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Topics - John P

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1
Trip reports / A few short trips
« on: October 09, 2020, 04:33:42 AM »
I've been accumulating photos from several activities over the last few weeks, where there aren't enough from any one trip to make up a decent sized report for this site. I'm combining them together in a single page, so the continuity is a little confusing. The first one was "The world's shortest canoe camping trip" where I paddled my camping gear a hundred yards across an inlet which I could have walked around. But the point of hauling the boat in (a lot more than 100 yards!) was to do some cruising around the lake, a former reservoir, no longer used for water supply. I did some minor exploring using the lake as a base. This was done with my solo boat, as opposed to the bigger boat that I use for shared trips.

If you want to see what happened to the old Strathmore mill, it was like this:
https://www.firehouse.com/operations-training/news/21142968/multiple-ma-departments-battle-vacant-mill-fire

Then a couple of pictures for a challenge on a Facebook group, "Naturism on stairs". After thinking I had nothing to contribute, I found an old stairway in an outdoor location which I walked to after visiting the celebrated Walden Pond.

Next some canoeing with my dear wife, who tolerates my naturist antics without usually joining in. But this time we did do some skinny-dippin'! No, no illustrations available.

Then a couple of swims in a pond close to home in the Boston suburbs. I'm experimenting on myself to see how late in the year I can (a) enjoy swimming and (b) force myself to swim even when I no longer enjoy it. So far (a) still applies.

And last, a couple of pictures from a hike I did in central Massachusetts, looking north to Mt Watatic and the hills in southern New Hampshire. I have a new gadget to clamp my phone onto a mini-tripod which I can strap into a tree, so a new toy to play with!



Arrived at the lake, hoping to see a nice sunset, but the forest fires in the west made the sky hazy.

I was also hoping for a clear night with a sky full of stars, but that didn’t happen either.

I did cruise around the lake, once in daylight and twice at night.

Next day, a naturist friend came in to visit, and we had a swim. After that, I went out to visit the ruins of the Strathmore Paper mill in the town of Russell.

After sitting abandoned for 20 years, the mill finally burned down earlier this year.

My camp site on the shore of the lake.

View from my tent.

Sitting by the camp fire, sipping a “Country driver”, my own invention combining the concepts of Country Time + screwdrivers.

Next morning, ready to depart with the boat loaded.

Two pictures taken in the distinguished town of Concord MA, where the “Shot heard round the world” was fired.

I did these for the Canadian Naturists group on Facebook, which is why they’re censored.

Another trip, and this was an attempt at using a canoe paddle as a selfie stick—fail!

Naturism is re-creating Eden, only this time we can eat all the apples we want.

My wife took this picture while standing on the shore. She says she can’t turn around to take pictures while sitting in the boat.

The next few pictures are from a location near home called Wright’s Pond, which has walking trails and a public beach.

Here’s the public beach, which is officially closed for the season but still getting a few visitors as the leaves change color.

Water temperaure is down to the low 60s, but on a reasonably warm day, it’s still possible to enjoy swimming.

I’ve discovered that there’s access to the shore at a certain point which isn’t visible from many other places!

Finally a couple of pictures from a place called Mt Hunger, on the Midstate Trail in central Massachusetts.

               

2
Free Range Naturism / The Naked Rancher
« on: September 10, 2020, 05:28:18 AM »
A different kind of "Free range" here!

This is in Montana, but being reported from England. The Metro is pretty scurrilous--should we believe it?

https://metro.co.uk/2020/09/08/meet-the-naked-rancher-the-man-who-herds-cattle-chops-wood-and-fishes-in-the-buff-13237950/

3
Trip reports / Camping and paddling western Massachusetts
« on: August 28, 2020, 08:46:14 PM »
Here's a report on a trip I did earlier this week with my wife. Kathy had hip replacement surgery back in June, and she's currently trying to raise her level of physical activity, so this represented some "firsts" for her. First canoe trip, first camping trip, first swim! And happily, all these experiences went well.

