The naked truth about nude recreation

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I’m guessing there are plenty of Flathead folks who don’t know about Nude Recreation Week, a weeklong celebration in July that coincides with the second annual International Skinny Dip Day on July 13, when “bare bun fun runs” are among the festivities.

I didn’t either, but thanks to a press release from the American Association for Nude Recreation — yes, there is actually such an organization — I now have the inside scoop on how to become stress-free by giving clothes-free recreation a try.

You’ve heard of “staycations,” or stay-at-home vacations. Well, the afore-mentioned association is encouraging people to take a “Nakation” vacation.

“Why not take a skinny dip in your backyard pool?” the press release suggests. “Don’t have a pool? Then wash the family pet in the nude, scour the shower in the nude, vacuum the house nude…” So, pretty much take your clothes off and get the chores done, no matter what the neighbors might think if they see you cavorting in the buff.

“Shed your threads,” the release further encourages. “Chill out and cool down.”

The American Association for Nude Recreation compiles a list of its affiliated clubs, resorts and campgrounds where people can go to get naked. There’s one such facility in all of Montana, the Montana Naturist Organization in Thompson Falls. The next closest entity is Sun Meadow Resort near Worley, Idaho.

Now don’t get the idea I would ever partake in nude recreation or run off to a nudist colony. I shudder at the thought. I do find it fascinating, though, that this kind of thing attracts a certain segment of the population.

I was surprised to learn that fellow Inter Lake staffer Duncan Adams has some experience with nude beaches — three of them, in fact. One of the clothes-optional beaches he simply happened upon; the others he sought out. One of the places where he dropped his shorts was the popular Rooster Rock State Park on the Columbia River Gorge, which, according to Wikipedia, was the first officially designated clothing-optional beach in the U.S.

Duncan said he couldn’t stay at Rooster Rock long, though, because he had a wounded weasel in his truck that needed attention (and that is a story for another day).

“It felt freeing,” he confided about getting down to his birthday suit, adding that sunscreen is a good idea.

As for nude recreation, Duncan said people tend to play a lot of beach volleyball in these clothing-optional locales. Male of female, I can only imagine the flopping around of various body parts that occur during these volleyball games, or any other sporting activity.

Am I a prude for thinking that frolicking naked in designated public places — or anywhere for that matter — is a questionable activity? Perhaps. It could be that I was traumatized by my seventh-grade girls P.E. class where we were forced for the first time to all get naked and shower together. I believe that was horrifying for most of us.

The association’s press release includes a photo of a nude couple lying on the beach, both with tanned, sculpted model-like bodies. Most people who let it all hang out don’t look like that, Duncan assured.

Even though the press release encourages media interested in visiting a nude resort to call 1-800-TRY-NUDE to set up a trip, I’m going to pass. Maybe we should send Duncan.

News Editor Lynnette Hintze may be reached at 758-4421 or

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