“What spirit is so empty and blind that it cannot grasp the fact that a human foot is more noble than the shoe and the human skin more beautiful than the garment with which it is clothed.”
I woke up early and it was forecasted to be partly sunny with a 20% chance of showers. I had this day planned for a week now and I made the decision that I wouldn’t let a couple of raindrops stop this girl from baring it all and getting wet. Yes, the Quest of the day was planned to take me to an elevation of 8000 feet to an alpine lake to do something daring and provocative… skinny dip in the middle of the day!
I knew this Quest would have many wondering, “Why?”. My answer to that, is “Why not?” I have heard people say they have done it in the cover of darkness or perhaps in their youth. However, I had not had that experience. Perhaps their motive for taking such a daring risk was for young love or just a youthful exuberance for life. My motive was to be brave and to experience that natural naked and wet sensation. No, my “very” young days are past, but perhaps there was a hint of exploring my own sensuality mixed with an abundant exuberance for life! So, with my justification serving as permission to step outside my comfort zone and do something daring, I started my day with a good, long, hard run and a cool shower… slipped into my white summer dress for the last time this season, grabbed my camera, towel and blanket and asked Siri to guide me to Caples Lake just South of Lake Tahoe.
As I began the 1.5 hour drive, I had a lot of things on my mind and the clouds that began to billow to the South were beginning to make me wonder how wet of an adventure this might be. I decided that no matter what the weather or temperature, this Quest needed to happen as I was in the right frame of mind and I just had a feeling the day would be okay.
I had made my way South through the valley and began my climb up the mountain. I noticed that the breeze had picked up ever-so-slightly and the aspen trees had begun to change. The blue in the sky was rich with the virgin colored clouds that began to build higher and higher. I could feel the subtle tension in the air as if the energy were there to form a storm, but it resisted perhaps out of respect for the mission I was about to undertake.
As I continued the drive, the sun reflected off of the water in a creek, creating a glistening effect. I immediately pulled the car to the shoulder and made the quick decision to stop and take some photographs. As I approached the creek, there were old wooden fence posts that served as an entry to this natural wonder. My camera was set and I walked to the creek’s edge. The beauty of my surroundings was like a poem being written from the most intimate part of one’s heart. The trees spoke of freedom to shake and bend in the wind. The water spoke of happiness for the crevice it flows through. The flowers spoke of the joy that they bring to the landscape. The sun spoke of generosity to help all keep warm, grow and smile. I stood quietly reading this poem as if it were being narrated just for me. The view was nothing short of perfection and I felt humbled to witness such artistry. I looked and watched as the clouds continued to grow and knew I must be on my way.
As I continued along my drive, I wondered if I would have the courage to complete this Quest. I worried that others might be around to preclude me from my goal. I feared the cold of the water as it would be around 50-55 degrees! I had to stop my negative thoughts… If this was meant to be, it will be. And just like that I pulled into the deserted parking lot for Caples Lake. I stepped out and in absolute awe, I felt inspired by the sight before me. I could smell the scent of rain and the ground was still wet from a shower that had just passed. The sun began to shine bright and the clouds seem to dance all around leaving the rays to shine on the lake before me. I grabbed my bag and made my way down the path to the lake’s edge. The shore was rocky but a soft sand lay in between the rocks. I continued to walk and there tucked around a protected corner was a tiny little patch of private beach situated below several large boulders that acted as a barrier. I stood in shock as this was indeed a perfect place to be!
I looked around and upon further exploration found a couple of fishermen nearby but not within eyesight of where I was located. I decided to lay my blanket out and just soak up the sun and take in the scenery. I could feel my muscles begin to tense with the concern of others seeing me au natural. I had to close my eyes and focus on my breathing. I reminded myself of why I am doing this. I wanted to push myself to a place I had not been. To experience a very natural moment and in the process continue to find comfort in the skin I was given. To embrace and accept the body I was in and to feel that sensuous glistening feeling without a hint of guilt or concern.
