Just got back in the door. I went out today for a hike, and it was incredible!!!!! I got to the ranger station, and signed in. No one on the trail, and no one there since last night at 6pm. Few weekday sign ins until evening hours. Not a car in the parking lot either. Great signs. I had the trail to myself, atleast no one in front of me.
I walked down the trail just out of sight of the ranger station, listened to the sounds of the birds, and wind. I took off my hydration pack and slipped my shirt over my head. Then my shorts off. I stowed everything in my bag, with my shorts ready for quick access, and set off on the hike. If I went one direction, it was a four mile loop. In the other, it was seven miles to the nearest trailhead which was down a remote country road. That is the trail I took.
I crossed over the cable bridge over the river, and kept on hiking. In about 1 1/2 miles, there was a waterfall. Most people make it this far and turn around. I looked at it, and continued my hike. I scared up a few wild turkeys, some snakes on the trail, and tons of little critters. I heard a few things rustle, but never saw what it was.
Several hours into the hike, I knew I was about a mile away from the next trail head. I could hear some faint male voices and shovels cutting thru dirt. I knew they sometimes do trail maintnance and were putting stairs in some areas since I passed some early in my hike. I figured this was a good place to turn around, so I missed that last mile, but oh well.
I hiked back from where I came. Watching the trail ahead of me to be sure no one was coming my way. I made it back to the waterfalls and swam for about twenty minutes. The sky was getting grey, so I figured I best head home. I kept my shorts in my hand. I got to an area where the ranger had been building steps and figured I best put my shorts on. Just past the steps was the cable bridge, and lo and behold, three people were coming across.
They stopped and commented that we were the only ones signed in. I informed them I had not seen a soul all day. We parted. When I got to the sign in, I saw that they had been there 30 minutes. They had not even made it a mile in that time. They did not look like hikers, but I am glad they were getting out to the waterfalls. Good thing I got up, moved on, and dressed when I did.
I can not wait to do it again. My legs are sore, but I feel sooooooo good to have been able to spend the day nude in nature.