Paradise is a place on earth and it’s called Goldmyer Hot Springs. Harold and I just went, along with my 14-year-old daughter. The only way to get there is to hike in 4.5 miles with everything you need in a backpack. Once you get to Goldmyer, it’s a mile-long uphill trek to the hot springs – a series of shallow pools facing a gorgeous and energetic waterfall. Old-growth forest, lush greenery, and an abundance of wildlife surround you. And many of the people there are naked.
It really is my idea of heaven. I like the challenge of packing for the trip. Weight matters, but you want to have everything you will need. I enjoy pushing myself to do the hike with my pack. The last time Harold and I went, it was a 10 mile hike each way, so this trip seemed easy. Setting up a tidy camp pleases me. It’s amazing how our cozy camp home emerged out of our bags. Then we headed for the hot springs, feeling light as air without our packs.
I joyfully stripped out of my clothes and found a spot in the cooler pool. There were more people at Goldmyer than I have ever seen before. Fourth of July weekend is busy. Clothing is optional, so nudity is accepted. I love being naked in nature, so I’m curious why people choose to wear swimsuits. I do understand body issues coming up. For me, I’ve lost 28 pounds in the past 5 months and my body is at a weird place. Places where I used to be rounded are now flabby. I haven’t lost weight uniformly. I feel blobby and the pictures we took make me look worse than I feel. I usually feel great in my body. Why doesn’t my body look as sexy as I feel? Why are my stretch marks so prominent?
I know that everyone there was checking me out. I was looking at everyone else, swimsuit or no. For the first few minutes, I couldn’t help but look at all the other bodies. I like bodies. Everyone there looked beautiful to me. But after a bit, I stopped noticing that people were naked. It just didn’t matter. I hope that people looked at my body favorably, that my spirit fills my body with beauty, but it doesn’t really matter. I had the experience that I wanted, naked and at peace with my surroundings.
Harold and I had a few moments alone in the pools. We stretched out, me on top of him, our mouths locked. Goldmyer is where we decided to make commitments to each other and where we went for our honeymoon. It’s a magical place, full of memories of our love for each other. The romance means a lot to me. And yes, we did make love. We even spontaneously starting fucking at dawn one morning when Harold climbed into my sleeping bag. Goldmyer cleanses my soul. I begin to remember how to relax. I recharge my batteries. I remember to be in love.
It seems very silent now, to be home, without the rushing river, the pools emptying into each other, or the drops of water falling from the rock face overhead as it condenses. I miss it, yet I am happy. I feel clean and refreshed. I know that I’ll be back at Goldmyer next month, this time with our other partners, Harold with Melanie and me with Joel. I look forward to sharing the love.