02 July, 2008

A Wooded Sunset

Today, conditions conspired (mostly weather and personal drive) for me to head out into a local "wooded" "park" - which is really just a pathetic excuse for a surprisingly overgrown path squeezed between two rows of backyards - to take a few pictures outside, in daylight, before the sun set. Unfortunately, the fact that it was a good day to take a walk through the "woods" also conspired against me, as the "park" was more crowded than I expected. Granted, it was a comfortable summer day, dry and mostly clear, but even so, I expected that "park" to be all but abandoned. At the very least, regardless of what happened, I /did/ get a few nice pictures that I like.

I headed in with no problem. The way the "park" is set up, is that it's basically a long, linear stretch of "woods" - narrow enough in some places to see houses (or even streets) on both sides - that bends around in a vague U-shape from one entrance to the opposite entrance. This means that there's pretty much only a single path that goes from one end to the other. The disadvantage of this is that there's really no place to hide from people other than staying ahead of them. I thought I'd be able to hear well enough to know someone was coming with plenty of time to prepare myself before they could see me, but I was quite wrong about that. And then the parts that run up against the street dull your hearing (and enjoyment of nature) even further.

Anyway, there's a fire circle about a third of the way in from the entrance I generally use, and a cool bridge over a stream about a third of the way in from the opposite end - I no longer use that entrance because it kind of runs through a government installation (or something - ridiculous, I know). So I made it to the fire circle no problem, without seeing any people - just the way I expected it. But there was a group of young birds chirping loudly and occupying the circle. I didn't really want to bother them, so I kept going, hoping to make it to the bridge with enough time to take some shots before the sun went down.

The "path" was pretty overgrown (I later found out that it wasn't actually the path...), and there was a section (which actually met back up with the real path), that skirted right past an open backyard, which just happened to have a guy mowing the lawn. Not that I had any reason to hide myself at this point, but I still didn't like the idea of walking right past him, so I gave up, turned around, and headed back to the fire circle.

When I got there, the birds were still chirping, and now I saw what I assume was the mother. The sun was starting to touch the horizon, and I figured, if I was gonna get some shots, I better not delay any longer. So I got undressed right there at the fire circle and took a few shots. I wasn't confident about the location, because I didn't want to be rushing back and forth to get in the right spot in time for the camera, since I figured it would probably frighten the birds, and I didn't want the mother attacking me or anything. So I left the circle proper and took a couple more shots around some picnic tables nearby.

I was feeling pretty good about being naked out in the "woods". It was a great sensation. But I couldn't enjoy it for long, because right after one of my snaps, I saw a person over at the fire circle. Out of the blue. It was some kids. I don't know how much they saw, and I'm not so naive to think that they can't have seen me, but they didn't make any kind of fuss, and there's at least the possibility that they didn't get any clue as to what I was doing. Well I got dressed real quick and sat around for a bit, because I didn't want it to look like I was running away or anything.

As I was sitting, a group of kids went by on the path a little in front of me, heading away from the fire circle and in the direction of the bridge. I'm pretty sure this wasn't the same group that may have seen me, which is good because it was actually some of my brother's friends. They saw me, and I waved to them, but declined joining them on their trek. After they left, three kids came through from the firecircle area into the picnic table area where I was. This time, I'm pretty sure it was the kids who might have seen me, but at this point, I was open to the idea that it was yet a third group of kids... Well, I just tried to act natural, and one of them asked me for a light, holding a cigarette. The idea vaguely passed through my head that maybe they had seen me naked through the trees, and thought I was high or something. Anyway, I didn't have a light, and I told the guy that, and the kids left (went back to the fire circle, I guess, as I could still hear them).

At that point, I figured it was time to move. Get away from these people, at any rate. And seeing the one group of kids (my brother's friends) go ahead in the direction of the bridge gave me newfound confidence to get past that lawn mower guy. And that's exactly what I did. Happily, I made it to the bridge with no other confrontations. I wondered if maybe I would catch up to that one group, or if they would start heading back, as I knew the end of the path that runs along the government installation (or whatever it is) was kind of rough. Although I don't suspect that would have stopped them. I convinced myself that they had gone straight through, and weren't gonna come back, and rested by the bridge.

Luckily, nobody whatsoever interrupted me while I was at the bridge, and I got a bunch of cool pictures and spent a decent amount of time hanging out there naked. I even climbed down and stepped in the stream to wash my hands and feet a bit. The water was so clear and cool. I wouldn't have dared drinking it, though, with all the pollution around...

So that was most excellent. After a bit, I started thinking about heading back, as it was starting to get dark, and I wanted to get out of the "park" before I couldn't see my way, since I didn't have a flashlight or anything of the sort. So I got dressed, and after very short deliberation, decided to retrace my steps back the way I came. It was just about 9:00 at this point, which is when the "park" "officially" closes, so I was quite surprised to find a bunch of kids at the fire circle. Whether the ones that may have seen me were there or not, I don't know, but there was definitely more there than there was when I left that area, including at least one girl. I walked through casually, acknowledging them, and just kept going.

On my way back toward the exit, I passed two more kids - there must have been something going on in there. I never realized the "park" was used that much. And just before I reached the end of the "park", there were two girls walking a dog coming in. One of them actually asked me if I "smoke", and I had to regretfully answer in the negative and leave them unfulfilled. It seems to me that pot would be a great way to get friends. If I sold pot, I honestly think I'd be the most popular guy in the greater neighborhood. Although in that case, the cops would probably want to get to know me better, too, and I'd rather that not happen.

The other thing I noticed is that of all the people I came across in the "woods", I was the only one "hiking" solo. But I guess that's no surprise. This is not a very solitary world we live in. I was also easily the oldest, since everyone else seemed to be school age, but that didn't particularly come as a surprise to me.


  1. Sounds intense.

    Friends of mine or Kevin? Please tell me whom.

    Me and Leah James were in that woods on the night of the big full moon. No nudity or marijuana though.

    Yes marijuana would be a great way to make friends, selling it or just smoking it. And you honestly don't have to worry about the cops very much at all. It's not like in the media where they actually give a shit about everything. Granted, people do get busted for marijuana all the time, that's a truth. But literally like 1 in 5 people my age sells drugs and they can't jail us all (or maybe it's because we're not black). It's not hard to hide MJ, I think the real thing to worry about is neighbors because a cop would feel obligated to bring down the hammer if some noisy doucheball wants to see some rebels get thrown in the slammer.

  2. Didn't know she had a co. Ali & Levi?

  3. "& co." is also a sneaky way of saying, "there were others, but I'm not sure who they were". I don't think Ali & Levi was there. It might have included Leah's brother. You'd get better results if you asked her.