Published April 05, 2006
Of nudity and big country
A lot of you wrote in and called about my Tuesday column that dealt with nudity in the outdoors.Only one reader, who quoted Sgt. Joe Friday of the old "Dragnet" television show, didn't like my thoughts on the outdoors in the altogether.For the record, I watched "Dragnet" all the time when I was a kid growing up in Los Angeles. I can say that the criminals in my home town were -- and are -- much scarier than you saw on that show.Nowadays, my favorite fictional L.A.P.D. cop is Harry Bosch, who is the hero of author Michael Connelly's mystery series. These books are just terrific -- and portray Los Angeles and the L.A.P.D. very accurately. And Bosch is a great character who struggles with his own demons but always tries to do the right thing. If you want to learn more, check out www.michaelconnelly.comCarolyn Hawkins, the public relations executive who sent me the outdoor nudism e-mail that inspired the column, sent this e-mail:"Thanks for the article in The Olympian paper and I am truly delighted that you enjoyed your skinny-dipping experience. Being nude is such a stress- free feeling. No clothes, no barriers. If you would like to visit one of our 270 clubs, or the 75th AANR annual convention, please let me know I will see what I can do. We would love to have you visit and tour one of our facilities. Have a wonderful day.Regards,Carolyn Hawkins Public Relations Coordinator The American Association for Nude RecreationI don't think I'll take Carolyn up on her offer, as it's prime fishing, cycling, hiking and general outdoors season right now. I just don't have time -- or really the inclination -- to wander around a nudist resort right now. I think I prefer to be naked in the outdoors when no one else is around.And I still dread the sight of a naked man putting.Some of you also wrote in and shared your own thoughts and stories about being outdoors naked. I'm not going to share those with the world, but thanks for writing and smiling along with me.All this is supposed to be fun, after all.Last weekend, I drove from Hood River, Oregon to the little town of Maupin on the lower Deschutes River. The drive through the rolling ranch and orchard land between The Dalles and Maupin was gorgeous.The countryside was green and lush -- it will be tannish brown in a few weeks -- and billowing clouds floated in the big, blue sky. Montana is my favorite place on the entire planet, and it is famous for its "Big Sky." Well, Central Oregon cranks up a pretty majestic big sky of its own.All of a sudden, the chorus from a late 1980s song by a band called Big Country just rang through my head.It goes like this:"In a big country, dreams stay with you. Like a lover's voice fires the mountainside Stay alive."I think those words are true. Get out there on these beautiful days and watch this big country explode into spring.