Yesterday, I took a nap in a pool, filled by a geothermal hot spring, in the middle of the morning, in the middle of the forest, NAKED.
Best nap of my life, by far. When I awoke, I felt as if I had been asleep for years. I had an epiphany (with a lower-case e), that there was no other place, at that moment, that I should be.
The Stoke. That’s what that is called.
Cougar hot springs is an hour east of Eugene, in the mountains. It is really tricky to take pictures there, because of naked people everywhere, so we will have to make d0 with words here.
After a heavily forested 1/4 mile hike from the road, you approach a tiki-style hut. That is the “changing area”. It is weird that it would be called a “changing area”, because no one changed there. It should have been called a “disrobing area” or a “naked-time area”. Everyone leaves the clothing at the hut. At first I was going to adorn my trunks into the pools. “When in Rome”, I remember thinking. Also, I can’t let these Oregonians think that Arizona is full of squares. Off with the trunks.
Sometimes nature winks at you. This is one of those cases. In the middle of a forest, that is colder than Kanye West, there is a hole in the rocks, shaped like an eye. Out of this eye, flows 114 degree water. This beautifully hot water collects in four main pools. The first pool is the hottest, the fourth is the coldest, probably by about 10 degrees. Pick your pool, they are all fantastic.
Day 1 – I pick the fourth pool. The first three had a lot of naked people in them. I was just a pre-naked-nap rookie at that point, I chose to chill solo in my own pool. I get into my pool. #4 . It is unbelievable. A natural hot tub, that is in the middle of the forest, that is sat in naked. Found a spot with arm rests and head rests. I was in there for about 2 hours, I would guess.
The first 15 minutes: I am naked with a bunch of hippies, in the middle of the forest. Why? Chill out dude, don’t be a square. Relax man, look at the trees. Look at the sun. Relax, check out the steam rising from the rocks, the rays the sun makes, through the trees, through the steam, …. Asleep.
The next hour or so: zzzzzzzzzzzz…… no dreams, no night-terrors which I can’t seem to shake lately, just zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz’s
The post-nap 15 minutes: Yeah bud, welcome to the big times!!! You have done it Zupp!! You have become a forest-hotspring-naked-napper!! An entirely new way to nap!! Are you sun-burned on the privates, did you drown? NO sir!! That-a-boy Zupp!!
I got up, feeling phenomenal. By far, the best nap or sleep of my near quarter-century. Walked up hill. A naked women says to me, “We were beginning to worry about you down there!” I tell her, while naked, hands on hips – I noticed thats how nudist-men stand whilst delivering speech, “No need to worry mam, just took a little nap, feel great!!” She and the naked others laugh at this. Do work.
* Side-note: The word “naked” is fun to type. It is fun to say. It is fun to be. *
Day 2, This morning – Trouble at the hot springs. I pull up and there is two dudes in a sleeping bag together next to a car with slashed tires. I woke them up by parking next to them. My bad dudes.
I get to the hot springs. Ton of people again. When in Rome, again. This time, your boy opts for pool #1. Right in the business.
I was much more social this morning, after all I feel that I have earned my naked stripes with yesterday’s achievement in napping. I need a naked merit badge.
Naked guy tells me the guys in the parking lot were in the pools passed nightfall – a very serious offense. They were drinking and smoking – also very serious offenses apparently. Their tires were slashed in the parking lot, so they had to sleep in the parking lot. The rest of the nakeds in the pool start laughing.
I guess, hippies get serious when protecting their environment up here.
Here is what I learned, by paying attention today, about communal nakedness. Some notes –
1. They call it a place for communion. Being naked in a hot tub in the woods, is far better than drinking wine in church.
2. Don’t be bashful, Be naked – Nothing is possibly worse than wearing clothes in the midst of a bunch of nakeds.
3. Trying to hit on naked-stranger-girls while naked yourself, is like playing poker with your cards face up. You can’t bluff. You also can’t fold. Haha.
4. I am pretty sure no one lies to each other in the naked-zone. Two reasons. The first and most obvious – it is impossible to lie to a naked woman. The second reason – Everybody whispers, no one can lie while whispering.
5. When in doubt, walk around wearing nothing but a t-shirt. I have no reason for this suggestion, other than I couldn’t help but giggle while doing so.
I thought for sure it would be all old dudes up there, it wasn’t, thank God. There was everybody up there. Great Place.
The sign at the trailhead to the hot springs had a Pay-n-Take sticker from Flagstaff, AZ on it. I have no idea why, enough to make a dude crazy though.
Before naked Garret started napping in pools in the forest, there was Eugene.
Beautiful campus there. This is a grassy area where frisbee is played, not during big football games of course.
I was able to park my truck at my bud Matt’s house, who is a deer hunter, that I drank whiskey with him and his girlfriend, in the forest by the coast.
I walked to downtown from his house. I asked a bunch of people where “the street” is. I explained, Tucson has 4th ave, Tempe has Mill ave, where is “the street” here in Eugene. Everybody pointed in different directions.
The entire town of Eugene is stoned. Nothing happens quickly there. It is fantastic for relaxation, but hell if you want to do work.
I found a bar right on campus, Taylor’s. Great place. $1.50 Pabst Tall-Boys.
Made some friends, watched the game, good game. GO DUCKS!!
My bud Nate took me on a tour of campus and afterwards the city. He knows a lot about Eugene. Good dude.
Earlier that day, when asking around for bars to go to, a very attractive tattoo girl told me about John Henry’s being a place to go. Live music, etc.
I talk Nate into going there with me. We get in there, there is “Great Skate” type music on. I like that, you know.
That’s when it got a little weird. Told the barkeep to give me two of whatever was on special. He gave me two Berry-Stoli-Fufu-Type of pints. Guys on stage dancing in underwear. Chicks with leather jackets. Oh no.
I asked one big leather-clad biker chick if she would give me a ride on her motorcycle, she said, “No because you have a penis.” Her words not mine.
Found some hetero-girls. They were pretty. They said it isn’t usually like this in here, but tonight it is “LBGT Appreciation Night”. My luck.
Not another Chuck-from-the-Swizzle story!!
I bought the straight girls some drinks, had to.
The tattoo girl from earlier came up to me and said, “How do you like it in here?” while laughing. Tricky tattoo girls.
On the way out, I gave a big drag queen a high five and pounded my berry-frizzy-lala beverage. She was like 6’5″ – 250 with purple hair.
LBGT people like to party, that is for sure.
Shot some pool down the street for a little bit. Met up with my bud Matt. We drank until close and then drank more and re-loaded rifle cartridges in the garage for a while.
Slept in the truck.
Eugene, weird but good place. They have hash browns stuffed with sour cream there for breakfast. If for no other reason, that makes it a good place.
Heading south now. Down the coast.
Coming Up: Catch Walter, Redwoods, Morro Bay.
I have to come home to do work again, getting really restless.
Cassie Gertz – Your boy needs his buzz cut!! It is getting out of control!!