Focus all nudists! When you go hiking, always bring a compassand a towel!

I learned this lesson the hard way.
It was late springtime in 2001 and I decided to learn more about the hills over the brand new Elysium property in Malibu, California. Elysium had relocated just a couple of months before from its 30-year home in Topanga after the daughters of its own late creator, Ed Lange, determined to sell. Betty and Sandy Meltzer, longtime Elysium Board members, had bought 27 acres of mostly undeveloped land about 20 miles to the west and relocated the nudist resort there.
The Malibu property was next to what hikers understand as The Backbone Trail, a 100-mile footpath that snakes through the Santa Monica Mountains and rings the Los Angeles basin. The most popular trail provides hikers and nature lovers a spectacular strategy to enjoy the area’s flora and fauna in its natural state. This particular day was overcast, yet warm, a perfect day to go hiking, or so I believed. I’d trekked the Malibu property and parts of the Backbone Trail many times before and never ran into anybody. Usually I’d wear tennis shoes as well as a baseball cap and carry a bottle of water as well as a towel (just in case I ran into someone). These days, yet, I needed to be adventurous. I needed to trek without wearing or carrying anything, to be completely bare! No tennis shoes, no towel, no baseball cap, no water bottle. Nothing but the trail and me.
As I had done many times before, I walked beyond the property line and onto the Backbone Trail. As I progressed on my hike, I started to see the fog rolling in from the coast. It was not long before I chose to turn around and head back. Perhaps half an hour or so later, the fog had rolled in so that the visibility I ‘d was no more than ten feet. After another hour or so, I realized I was walking around in circles. I did not understand which url was West (the ocean) and I couldn’t find the Elysium Property. Additionally , I started to stress since the temperature regularly falls dramatically in the evenings in the hills of Malibu.
Imagine if I cant find my way back during daylight? I continued on the trail, now going in a way I simply knew was incorrect. After another hour or so, I heard what sounded like farm equipment, a tractor maybe. Subsequently a house seemed out of the fog. I considered to myself, I got two picks. If I go down the hill to the house, the people there may phone the police. If I stay up on the trail, I may still be walking after the sun goes down and freeze. I made the choice to go down the hill toward the house.
As I continued down the hill, I saw a guy along with a lady. I stopped and I shouted you-who! As the man and woman looked up and saw me I said, Im lost and I need a towel. I went on to say I’m not insane. My friends let me trek bare on their property.
Then I grinned. The girl said that she’d get me a towel and walked to the house. The man simply looked up at and did not say a thing.
When the woman came back with a towel and also a t-shirt, I continued my walk down the hill and toward their property. I thanked the woman as I wrapped the towel around my waist and put on the t-shirt. I then inquired which way was the road. The girl pointed and said, Its that manner.
I’ve often wondered what went through the mind of that woman. I assume she could have just as easily called the cops as help me. On the flip side, living up in a distant part of the Santa Monica Mountains, Ill wager she’s seen lots of strange things and met a lot of interesting individuals who have wandered off the Backbone Trail. I am only able to speculate what her version of the encounter is when she tells her friends about the day a nude man came down the hill toward their house and asked for a towel and directions. On the other hand, perhaps she didn’t think it was unusual whatsoever.

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Ill never know.
If you ever see yourself nude and lost in the mountains, just remain calm, and remember, occasionally a large grin will cover a lot!



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