We started out in a location east of the Connecticut River, in the town of Holland. The plan was to go down the Quinebaug River a couple of miles to Brimfield Lake, then turn around and come back, but the water level was so low and the river was so choked with weeds that we decided not to try it, and we just paddled around Holland Pond instead. It wasn't very exciting, and I didn't take any pictures. Plus there were enough people around that clothing seemed necessary the whole time.

Then we moved on to camp beside the Westfield River in a location I've visited occasionally over the years. I found the spot in 1973 when I had my first job, in Connecticut. When a weekend came, I promised myself that I would drive north and find a place to camp, and go skinny-dipping! My exploring instinct was pretty good, because I found this spot and got both in one place. It's not totally unknown, and people do go there to camp and swim, but as unofficial campsites go, it seems to get a low level of trash and general destruction. On this occasion, we arrived and found a man and a woman sitting by the water, and in a reversal of the usual situation, he had shorts on and she was naked. I was concerned that they planned to camp there, and if they had, I had a "Plan B" site in mind, but it's not as good. So I decided to approach them and ask how long they were staying, and it seemed best to do it naked! So that's what I did, and in fact when the woman first saw me she reached for clothing, but then she relaxed and put it down again. They said they were just there to enjoy the spot for an hour or two, so we set up our chairs and table a little way away, and read books and made a cup of tea. Eventually they left and we moved in and claimed the site. We didn't see anyone else for the rest of our time there. By the way, this is a site for railroad enthusiasts, because the main line between Boston and Albany is just the other side of the river. Business must be good for CSX Transportation Inc, because we didn't get an uninterrupted might's sleep! In spite of low water in the river, the swimming was pretty good. Since Kathy doesn't favor minimalist camping, we took our large tent, and folding chairs and table. Does this make it a "glamping" trip?

The next day we got a late start, but it didn't matter. After taking down our campsite and having another swim, we moved on to Littleville Lake. That's an artificial lake created to defend towns downstream from flooding, so it needs to be kept at low level. Even so, it's a couple of miles long, with boat ramps at each end. In hopes of evading power boats, we used the upper ramp, but in fact there wasn't a motor anywhere on the entire lake that day. I haven't got any pictures of our craft under way, but I paddled most of the lake nude, both ways.

We got dinner at a roadside restaurant with outdoor dining, but then had to finish our meal in the car when a rainstorm suddenly struck! However, just up the road on the 2nd or 3rd highest bridge in the state (depending on the tide in Boston Harbor) we drove straight toward a rainbow. All a very excellent trip.


We set up our table and chairs on a level spot overlooking the river.

I gathered wood so we could have a fire in the evening, but we never got around to lighting it. Maybe someone will use the wood.

The boat is on the ground so we can get the tailgate open.

Does that rock across the river look like a bison lying down?

With the big tent and table and chairs, maybe we’re glamping!

A fake picture, because I wasn’t actually cooking anything.


Boat loaded on car, and we’re ready to go.

Paddling down Littleville Lake, from the swampy end where the stream comes in.

Our lunch spot with flowers growing in the water.

A local resident ignored us.

I thought this picture would show how I was easting lunch with my feet in the water!

Looking down to the dam. The Corps of Engineers keeps the lake partly full, but the level might rise if there’s a flood.

The boat ramp near the dam, where we met a lady with a solo kayak. She’d gone to retrieve her car when I took the picture.

View up the lake from the boat ramp.

Heading back up the lake, with a tail wind kicking up very small waves.

An intrepid paddler!

This is the Facebook version.

A bonus—on the way home we drove through a shower of rain, and there was a fine rainbow over the French King Bridge.
               

4
Trip reports / Western Massachusetts again
« on: July 26, 2020, 04:54:50 AM »
The previous trip was somewhat in the way of exploration, and this was a repeat. I had persuaded 4 friends to sign up, but there was a dubious weather forecast and it ended up as just Dan and me, and I was the only one who did it as an overnight. But Dan was very impressed with our first stop, a swimmin' hole with bootleg camping alongside (not as trashy as these places sometimes are) and a bonus railroad passing by. I discovered that place back in 1973, on a weekend just a few weeks after starting my first job. These places are all on or near the Westfield River, in "eastern western Massachusetts". We had a most excellent time.



