Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Happy Summer Solstice! It's Naked Hiking Day!

This is NOT me.
It's the first day of Summer in the Northern hemisphere. School is out, the mercury is rising and nature lovers up and down the east coast are celebrating the longest day of the year in the traditional fashion, hiking naked on the Appalachian Trail.

Many hikers chose to celebrate the annual event on Sunday, which happened to be Fathers Day (I never know where to put the apostrophe), but purists will celebrate today by having scheduled the day off work or calling in sick. The trails are less populated during the middle of the week, so there is less of a chance of running into cub scouts, families and other slaves to the textile industry.

The Appalachian Trail winds its way through the mountains of the east from Maine to Georgia. I've hiked the local portion of it myself. It's a great great exercise and the perfect way to get away from it all for a couple of hours and clear the cobwebs out of the cranium. I'll leave the details to your imagination.

Be forewarned, park rangers have taken notice of the annual event and reactions vary, depending on the region and/or the remoteness of the area you're hiking. Some people have been ticketed in the more populated sections of the trail. In other areas, rangers stand watch at the trail head and warn other hikers that they may encounter nudists along the way.

As a side note, on a trip to Vermont many years ago, I was told that skinny dipping is legal there, as long as you can't be seen from the road or other public areas. The first person in the water determines the dress code. Leave it to the liberal yankees to have such a tolerant attitude toward nude recreation. I wouldn't try it in Georgia.

If you decide to venture out to the AT today, there are three things to remember, bug spray, sun block and watch out for poison ivy. Repeat after me: "leaves of three, let it be".

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