wants
to party. We must be in Florida.

Nomadic Nudists RV site at Riverboat Florida

Anchoring at Riverboat.

Our 2018 nomadic journey started almost five months earlier in Arizona.
All summer we meandered northeast, up to Maine, and then down the east coast.
We were exploring and killing time because ultimately we wanted to winter over
in Florida, just like good little snowbirds.

We had reservations at two nudist resorts: Eden RV Park in Hudson, and Sunnier Palms Nudist Park in Fort Pierce. But we were ahead of schedule so we first stopped at Riverboat Nudist Club, home of the partying frog.

Riverboat is a small property with a pond that includes two moored
boats and a little alligator. It appeared that 
someone was living in one of the boats.

The buildings and landscaping look like individual projects inspired by
some long-forgotten idea. The owner, Hyker, was busy with his latest project
transforming the club into a museum called the Land of Id, including a new
building with its own unique design.

S and Peanut at Riverboat Florida pond

The place was quiet with only handful of people staying there. We had
expected Riverboat to be a thriving community of our tribe: naturists and
artists. That’s what they advertise on their sign. It wasn’t but that was OK
because we used the time to chill naked after all those weeks on the road, and
reconnect with people and places from our last visit in 2015.

First we headed over to nearby Caliente Club to meet up with Jack Gipson and Kathy Randolph from the NUSA Sun magazine.

Reconnecting at Caliente Resort.

In stark contrast to Riverboat, Caliente is all about the resort experience, with a spa, restaurants, a nightclub, a gorgeous pool area and upscale homes and condos.  They also have a few RV sites sprinkled among a neighborhood of park model homes. Two of our good friends from Arizona were soon going to be coming in to park their RV there. Caliente is like no other U.S. nudist resort we’ve visited.

When you enter the towering main lobby, you’re bags are searched by
guards. They don’t want you sneaking in food or drink. A few weeks after this
visit, they also installed a metal detector. Because they don’t want you
sneaking in any metal.

I was wondering if they would eventually install a derelict detector to stop people like me. Just kidding. Everyone was very friendly.

We had lunch with Jack and Kathy then went down to the giant
lagoon-like pool and walked around in circles with drinks in hand. That’s what
you do in Caliente’s giant pool. Actually, that’s pretty much what nudists do
in any pool.

Going back to Paradise Lakes.

Back in 2015, we spent many hours in the pool with Jack and Kathy — and drinks — at Paradise Lakes Resort. Out of those hours, besides a few hangovers and a big bar bill, came the idea for the Nomadic Nudists column. It was hard to believe how fast time had passed.

A few days later we drove the five miles to Paradise Lakes in Lutz for their Wednesday evening Karaoke. The first time we came here, we drove right by it in spite of the fact that there’s a huge wall that says “Paradise Lakes Clothing Optional Resort” facing the road. We had to find a place in the busy Lutz area to turn our RV around.

This time we drove right to it. Which is good because we had spent a month here previously and my only excuse for missing it this time would be dementia-related. 

Paradise Lakes is a cluster of condos, homes and a mobile home/RV park
orbiting the main resort. The resort has a couple of pools surrounded by motel
rooms, a dance club, a restaurant and a tiki bar. You have to check in before
you can get to any of those and, like Caliente, you can’t bring in any food or
drink.

After checking in we went straight to the pool, stopping to get a
refreshing adult beverage at their poolside bar, Key West.

“I’ll just start a tab,” I told the bartender.

“We don’t do tabs, and besides we’re closing in a half hour,”
she replied.  It was 4:30 p.m.

When we were here in 2015, Key West stayed open later — it’s where they
held karaoke — and, to the detriment of our retirement plan, we always had a
tab going. We liked that because we could behave like proper nudists, meaning
we could stand around for hours in the pool with drinks in hand.

We thought this new policy was odd and unfortunate, but oh well. At least we wouldn’t spend as much money as we did last time. In fact, we’d spend a lot less because the bar in Club Reveal where karaoke was held, wouldn’t run tabs or take cash either. I didn’t want to pull out my credit card (from wherever I hide it while naked … I’m not telling you) every time we ordered a drink, so we stuck to water after that.

But karaoke was fun, run by KJ Hunt, the same guy who ran it in 2015. When we went up to sing Man of Constant Sorrow, he announced that the Nomadic Nudists are here. People cheered and filled the dance floor. Of course, that was after we stopped singing.

Anyway, we did get a little ego boost when people recognized us from
the column.  

Halloween decorations on the RV

Ready to move on.

We stayed three weeks at Riverboat, making more trips to Caliente and
Paradise Lakes, plus eating breakfast at Lake Como Nudist Resort.

Halloween was during our last week. We love Halloween at nudist
resorts; Some of the best costumes we’ve ever seen were worn by nudists. But
Hyker told me they couldn’t compete with the parties at Caliente and Paradise
Lakes, so they weren’t doing anything for the holiday.

Slow sign at Riverboat in Florida

Caliente’s party was too pricey for us, so Halloween night we stayed in the Toaster and got ready to relocate to Eden. We had enjoyed these past weeks getting back into the Florida nudist vibe, but were glad to slow down on the partying and settle in for the winter at Eden.

At one point that evening, I swear I heard a knock on the door and wondered if we had trick-or-treaters. But then I remembered the frog. “Shh,” I said. “If we’re quiet maybe he’ll go away.”

The post Florida naked winter part 1: Partying in Pasco County. appeared first on The Nomadic Nudists.

Florida naked winter part 1: Partying in Pasco County.

The only insanity here is the… #Naturism #SocialNudism #Nudist #Nudism #Nudity #Naturist #Nude #ClothesFree #NakedIsNatural #NudeIsNotRude #LegalizeNudism⁠ ⁠ #RatherBeNaked #NakedIsNormal #NaturallyNaturistpic.twitter.com/Fsu7lfG6YK

The only insanity here is the… ⁠ ⁠

Today is our wedding anniversary. If someone had told us then that, having quit our jobs, we’d spend our third anniversary sitting on our own boat in St. George’s harbour in Grenada, we’d have been quite surprised. Together, in love, anything is possible. #clothesfree #naturismpic.twitter.com/1LjZVtG7bf

Today is our wedding anniversary. If someone had told us then that, having quit our jobs, we’d spend our third anniversary sitting on our own boat in St. George’s harbour in Grenada, we’d have been quite surprised. Together, in love, anything is possible.