I lay on the blanket and started to feel more comfortable and relaxed. I felt a little chilled and decided to let the sun kiss my skin in an effort to keep me warm before I dipped myself in the cool water. I didn’t expect the pleasing feeling I was beginning to experience. I was starting to feel excited and the mere thought of this forbidden adventure had my senses on high alert and I could feel my nerve endings awaken. First the goose bumps on my skin that began to form and my nipples were unmistakably responding to the delicious thoughts…. A beach… lying barely clothed with the sun touching every centimeter of skin… I licked my lips trying to fight the desirable thoughts I found had invaded my mind like an adrenaline rush with the first few strokes of a swim. I cautiously looked around and found no one there and breathed a sigh of relief. My hands began to find their way to places that would ordinarily make me blush but at that moment they caused a soft sigh to emerge while my legs began to move slowly yearning, wanting more… As I went even further, this adventure of the skinny dipping kind had turned into a self-gratifying odyssey. At the very climax of this adventure were the pleasing sounds I tried to resist. I reveled in an irrefutable dampness that heightened my desire and then the feeling of every muscle tighten and a release so pleasurable I let go as I didn’t want it to end.
After some moments of repose, I reached for my large beach towel to wrap myself in to shield me from any prying eyes that might appear. I came to the realization at that moment that I still had a mission to accomplish, I needed to really get wet in the cold water that I found myself staring out at. Really? “Whose idea was this anyway?” I thought. “Oh yeah, mine!” I was having second thoughts by now. I won’t have a wetsuit for this dip in a cold lake. What if someone sees me? Apparently it didn’t dissuade me just a little bit ago, so I can’t follow that argument. I need to do this. I need to take on this challenge with wild abandon and feel those sensations, however cold they might be!
I took a look around one last time and the same fishermen were still engaged in discussions of the fish story kind and I had to seize my opportunity to take the plunge! I tiptoed to the water’s edge and in a flirtatious sort of way, discarded my towel and began the slow and cautious walk into the lake. Every step was as I predicted: cold! But standing and walking bare skinned had me in a playful mood. I took my hands and ever-so-quickly let them tease the water’s surface. I couldn’t help but think that I was doing this!!!! In the middle of the day at 8,000 feet at a gorgeous alpine lake… feeling gratitude for finding the courage to not miss the opportunity so many have experienced. As I crept deeper into the lake, I could feel the ice-cold water reach the very sensitive spots on my body and they sent shivers up my spine. I decided not to spend too much time in the water but enough to look out across the lake, remember the sight of the mountains in the distance and the sun as it played peekaboo from behind the clouds, and the feeling of being free to do this quest. And as my eyes were captivated by the water meeting the mountains on the horizon, I decided it was time to return to shore. As I took a step forward, I tripped over a rock in the water and inadvertently went head first into the water! I gasped and giggled at the same time. As if time had stood still many years earlier, I felt the excitement I remembered from my youth… A carefree sense of joy that I had not felt in so long. I sat on a large granite boulder and just let myself go, to soak up the love the sun had to give and find my smile yet again.
Alas, it was time to depart. I felt a little sadness when it was time to leave, as I had grown to like this little spot so close to heaven. But as I turned to walk away, I continued to shoot pics hoping not to forget a single image I had recorded in my mind on this Quest. From the eloquent words that nature recited at my impromptu visit by the creek, to the semi-private sandy beach shrouded with rocks, to the views of the horizon where the mountains touched the lake to the white cotton ball clouds that danced across the sky, to the carnal feelings that my body experienced and I could not resist, to the awakening of what life’s simple pleasures should feel like, but most importantly to the courage I had to dig deep for in order to bare myself to the open air and water to experience just a hint of the Eve-like naiveté that was embedded in my DNA.
Having indulged in a sensual Quest, pleasing to the senses, and embraced by a boldness only courage could have delivered… Wondering what tomorrow will bring…