Monday, September 24, 2007

Do You Know Your Trees?

Part of the enjoyment of hiking in the Cascades is the pleasure and experience of the natural beauty of the forests. But do you know the trees you are hiking amongst? Cursor over an image and see if you've correctly identified the tree species.

Each image shows samples of foliages, cones, bark and the generalized location where the species can be typically located.

Clusters or bundles of 2-5 needles and evergreen? Probably a pine.

Lodgepole Pine; Ponderosa Pine; Western White Pine; Whitebark Pine

Single needles directly attached to the stem? Most likely a member of the spruce, fir, or hemlock family.

Needles that are 4-sided or diamond shaped in cross section and are attached to the twig with wooden pegs? If so you probably have a spruce!

Sitka Spruce; Engelmann Spruce

Needles that are are attached to the twig with suction cups (no pegs or stalks)? If so you probably have a fir!

Pacific Silver Fir; Grand Fir; Noble Fir; SubAlpine Fir

Needles that are flattened and attached to the twig with leaf stalks or stems? You either have a Hemlock or Douglas-Fir.

Needles that are yellow-green to blue-green, 3/4 to 1 1/4 inch long, very fragrant where needle tips are blunt or slightly rounded? If so you probably have a Douglas-Fir!

Needles wider, rounded at ends, green in color, with two white lines on the under surface? If so you probably have a hemlock!

Mountain Hemlock; Western Hemlock

Scale-like leaf? You have either a cedar, cypress or juniper.

Alaska Cedar; Incense Cedar; Port Orford Cedar; True Cedar; Western Red Cedar

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Portland Area: Nude Swims and Bowling by Hidden Springs

Summer is running towards its end and Hidden Springs is setting their sights towards the coming fall and winter season with indoor nude recreation nights and indoor bowling events.

We are also investigating other indoor nude events and will keep you informed when they come to fruition.

Our indoor nude recreation nights are planned for October 21, December 2, February 10 and March 23 from 7 pm until 9 pm. At this facility we have the availability of a sports pool, two hot tubs and two saunas's each at different temperatures. A basketball/Volleyball court is available and with enough people a game will break out. For a more private sporting time three racquetball courts are available.

Again we have been able to secure the services from a licensed massage therapist and she will offer chair massage during these events. The price for each event has remained the same at $10 per person for AANR/TNS members and $12 for non members when pre-registering.

Our bowling events will be on November 10, January 26 and March 1 from 7 pm until 9 pm. We have the availability of 8 bowling lanes and small snacks and drinks are available during the event. Unfortunately for the bowling events we have had to raise the admission prices to $13 per person for AANR/TNS members and $15 per person for non members when pre registering.

At the request of both venues we will only disclose the venues and times on the event when registering. Registration is available by sending an e-mail to, or contact Hidden Springs directly at either or 503-699-5442.

The pre-registration deadline is always the Wednesday prior to the event and prior to the first event we will handle season passes for all events.

Cougar Valley State Park Master Plan Update

Also Received via AANR eNews, an update on the proposed Cougar Valley State Park east of Tillamook and the potential for a clothing-optional area in that park. My previous post on Cougar Valley is located here.

Several months ago AANR-NW members wrote letters to the Oregon Parks and Recreation Department (OPRD) soliciting for a clothing optional area at Cougar Valley State Park. Cougar Valley State Park is a proposed new park in the master planning stages and will be located in Tillamook County.

The OPRD received comments that there was a need to gather more information to address key issues during the planning process. OPRD decided to extend the planning process to allow time to gather more information. The report mentions that an area of concern was provision to protect and enhance fish and wildlife resources. OPRD will be working with the help of fish and wildlife professionals in order to gather potential impacts as a basis for decision-making.

Recent correspondence reports that they anticipate releasing the next draft of the master plan and holding another round of public meetings in the late winter or early spring of 2008. The meetings will be followed by another 30-day written comment period. It was originally scheduled for September 20 and has been delayed tentatively for May 8.

