My First Experience With Public NudityMy first experience with public nudity was back in the early ‘80s when I went with a friend, whom I’ll call Tom, to some natural hot springs up in the mountains here in Oregon. I believe it was a year or so after I’d graduated from high school.
Tom and I arrived in his camper at the hot springs one evening after a spur of the moment decision. From the gravel parking area there is a short, tranquil walk along a well worn path through a magnificent old growth forest. The springs are surrounded by tall, stately Douglas fir and lush undergrowth, and consist of six cascading pools separated by walls built of rustic rocks. The pools range from 3-10 feet across and are about 2-3 feet deep. There’s also a cold mountain stream that flows nearby, converging with the warm water further down.
After undressing and laying our clothes on a nearby rock, we climbed down into the uppermost pool where the water is the hottest. The hot springs emerge from a small, natural cave in the rocks directly into this pool at well over 100 degrees F, with the temperature cooling progressively as it travels from pool to pool down the ravine. The springs have a distinct sulfur smell, kinda like rotten eggs, but not so strong as to be off-putting.
Tom and I stayed in the hot springs ‘til well into the middle of the night, just relaxing and enjoying the serenity of the place. Then went back to the camper for a bite to eat and sleep.
The next morning we made the jaunt back to the hot springs, and spent most of the day there. We sat in the top pool pretty much the whole time. When we’d get too hot we’d cool off in the stream where it cascaded from the end of a hollowed out log. Standing under the cold water was invigorating and very refreshing.
Throughout the day people would come and go, and a couple of times the upper two pools became quite crowded. Tom and I would have the place to ourselves occasionally, but there were other times when we’d nearly be touching knees with those we shared the pool with. The hot springs are clothing optional, but everyone who came while we were there chose to be naked. Though this was my first time experiencing public nudity, and the first time I saw naked women up close and personal, I wasn’t nervous or uncomfortable in any way. In fact I was quite relaxed and enjoyed it thoroughly.
I went back to the hot springs several more times on my own, but haven’t been back in many years. I’ve read that they’re much more regulated now, after falling into disrepair for a time. They are now only open during daylight hours, and the Forest Service charges a day use fee. (The fees help maintain the hot springs and the fines for not paying are steep.)
Some day I hope to visit this serene place again and bask in those marvelous hot springs.