Monday, August 24, 2009

to Fig Leaf or Not that beautiful body?

Have you seen the latest article in the New York Times called When Do They Need A Fig Leaf??. Here is a link if you haven't seen it yet.

It sure bring up a lot of the intense emotional duality that exists on the subject of children being nude. This article brings out a fairly broad spectrum of entrenched beliefs. Wow.. it makes me wonder how do we get past this? It also makes me think that this is all just a silly preoccupation. Like we could be solving world peace or global warming or helping others towards enlightenment you know?

Perhaps the real solution is to see it for what it is, rather than get enraged that my viepoint doesn't match that of someone else. All it really is is that they have "hang ups" as the article says. Some people just frankly are VERY uncomfortable with naked children around.

Here is a link to the letters to the editor too.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Skinny dip in a freezing pool before hiking to Ashland

Typing fast on the Ashland library computers now- fifteen minute time limit for guests, ouch! This town is wonderful. We love the quasi hippy/enviro culture that is somewhat pervasive here. We are really liking the Co-op and hostel- both are super gems for anywhere, not just on the PCT. We may head up to a little skinny dippin spot up from the park called the Fairy ponds. This could be nice and relaxing- it has been up to 100 degrees here, but has cooled off to the high 80s or low 90s.

Last skinny dip was the day before we got to Seiad Valley. Freeeeeezing cold stream.!!! Beautiful, clear, water in a nice constrained little channel. We have been dipping in the creeks every few days to keep the body-dirt somewhat reduced. It has been a delightful alternative to showers. It is so much easier to dip into a creek. Don't need to worry about bumping your legs and arms into the walls of a shower... Don't have to wait for minutes as a low flow showerhead slowly gives up enough water to drain the dirt off of your legs...

Until next time... Be Nude.. Feel Loved.. and Be Well.. Take Care!

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Aloha Lake and Feather River skinny swims!

It has been awhile since I blogged last. No computer access; we've been hiking too much! Lazing in Bishop, healing our bodies was a great chance to catch up on blogs though.

Hiking out of Echo Lake was really beautiful. It was sunny, warm, and boats zoomed cooly across the lake. We soon ascended away from the lake, reaching Aloha lake (as seen in the top photo) in the early afternoon. I had been told there was great swimming here, so I went down to a big rock that dipped deep down into the lake and stripped off my sweaty hiking attire. I found a wonderful little rock island to swim out to, just about 150 feet from shore. Here I sunbathed and dried out for a good half hour. I felt like I could laze here all day! The rock curved perfectly to my back. The water was just cool enough to be very refreshing. The sun was hot, the air still but not stuffy. A beautiful day!

Another awesome skinny dip, perhaps the best so far on the whole trail, was at the middle fork of the Feather River, where the river passes under a very high and long foot bridge. This was just a delightful magical swimming spot in a deep narrow constrained (rock lined) channel far beneath a long narrow foot bridge. The water here was really very warm, but too cool to just sit there; nice and fun and refreshing! Jen and I swam, cleaned off, and just played around in the water for several hours. It was great for her to have one of her first nude swims on the trail! I think we both had a wonderful time and would love to hike back to this spot. It would be worth the 37 mile hike from Belden, CA!

Belden to Etna- fast forward through Naked bathing country!

We are in Etna! Wow, what a rush. It was only a few days back that we passed the half way point South of Chester, CA. Had a little sense of being fast forwarded, since we hitch hiked around the Old Station Burney complex fire, about 180 trail miles! Now we have only a hundred miles or so to the Oregon border and little over 1,000 miles of trail left till Canada! The hike is going excellently well. Since we've dropped out of the Sierras the streams and lakes have become much warmer. Whenever we have time we stop and bath our dusty tired bodies.

The photo of Jen (Lionheart) with a very large sugar pine cone was taken just outside of Belden, CA. What a great find! Not long after this great cone find, we hit a sweet little cold bathing spot. This pool was very cold. I couldn't stay in for long and relished sunbathing on the warm rocks for a good while.

The Feather River photo was taken near Belden as well. It was along this stretch of river that I got to skinny dip for several days, as it was right across the road from where we were staying! The water was almost too warm, but still refreshing when the day got well into the 90's and beyond. Our small river section had a delightful little beach where we could lay out. The water was deep and mostly slow moving in long pools.

Have been reading about Buddha and Buddhism for the last week. The book Awakening the Buddha Within has been very captivating so far, and I'm nearly half way through the book. Surya Das really challenges a lot of the common "western" misconceptions about Buddhism. For example, I had long believed that all Buddhists believed that life was suffering, painful, miserable.. not worth living. This was after reading a translation of the first noble truth "Life is suffering." Surya Das gives several alternate translations, such as "frustrating" or "difficult". The way he described it made much more sense to me.

Ok, I can agree life can sometimes be frustrating or difficult... but I just couldn't swallow that all life was about is suffering! There are so many beautiful wonderful and joyous moments to life! He talks about how much Buddhism really focuses on the positive joyous moments.. and of course enlightenment itself! I have a very different improved perspective now, thanks to Surya Das. I look forward to reading more about Buddhism; if any of you readers have anythng to reccomend related to Buddhism please leave me a message!