If this is of particular interest to you and you would like to volunteer with the Oregon AANR-NW Government Affairs Team please contact Shirley Gauthier.

Mountaindale Sun Resort Temporary Closure

Received via AANR eNews from: Bob Burns, President, Mountaindale Sun Resort

Re: Temporary Closure

Mountaindale Sun Resort has been temporarily closed due to a water supply problem. Visitors should not come to the club until the problem is cleared up. Residents are being supplied bottled water and water from a 4000 gallon tanker.

Anyone insistent on visiting must bring their OWN water supply.

Updates as they become known.

Friday, September 14, 2007

Anyone For Nude Fishing?

North Fork Skykomish above Garrand Mineral Springs

I see a lot of people hiking the floodplain of the Skykomish River with full fishing regalia. Meeting them on the outbound leg, I always ask if they caught anything . . . and the answers have always been a negative. Makes me wonder what is it they see in spending hours fishing only to leave with nothing to show.

I'm not a fisherman by anyone's stretch of the imagination. I know next to nothing about the sport. So I was quite surprised while heading past a deep river basin area along the river when something caught my eye in the quiet, protected waters of that pool aside from the fast water of the river. Fish . . . and large ones. So I sat on a large boulder and just watched them . . . the fish nervous and cautious . . . obviously aware of me above even though I wasn't casting a shadow or moving.

Fascinating. Salmon, I'm pretty sure, with a hump behind the head that means something but I'm not sure just what. Must have been a dozen or so salmon a foot to foot and a half in length, seemingly stuck there . . . some making for an a mad dash toward incoming stream and just not able to wriggle half-in and half-out of the water into that tributary. Several others kept coming back to the same spot . . . just beneath the boulder I sat on . . . and circled down deep. Have I seen the miracle of the laying of eggs and the end of the salmon's life-cycle?

Nearby, an obviously dead salmon floats near the bottom of the pool. Eyes still clear; no marks on a perfect body. On the sandy shore there are tracks. Large tracks that in hindsight I realize belong to a bear. Reluctantly, I leave the salmon to their fate and the start of a new cycle. Time to be moving before that bear comes back looking for an easy meal and finds me instead.

My Challenge Was Accepted

Sometime ago I challenged Rick at Besthikes to try hiking nude and he said he would try it . . . maybe. Well, he did and although he was a little nervous about his first attempt, he was honest about it and willing to say he would try it again. A good first start and a realization that nude hiking is pretty common in the back country.

By the way, Best Hikes is a great resource for those looking for those special hikes around the world. The info is great . . . the photography superlative! Check the site out. Rick

Rick the nude hiker

September 12th, 2007 · 3 Comments

Not me.

That would be Rick of the Nudehiker blog.

I once on this site — like many others — made light of the sport of hiking sans clothing. Rick challenged me to try it first before mocking others who enjoy walking in the buff.

Well, Rick …


That’s me. I walked away from my tent one morning in the Sierra Nevada mountains feeling very … breezy.

Though there was almost zero chance of encountering (offending) others I still felt somewhat nervous and did not get comfortable at any time over the (admittedly brief) venture.

Seems to me that most aboriginal cultures cover their genitals, if only for safety.

But I do promise to try it again, Rick, in future. Perhaps, with time, I can get to relax and then enjoy the sensation.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

The Hot Springs Guy: YouTube Western US Hot Springs Player

Well, my friend Josh over at Idaho Hot Springs (also known as TheHotSpringsGuy) has given us a great new resource in the form of a video tease of a number of natural hot springs in the Northwest. Check it out and pay Josh a visit at his great website. Rick

Article: How Nudism Can Save You Money

Interesting and generally positive comments following the article (click title to read the original). Rick

nudism save you moneyBy Nathan Powers

Nudists (or “naturists” as some prefer to be referred to), have been the brunt of many a joke for many years. However, the truth of the matter is that living a nudist lifestyle may actually be far better for you, physically, ecologically and economically.

