Some of you may be aware that the Summer Solstice just passed us a week ago. Well, the Appalachian Trail, with all of its wonderful traditions, recognizes the summer solstice as official Hike Naked Day.
It’s like a holiday that was made with us in mind.
Honestly, we spend a lot of time on the trail naked anyway. We swim in the lakes, bathe in the streams, slide down waterfalls, ford rain-flooded rivers, and sleep in our sleeping bags uninhibited by the confines of clothing. It’s not exactly a novelty for us to be naked while enjoying the outdoors. We’ve been known to kayak down the upper sections of Georgia’s Chattahoochee river in our birthday suits in past summers.
Naturally, we pounced on this opportunity to strut our stuff with legitimate cause. June 21st was luckily a sunny day for us. However, it also landed on a weekend when there are more day-hikers travelling on the trail. The mountain we just happened to be climbing that day is also a heavily traversed section that even boasts a campsite with a caretaker.
So, Treasure Hunter was bare hiking his way up this mountain, despite all of my reservations to wait until later in the day. Each time we passed day hikers, he would grab his hiking skirt and pull it politely over himself. Most people hurried by, one couple laughed, and then came two women hiking together.
These young women (probably in their mid 30s) stopped, completely unabashed, to ask us for a report of the trail ahead in stilted French. They seemed totally unfazed by the strange nude man with the giant pack.
I couldn’t help choking on a laugh.