Naked urban paddling

Sometimes, life circumstance prevents one from finding opportunity in the usual places away from the crowd. Sometimes naturists must get creative with their nudity. Sometimes we must just make do.

I had to drive from my home near Boston down to Hartford Connecticut and back last weekend for our ANANEC freehiking club committee meeting, about four hours of driving round trip altogether. Having just spent the useful part of Saturday and all of that evening without clothes, I wasn't going to go out of my way to seek out clothes for Sunday, so I drove the trip down and back in the nude, and of course it being a meeting of naturists, no modification of my day's attire was needed once there. Of course my trusty Running Kilt was at hand both days, but proved to be seldom needed.

An interesting discovery for me the previous day set my resolve to make the entire weekend a nude one as much as practical. On a whim the middle of last week my friend John and I decided that a nude outing was what the doctor ordered for both of us as remedy to our lingering cases of cabin fever. Saturday was to be the day for our self administered treatments. We agreed to meet with our boats at the ready in my driveway mid-morning and from there I proceeded to bring him with me over to a nearby river. The Naponset River flows through an extensive area of conservation land just south of Boston, not more than ten minutes from my house, yet in all of my 45 years of living in this area, and though I've explored parts of those conservation lands on foot various times, I've never been on the water there. Just never got around to it. A most pleasant surprise awaited the two of us. A long gentle winding ribbon of quite water through a classic New England freshwater wet lands, comprised of alternating meadow and second growth forest. For much of the length of our paddle, the river was embraced on either side by overhanging maples, and clusters of birch and cedar, full of interesting bird life. Much in evidence to us the entire way, the passage not long ago of high water from snow melt and recent substantial rains. In fact the waters were still well beyond their normal banks in many places, providing us easy passage.

But for three pass-unders of highway bridges, an occasional close encounter with the Amtrak high speed rail line, and the back lots behind a couple of light industrial plants early after our put-in, there was little sign of human presence to distract from our enjoyment of this extended bit of urban solitude. We just drifted along, doing nothing of importance to the world around us. When hunger nagged, we simply hauled up on the embankment and sat down in the middle of an adjoining little used but well maintained mountain bike path to eat our lunches. We encountered but one human our entire time on the water, a solitary fisherman cocooned in his own little private world, cap pulled down over his nose, headphones ensconcing his ears, a small green kayak his chosen place of rest. An unattended fishing pole propped between his knees served as his only outward justification for being there. Dozing he seemed completely oblivious to our passing nor our lack of attire.

There was enough of a current that we barely had to lift our paddles. The sun was spotty through the morning and pretty much disappeared into the afternoon, but the temps held in the upper sixties (F) through it, with but a gentle sea breeze nipping at our naked bodies on occasion. Three and a half hours and over tens miles of paddling with essentially no need for clothing of any kind the entire way. And on public lands not more than ten miles from the center of Boston. Another naked treasure in my back yard! One sure do learn to made do!

-Dan

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8 thoughts on “Naked urban paddling”

  1. You know, naked paddling makes lots of sense, once you're around the corner from civilization you're free to explore, to sunbathe, to dip in the water. and away from the insects and prying eyes. And a wrap around kilt makes you legal id one swift movement. Hmmm. Canada has lots of suitable waterways and remote yet close by lands.

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