That dirty word – “Laundry”: Let’s start with the obvious. Nudists tend to wear as little clothing as possible, usually nothing at all, as often as possible or whenever conditions allow. Most live in climates that are tropical enough to maximize this opportunity. Wearing less clothing means washing less clothing and washing the clothing that they own less frequently, requiring the repair and replacement of clothing less often. They also tend to have less of a wardrobe, requiring less storage space. So here, we are seeing a saving in money spent on laundry detergents, gas and electricity to operate a washer and dryer, replacement clothing and repair costs, home closet or storage space. We also see less chlorine, phosphates, ozone and carbon dioxide pumped into the environment as well as a reduction in health issues related to exposure to the chemicals needed for properly washing clothing. (Chlorine bleach is one of the deadliest chemicals we can expose ourselves to).

Cooling Down: Since for practicality reasons, most nudists live in either tropical or subtropical regions, many homes and businesses in those regions have some form of air conditioning. Nudists can save money and as in the case of laundry, the environment, by being able to turn up the thermostat a few degrees and allowing the natural cooling system provided in our bodies to do it’s job. Also, if things get a little too hot, it is very easy to simply jump in a cool shower or hose off for a second or two with having to take the time to get undress and redressed. Besides, who wants to throw those sweaty clothing back on right after a shower.

Health Costs: There are other bonuses as well. It has recently been found that exposure to natural sunlight is far healthier to the human body than attempting to hide from the sun altogether. Regulated exposure to natural sunlight lets the body naturally produce all of the Vitamin “D” it needs to ward off a host of deadly and debilitating diseases, cancers and conditions, including MS, ALS, osteoporosis, breast, ovarian, prostate and brain cancers. (source) Even more recent reports indicate that almost all sunscreens are completely ineffective in reducing the deadliest forms of cancer, melanoma (source). Several reports indicate that the ingredients used to manufacture sunscreens are actually more harmful that the cancers they purport to prevent. However, by balancing the ratio of Omega 3 and 6 fatty acids, combined with an adequate amount of Vitamin “D”, incidence of melanoma has shown to be reduced by around 40% (source). It is therefore better to gradually expose the body to the sun, slowly building up our body’s own natural sunscreen, melanin, being careful not to get sunburned in the process.

The bottom line is that nudists can save a ton of money by not buying sunscreen, simply exposing themselves to natural sunlight in appropriate amounts; there by creating Vitamin “D” for free and by simply eating a diet that balances omega 3 acids. This can be done through supplement or through adding fish, flax or kiwi fruit to their diets. The real savings come from not having to pay medical bills for treatments for all of the conditions.

Stuff: Nudism is often referred to as the “Great Equalizer”. When people are naked around other people, it is difficult to tell if a person is the president of a bank, or a school janitor. Consequently, nudists tend to be far less “class-conscious”. Nudists are typically less likely to want to keep up with the Joneses, realizing that not only do clothes not really make the man, but neither do homes, cars, boats etc.

More Health - Less Stress - More Money: Studies have also found that children raised in nudist homes tend to be more socially developed (and often more intelligent) than those raised in “textile” families. Nudists generally feel that they have nothing to hide. That attitude permeates the rest of their psyche as well, so they tend to be less stressed out and more sure of themselves. We have probably all heard about the health problems produced by living under stress. Nudists save money by not having to treat as many stress related disorders. (source - pdf format) Also, by being more self confident, and supposedly better educated, they are more likely to get better jobs, making more money.

Society: Those same group of studies indicated that children raised in nudist homes are less inclined to become burdens to society. They are less likely to become involved in early sexual or drug experimentation or to commit crimes against society. This is partially because they are not as materially oriented and because they are already familiar with the looks and workings of the opposite sex. In general, nudity allows them to be more open and honest in their family life, which is expressed in how they relate to others in general. Nudists save money by not having to bail their children out of jail, take them to the doctors to treat sexually transmitted diseases or help them raise unwanted grandchildren (as frequently). If all families raised their children with the same attitudes as nudists, we would all be able to save money by having to pay less in taxes to support fewer children of unwanted pregnancies, drug addicts, juvenile delinquents, vandalism, etc.

