Let's Get Naked
(1/28/08) Photo Credits: Erez, Jeff, and Vitaly
I wonder if I'm turning into a nudist. I seem to enjoy the opportunities I have to get naked in the outdoors. At first it began with me taking my shirt off during events, which was innocent enough. A lot of guys do it when they are working out or hot and sweaty. Then it graduated to getting naked at swimming holes and hot springs. Then finally, during the scout trip for Deep Creek, I decided to experience hiking naked. I figure, why not, got to experience it just once to see what it's like. I got to admit it was kind of cool doing something so unconventional. I doubt I would do it again though. As free as it felt, it just didn't seem practical to hike naked. Athough, it still made for a very fun and interesting scout trip.
The Deep Creek Hot Springs trip day finally arrived. We had a full-house of fun guys show up and the weather was perfect. And with the special surprise planned out at the hot springs, I knew it was going to be an awesome day.
Our trek to the hot springs was not without challenge however. At one point of the trail, the raging waters from the recent storms washed away the foot bridge. We scouted the area for an alternate route, but there wasn't one close-by. So we put our minds and brawn together and built a foot bridge across the stream. It wasn't exactly the London Bridge, but it was sturdy enough to keep us dry over a swiftly moving stream that was about five feet deep under the bridge.
For the most part, we kept a pretty tight group, although folks we're free to move at their own pace. The views of the snow covered peaks of the San Gabriels and the full stream below made for terrific scenery on the way to the hot springs.
And of course, once we got to the hot springs, I immediately got naked, draped a sarong around my waist, and headed to the first pool. Folks quickly followed my lead. And I was pleasantly surprised to notice half the guys got naked as well. The water felt soooooooo gooooooood... Relaxing in the luxuriously warm water in this beautiful natural setting with hot naked Perfect Pacers was too good to be true. But I knew I had to get the show on the road, so after about 15 minutes in the hot springs, I modestly excused myself to prepare for the surprise.
I grabbed my backpack and set up kitchen slightly hidden up the hill. I knew the first course was going to be the most difficult to prepare. I pulled a silver platter out of my backpack and like a pastry chef, meticulously arranged goat cheese on melba toast topped with lox, capers, fresh dill, and caviar.
Planning this hors dourve extravaganza with Andy seemed straightforward enough, but of course the execution on the trail was a bit nerve racking. Andy and I felt really nervous doing this with all the other big groups there. Despite my wobbly knees underneath my brightly colored sarong, I took a deep breath, put on my pageant smile, held the silver platter high over my shoulders, and said to myself "It's show-time".
Like Bree Vandercamp does Luau, I walked over to my soaking guests and the looks on their faces was worth all the apprehension. It was another priceless Perfect Pace moment.
Now really pumped up with enthusiasm, I started on the next appetizer which was stuffed grape leaves with a dipping tzatziki sauce.
The second course then followed with Andy's fabulous prosciutto-wrapped roasted asparagus with two different dipping sauces, a romescu and a spicy cocktail sauce.
Was that all? Nope. The fourth course was sweet and sour meatballs, served hot, with party toothpicks of course.
By the time the meatballs came out, a small party started to form with folks coming from other groups. We had lots of food, so the more was definitely the merrier. Some of them we're beautiful Norwegian girls, which I understand some of whom didn't get the clue about us until later on. hehe
I saved the very last surprise for my co-host, Andy. Carrying a tray with a Croquembouche Tower of cream puffs drizzled with hot caramel sauce, surrounded by petite fruit tarts, and topped with a lit candle, I walked up to Andy, as we sang Happy Birthday... yup, another priceless Perfect Pace moment :)