Monday, September 26, 2005

ORCOBA Adopts a Highway (near Rooster Rock)

It was well worth the drive and gas to go on down to Portland for this community event. We show that we care for the community and that we are a full participant in things that do matter. Good will does more to engender respect and acceptance than almost anything else.

And afterward, I got to spend the rest of the afternoon on Rooster Rock walking the flat sands of the geatest expanse of sand that I have ever seen at the beach in years. I will post some pictures of the beach in a day or so when I get some extra time. Rick

ORCOBA (Oregon Clothing-Optional Beach Alliance) members completed the group's first Adopt-A-Highway clean-up yesterday on Interstate 84 by Rooster Rock State Park! Stretching from the Corbett exit to Rooster Rock, this two-mile section lies at the entrance to the Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area, in a beautiful spot once traversed by Lewis & Clark's Corps of Discovery expeditions through the West.

Following a wake-up gathering at the local Shari's restaurant, the day's crew of fourteen assembled near the western end of ORCOBA's section of I-84 at the Corbett exit. With enough people to clean both sides of the highway simultaneously, we split up into eastbound and westbound teams, and with safety vests and trash bags in hand, we got to work. The weather was perfect; sunny, warm, and not too windy.

It was clear that this section was sorely in need of attention, as is much of our highway system. While it was angering to see the end result of so many uncaring motorists, it was also fulfilling to have the opportunity to reverse months of abuse in just a few hours. By the stroke of noon, we were able to declare our first highway cleanup a success.

Here are some official stats for the day:

Number of participants: 14
Total number of trash bags filled: 54
Other large debris collected: Car bumper, wheel/tire assembly, patio umbrella, surf board, several large chunks of tire tread, lumber and plywood, metal posts, broken tire chains, fiberglass panels, and miscellaneous plastic products.
Duration of clean-up operations: About 3 1/2 hours
Number of sore muscles: Too numerous to count.

Following the clean-up, the crew assembled at the Rooster Rock Exit sign on the eastbound side of the highway for "official" photo ops. A few then headed over to Rooster for the afternoon. Peggy and I took down the "Litter Patrol" signs, and made a final tally of the trash bags and debris piles for ODOT to pick up. Having checked the condition of the highway three days prior, I was struck by the difference made by the morning's work. The highway right-of-way now actually blended into the scenic surroundings, and I became aware of how much trash lines our highways and roads. Day in and day out, we can easily become immune and desensitized to it all, as we drive along to our destinations. But over the rest of this weekend I was finding my eyes drawn to all of the stuff lying on the side of our roads, and resisting the temptation to stop and pick some of it up.

This project was an opportunity to show the community and the "textile" world that naturists care about more than just the right to be naked. We also care about our environment, natural resources and public lands, and in that vein, leaving things better than we found them. And, we recognize the value and benefit of working together to reach a goal. Witness thereto: a few hours' worth of teamwork on Saturday morning made a real difference, to be experienced and appreciated by many.

A genuine thank you goes to Mark Storey & Kathy Blanchard, Jim ("Hairy Homer") & Carol, Rick with the floppy blue hat, Kyle, June, Kevin, Steve, Jim C., Tim, and C.J. for being an integral part of things on Saturday. A few other folks had wanted to be there but were kept from it by other commitments, but their good intentions are just as appreciated. Now that our first clean-up has been completed, ODOT will soon put up our signs on each side of the highway, identifying ORCOBA's adopted section. We will have at least two clean-ups each year, in spring and fall, so future opportunities abound for all. Folks are required by ODOT to attend a safety & orientation meeting held by our group prior to participating in any clean-up event, but we will have several group meetings throughout each year offering the chance to become "certified".

For photos of yesterday's clean-up, check out the Files section of the ORCOBA Yahoo group, under "Adopt-A-Highway Clean-up".

Thanks again to all of the participants, and we look forward to our Spring clean-up!


Don & Peggy

And this report from Mark, the Naturist Action Commitee Rep for the Pacific Northwest, who joined us . . .

NW Naturists:

My wife Kathy and I just had a fantastic weekend. Don and Peggy and 13 others of us from Oregon Clothing-Optional Beach Alliance ( met near Rooster Rock State Park in Oregon for breakfast Saturday morning. We then drove a few miles east to "do" ORCOBA's first adopt-a-highway cleanup of the two mile stretch immediately west of Rooster Rock. I've been on many a beach cleanup and quite a few park cleanups, but this one took quite a bit more work. The 15 of us (by my count) picked up dozens of bags of trash. I was pooped after the three-hour stint, but it was fun. Don did a great job of organizing the entire thing, and it's just one more significant contribution naturists are making to the nude beaches at Rooster Rock and Sauvie Island. There seem to be now at least three nudist, naturist, or otherwise naked groups supporting family friendly use of these sites. ORCOBA tends to attract the folks who are on the beach weekend after weekend, but others are doing great work, too, in making these clean, fun, and hasslefree places to go.

Kathy and I enjoyed some nude kayaking out of Rooster Rock afterwards, paddling toward Reed Island, over to the Washington shore, and back to the officially clothing-optional Sand Island. Rooster Rock is absolutely fantastic now. There is more clean, open sand than I've seen there in over a decade. People could land planes on the nude area, it's so open. And the weather was warm and sunny. Don't think that the nude season is over for 2005!

While at Rooster Rock I spoke at some length with a ranger patrolling the area. He agreed that Rooster Rock's atmosphere has been improving this past summer. We spoke briefly about the contributions group's like ORCOBA (e.g., with their yellow flag program and regular presence) and NW-AANR (e.g., with park cleanups and new bench) were making. He thought they all were great, and agreed that the group efforts were paying off.

Today (Sunday) Kathy and I paddled our kayaks from Seattle's (textile) Golden Gardens to South Beach at Discovery Park. This area continues to see quiet nude use on the weekdays, but today we were the only naked people. We just paddled beyond the bluffs to a quiet beach, and hung out naked for a while. I've found out that its really easy to kayak the Seattle area nude, and that from just about any put-ini on the Sound, I can find a secluded beach for sunbathing
and skinny-dipping (the water is chilly, but I love it). The Body Freedom Collaborative ( continues to look for ways to making at least some shoreline section of Discovery Park more available for nude use.

Last week, by the way, I paddled from Golden Gardens to the "nude" stretch of beach north of Carkeek Park. Walking the train tracks can get you a $500 fine, but paddling nude there poses no problems. And once there, the beach is seems secluded enough for easy naturist use.

If there are any other naturist-minded kayakers in the Seattle area, check out There are a LOT of cool beaches nearby that naturists can enjoy with ease. FKKayakers is a developing kayak group that is naturist-friendly.

All the best,


Related Posts with Thumbnails