Image courtesy of NudstRalph

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Post-Labor Day Weekend Clean-up at Collins Beach

ORCOBA, in cooperation with the Oregon Department of Fish & Wildlife, is hosting a Post-Labor Day Weekend Clean-up at Collins Beach:

Saturday, September 8th --- 9:00am – Noon

Labor Day Weekend puts a strain on ODFW’s island resources, due to the large volumes of trash typically left behind on Sauvie Island’s recreation areas. ODFW is also shorthanded during this time of year, making trash cleanup a major concern. Our post-Labor Day cleanup comes at a welcome time for ODFW, and they are pleased to make this an official ODFW-ORCOBA cooperative effort. Thanks to the naturist community, Collins Beach has a reputation for being the cleanest beach on the island, a fact which is readily acknowledged by ODFW officials.

We will target the usual areas; the parking lot, wooded areas, and the beach itself. Filled bags and large debris can be set out along the road for transfer via pickup truck down to ODFW’s collection site near Willow Bar for final disposal. We'll have a pickup truck on site for the transfer duties; if anyone else brings one out as well, that will be great, although the one truck will likely be adequate for making multiple runs throughout the morning as needed. Participants can choose to clean up a specific area, or fill in as necessary, depending on the number of participants.

The check-in area will be at the parking lot near Entrance 3, starting around 9:00am. Garbage bags will be available, along with bottled drinking water. It is recommended that participants bring along a pair of work gloves and dress accordingly. Clothing, of course, is optional on the beach, but required in the parking lot and areas readily visible from the road, in compliance with ODFW regulations governing the beach.

As this is an official ODFW-endorsed event, participants will be required to read and sign an ODFW "Conditions of Volunteer Service" form, available at check-in. Participants are then registered with ODFW as part of their Volunteer Team and are “certified” for future ORCOBA/ODFW cleanup activities on Sauvie Island over the next year. Everyone is welcome.

Typically, these cleanups are completed within a couple of hours; however, participants are free to volunteer whatever amount of time they wish. Following the cleanup, around noon or so, participants are welcome to join others on the beach near entrance 3 for a casual picnic lunch.

See you there!

Bad News at Black's Beach

As Posted in the Naturist Forums a few days ago. Message posted in part to pertinent concerns. Rick

From: Lloyd Johnson (

This is the latest newsletter from Black's Beach, in text format. I will Load a Word 2000 version to the website.

Bad News:
I put out a September issue already, but one incident requires that I put out a second edition. At approximately 7pm September 1st a ranger drove from north to south announcing that he had a complaint and we all had to get dressed for the remainder of the day. The Cahill Policy requires that they receive a complaint before they can order us to get dressed, and it's only in effect for the remainder of the day. It could have been worse; the day was practically over.

I stopped the ranger to ask him about the complaint and he replied that they received a WRITTEN complaint. I advised him that I will be filing a public records request to see that complaint.

We don't yet know if this was an isolated incident, or the first symptom of a bigger problem. Similar things have occurred in other states and other parks. Sometimes there was a complaint and sometimes it was an officer with a power trip. It will likely take weeks to uncover the facts. We all hope for the best, but it's my job to prepare for the worst.

There were suspicious circumstances. That same ranger drove north to south, passing the Bares volleyball court at 6:21. I know this because he ran over and broke some volleyball equipment, leading him to stop and get stuck in the sand. Volleyball players pushed him out and I took a picture with a digital camera, recording the time. Then just 40 minutes later he returns with a complaint. Who was in the office so late to receive the complaint?

Afterward, he drove north with emergency lights running, disappearing around Flatrock about sunset.

To my knowledge this last occurred March 12th 2006. The details and other relevant information are in the April 2006 issue. Copies are available upon request at our yellow flag, or can be downloaded from the archives.

If anyone was cited or has information about the complaint, please contact Lloyd. We may be able to help with your legal defense.

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