Taking the Plunge
I made up my mind that I was going to visit Rock Haven Lodge, the local nudist park, at least once. I watched the weather each week-end. If I was only going to go one time, then I wanted to make the experience as perfect as possible. The week-end of August 21-22 looked perfect. Hot and sunny. I decided that I would visit on Sunday, Aug 21.
I read everything I can on their website, because I didn’t want to break any rules they may have, but I still have questions, such as, are lockers available to put my clothes in? Are towels provided, or do I bring my own, etc? I email Susan, one of the owners, and tell her that this will be my first visit, and I have some questions. She quickly replies, and tells me there are no lockers available, most visitors just leave their clothes and their valuables in their car. She suggested that, since this is the week-end before the full eclipse, I should arrive early to reserve myself a lounge chair by the pool, because they would have a lot of visitors. Her reply was very welcoming, and eased my nervousness a bit. I am really going to do this!
The Day Arrives
The day finally arrives. The night before, I pack a small duffel with items that I think I might need throughout the day, which wasn’t much. Three towels (two for covering the lounge, one to dry off with), sunglasses, and flip flops. What more could I need? They open at 9 AM for day visitors, and I want to get there just as they open, so I can spend as much time at Rock Haven as I possible.
I get there at 9 AM. The entrance to Rock Haven has an electric gate, with an intercom next to it. I pull up to the gate, and honk my horn (the procedure to let them know you are there). A person on the intercom asked how they can help me (that person turned out to be Susan, she runs the office and checks people in). I told her I was here to visit for the day. Susan opens the gate and tells me to drive slowly to the office.
My First Impression Of Rock Haven Lodge
As I drive slowly to the office, one of the first things I see is a woman, sitting in a lawn chair in front of a mobile home, reading a book. Of course she is nude. I drive a little farther, and on the right are the volleyball courts. Two men are playing volleyball, nude. I’m not shocked by this, I’m expecting this, but it feels strange seeing this for the first time. I get to the office and park my car.
Rock Haven is not a clothing optional nudist park. Unless the weather is cold, or you are sunburned, you are required to be nude. I had my first decision to make. Do I undress at my car and go into the office, or go in fully clothed. I decide to play it safe, and go in to the office fully clothed, where I meet Susan for the first time. She is a wonderful woman, and makes me feel totally relaxed and comfortable. Susan gives me a registration card to fill out, then gives me a map of the park, pointing out the location of all the facilities. She then points out the parking lot where I was to park, and tells me to leave my cell phone, and my clothes, in the car.
Nude In Public For The First Time
I drive over to the parking lot, park the car, and then strip. I put on my flip flops, grab my duffel, and walk to the pool. It feels strange, walking around in public nude for the first time. It is a great feeling, and I love it, but it is something that I have not experienced before. I pass the open air Pavilion, which is next to the pool, and see people sitting there at tables. I arrive at the pool, and just 2 people are there, a woman reading, and a woman taking a nap, both sitting in the shaded part of the pool area.
The pool at Rock Haven isn’t large, but it is very nice. The shallow end has steps to enter the pool, and is 3 feet deep. The depth increases until you get to the other end, which is 9 feet deep. The area around the pool is tiled, with wooden decking making up the rest of the area. The wooden deck is where the lounge chairs are located. The lounge chairs encompass 3 sides of the pool area, with a hot tub, located on a covered, raised deck, located on the fourth. To reserve a lounge, you place your towel on it. About 20% of the lounges had towels on them. I decided to take a chair in the sunny area; I wanted to get a tan without tan lines!
Meeting Other People
I get settled in my chair, and enjoy basking in the sun. After a while, other people start showing up. At first, it was strange seeing people walk around nude. Most everyone says Hi to me as they pass, and after a short while I realize I’m not seeing naked people, I’m just seeing people. A couple sits just behind me, and next to them is another man. I overhear them talking. The woman is saying how a lot of people visiting lately are there for the first time. I figure this would be a good ice breaker, so I raise my hand and say, “I’m one of them”. I turn around to chat. The couple is Charley and Annie (not their real names), and next to them was Stan Lee (not his real name).
Charley runs the miniature train at Rock Haven. Annie, his wife, is a school bus driver. Stan Lee is an illustrator and graphic designer. I introduce myself and they start telling me all about Rock Haven. They are such nice people! They tell me that everyone at Rock Haven is nice, there is no judgement about how you look, or what you do. Everyone is the same, just regular people who enjoy being around other like minded people. Throughout the day they introduce me to other people. Everyone, without exception, is so nice!
I spend a good part of the day talking with Stan Lee. He works for himself as an illustrator and graphic designer. We have a few things in common, so we spend a good part of the day talking. He tells me that time just seems to slow down for him when he is at Rock Haven. He also tells me there is one downside, and that is having to get dressed when you leave at the end of the day. I spend most of the day laying out in the sun, talking to Stan Lee, and cooling off in the pool. Stan Lee tells me I should check out the walking trail, it is a nice walk through the park.
Follow The Yellow Brick Road
I decide to take a leisurely stroll along the trail. The walking trail is the “The Yellow Brick Road”. It’s not yellow, and it’s not brick. Bricks, strategically located along the trail, and painted yellow with arrows, show you the trail. The trail mainly consists of gravel, and it winds partly around the perimeter of the property, and partly through the residential area of Rock Haven (yes, there are people who live here year round).
The trail is approximately 1/4 – 1/3 mile long, and is a very pleasant walk. Displays, set up along the way, capture your interest. Two of these are a Memory Garden, and a Wagon Wheel Swing (pictured at right). It’s also very interesting to see how the residents live here. Some residents have small houses/cabins, and others live in RV’s. There is even one very large shed that is converted into a living space. It is very relaxing, walking in nature completely nude.
All Good Things Must Come To An End
Around 3 PM, after I have been here for 6 hours, I decide it’s time to go home. I don’t want to leave yet, but I can tell I got a little bit of a sunburn, so, to be on the safe side, I decide to leave. I say my good-byes to my new friends, and head out to my car. Along the way I stop in the office to say good-bye to Susan, and tell her what an amazing experience I had. She isn’t there, but I leave a message for her.
I get to my car, and discover what Stan Lee told me earlier was absolutely true. I don’t want to put my clothes back on! I’m really dreading this, but I don’t have a choice. I can’t drive home naked. I reluctantly get dressed, and drive away, knowing that I WILL return.
The one main conclusion I have of this day is, this has been the most relaxing and stress free day of my life! I didn’t think about work, or problems/concerns about home. I didn’t have my cell phone chiming notifications every 15 minutes. This was an oasis where everything was good. The only improvement to this day would have been if this had been at a beach.
I didn’t get a chance to experience all of the facilities there. Some of the other facilities available are shuffleboard, volleyball, tennis, darts, petanque (similar to Bocce Ball), billiards, and ping pong. For your dining pleasure, on the week-ends they have a snack bar that serves breakfast and lunch. For overnight visitors on the week-ends they also serve a light supper on Friday night, and a hearty sit-down dinner on Saturday evening.
Today was the best therapy possible for my depression. Nothing so far, the therapy, or the medications, have done as much to relieve my depression as this care free naked day. When I got home I explained this experience to my wife, and told her that I will be going back, because this is helping with my depression, and I need help.
I know that social nudism is not for everybody. Many people are just not comfortable being nude, and that is OK. There are a lot of people that do like to be nude, but, they are either too shy, or ashamed of their body, to take the plunge into social nudism. I wish everyone who wants to try this would take the plunge just once. I believe they would find, just as I have, a very acceptive community of people who are more than willing to accept them into the fold.