The bug-eyed monster is my little tent, which I left without its flysheet as the weather was so pleasant. This place was a discovery from my previous trip, a “must camp” spot!

Dinner by the river, in front of a nice swimmin’ hole.

Sunset on the river bank.

By the campfire, with the camera set to flash.

Same again, but just taken by firelight.

Next day, I met Dan and we visited another swimmin’ hole.

Same person and place. Then we decided to hike down a hillside in search of waterfalls.

First we encountered this ruin. Dan’s best guess was a 1960s Ford Bronco.

We did find the waterfalls…

...but the amount of water was very small.

A dedicated skinny-dipper will make the best of any location!

We decided, after having come down so far, that we deserved a swim. So we continued to the river, a descent of 850 feet total.

Per ardua, ad aqua.


We thought it was worth it!

Next stop was the disused reservoir, with an old mill site nearby.

A swim here washed off the sweat from the 850 foot climb we’d just done.

I’m a fun guy too!

Now for some history—the Arches, built in the 1830s.

Certainly the engineering is interesting.

But also, there are several lovely swimmin’ holes here.

Also a small waterfall flowing in.

Last sip before we hit the road.

It is a somewhat vertical road.

Dan salutes CSX Transportation!

And a final salute above the pool before we walked out in a warm rain. And then home.
                  

5
Naturism & Art / What's in this picture?
« on: July 07, 2020, 04:11:09 AM »

6
Naturism & Art / Henry Yuen, Couple with Birds
« on: June 23, 2020, 01:03:32 AM »
I got this off his Facebook page. I hope he doesn't mind.

When I was in London, I had a chance to see David Wynne’s “girl with doves” and ”the dancers”. After that, I wanted to create a sculpture that captured the best of both, the birds flying overhead in the former and the couple in the latter. After 5 months, I finally completed “couple with birds”. Actually, I still have to build a wooden pedestal for the sculpture.


8
Trip reports / A couple of days in western Massachusetts
« on: June 17, 2020, 10:10:29 PM »
We've been having some excellent weather lately, and events at home will keep me tied up, or tied down, most likely for the next couple of weeks. That's why I've put messages about the Solstice hike here, without being able to go myself. But before the onslaught, I did manage to get away to the western part of the state to camp for a couple of nights just off the Appalachian Trail, and do some hiking on local trails out there. I was planning to make a report on a Facebook group where I got a lot of the information from, so in some of the photos you'll see naturist and non-naturist versions, just for fun. Because I was alone, all the pictures were done with the camera, or the phone which I only use as a GPS or a camera, in self-timer mode. That meant wedging it between rocks or into a tree, or I have a mini tripod that works in some places.

I'm going to avoid mentioning place names, because I don't want searches on those places to bring anyone to this site. I'm generally in the closet to people I meet through textile hiking groups.


I think this lake is on state game land, and it’s a lovely place where I hope to camp some day. Only problem is teenagers roaring around on quad bikes.

There’s a waterfall, clearly artificial. Looks like part of an old mill.

Now I’m on the way to a location where I’ve been told there’s a cave. Must see!

Puddles on the path. Nothing serious.

This is typical of granite caves—it’s a “boulder cave”, an Ice Age formation, really just crevices between big boulders.

Boulder caves never go in very far, and this one is 15 feet deep at most, and needs a lot of edging around the corners to get into.

Inside the cave, there is some kind of plant material, but I can’t believe it grew there naturally. More likely a joke by someone.

The last third of a mile to the cave is up a steep hillside, so slipping into a cool place is welcome!

This is a view from inside, looking out.

Back down the trail.

Trailside swamp, as the evening arrives.

My camp setup near the Appalachian Trail. This picture isn’t for the naturists!

This is the way I prefer to be.

Breakfast in camp.



A view down the lake.

An improvement to the view, or possibly not.


Scene of a local tragedy, long ago.

The next few pictures are along an old railroad line, buit in the 1890s to haul granite from a local quarry.

 

 

In non-naturist mode, to show fragments of an old wood trestle. The railroad was abandoned in 1931, so there’s not much left.


Someone has constructed a rustic bench, to provide rest to the weary traveler.


Feeding frenzy among the tadpoles in the river!

An elegant bridge over the river.


After diligent searching, I found a swimmin’ hole.
               



9
Free Range Naturism / Solstice hike in Vermont, June 20
« on: June 10, 2020, 05:39:47 AM »
Wait, isn't the solstice on the 21st? No, not in a leap year!

People from Boston, Connecticut and southern New Hampshire have decided to make a change this year, and have this year's hike in southeastern Vermont, rather than on the Appalachian Trail. It'll most likely be on the Catamount Trail, east of Somerset Reservoir. There may be options to do a one-way walk to Grout Pond, or to go there and back, or to go part-way and then turn around.

Please note that on account of the Covid-19 emergency, social distancing will be expected, and you should bring a mask, though you don't have to wear it all the time while on the trail.

Unfortunately I won't be able to attend this year, but I'll keep this thread updated with information as it gets distributed.

Here's a report on last year's walk:
http://freerangenaturism.com/forum/index.php?topic=1273.0

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Free Range Naturism / British police say nude hiking is legal
« on: June 06, 2020, 07:46:37 AM »
Someone met a naked hiker and called the police. The police said there was no need for any action.

https://eastdevonnews.co.uk/2020/05/28/naked-rambler-on-coastal-path-near-sidmouth-prompts-call-to-police/

I'm a bit puzzled why they called the guy a "naturist behaving passively" when he was out walking, but that doesn't affect anything.

11
Trip reports / First naturist trip in the north this year!
« on: March 28, 2020, 03:59:46 AM »
On Friday the 20th, we had a day of almost-warm weather, and Dan's workplace is basically shut down because of the present crisis. It seemed like a good day for a beach trip, as long as we didn't walk too close together! Also, this particular beach gets closed at the start of April for seabird nesting, so if a bearable (bare-able, ha ha) day comes along in March, you grab it. But this wasn't Florida: without much sunshine, not even Dan got into the water. There were a fair number of walkers on the beach, some of them going far enough that it was a little difficult to get out of view. That was on account of the weather, and the fact that lots of people have time on their hands these days.

The format is off but I won't try to fix it.

   

A couple of strangers make the place seem crowded.

Dan being elegant.

Me looking goofy.

Dan again.

We walked!

Cool weather and onlookers made clothing part of our day.
A bonus, even though I'm embarrassed to be seen this way. Out in central Massachusetts, it snowed over 6 inches 3 days after the beach trip.

12
Free Range Naturism / Someone please tell me what the French guys are doing
« on: February 04, 2020, 11:39:16 PM »
https://vimeo.com/388844401

Ça me semble un peu étrange.

13
Factory Farmed Naturism / Fire at Avalon resort in West Virginia
« on: January 01, 2020, 11:37:21 PM »
With plenty of people visiting for New Years Eve, a fire broke out in the Lodge at the Avalon Resort at about 4pm, and ended up destroying the building. It held the kitchen, dining room, guest rooms and the indoor pool. Being a single-story building with several doors, it was easy for people to get out and there were no casualties. Some people in the guest rooms had their property destroyed, though.

Here are some pictures of the sad event; I don't know who gets the credit for these:
https://imgur.com/a/4a3QwUC

14
Factory Farmed Naturism / Interesting article in British paper
« on: November 25, 2019, 10:43:08 PM »
It's in the Grauniad, as the Brits say, but it's about two resorts in Florida which have very different styles. I've met Rich Pasco, by the way (apparently the name is Cornish). Pasco County was named after a remote relative of his, but that isn't why he lives there.

https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2019/nov/25/nudism-naturism-florida-pasco-county

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