A Month in a Minivan: Day 9

My back porch in the Desert

I’m writing this in the early evening – the sun has traded places with a million stars and although I can’t see people from the side door of my van, I can see the colourful lights inside the Clubhouse, and hear music from the concert, which has attracted a full house. The singer is great; bringing Jimmy Buffet and other feel-good music to an appreciative crowd. Pippa and I enjoy the festivities from our home next to a saguaro, just across the way. She is curled up in my lap while I write.

Today began with yoga; another excellent class. I have enjoyed yoga for most of my life – never becoming a devotee but always returning to it when thirsty, as though it were a well. I do a few yoga poses each day on my own, for flexibility, but I’m missing classes. I spent a bit of time this afternoon trying to find a yoga-camping experience I might take in during the next three months. I would love to spend a couple of weeks doing yoga every day with a teacher.

This is a gift of extended travel: developing a better sense of what activities you really enjoy. I’ve learned I’m very drawn to kayaking!  If there is a quiet body of water to be explored, I want to be on it!

On the Water; Parker, AZ

I’ve started wondering  how it might be to bring a kayak with me in the future. Strap it onto the top of the van and have the option to paddle anytime the possibility presented itself. Although I’m resistant to increasing the height of my van (I once drove a car into an underground garage with a bike on the roof; the outcome is a sight you can’t unsee) I now think I could adjust and cope with the added stress of having a “hitch-hiker” on top. I’m clearly becoming more confident as I go 🙂


Other things I’ve learned about myself: I really enjoy ice cream, and if there is a home made ice cream within 100 miles, I’ll find it like a sweet-seeking missile.

Hot Springs are emerging as a pleasure-theme; I want more of them.

I do love yoga. I’ll look for more yoga going forward.

And I have learned a lot about myself here, in the Magic Circle. Where clothes are optional. And quietly discouraged 😉

I have to come to love the sunshine on my skin. All of my skin!  It’s been wonderful for my state of mind as well, and I wonder about the science behind it. I have enjoyed the respectful, open, welcoming community I have found here in The Circle and won’t be surprised if this is where I return to camp next winter. At least for a time. It’s freeing. And physically so pleasurable.

When I first arrived, a woman asked me what kind of nudist I was. I laughed and replied “a naked one?” not having a clue what answers I had to choose from. That’s the fun part of coming into a new community and culture. There are things you just don’t know that you don’t know.

I’m still not exactly sure what my choices were,  but it seems to me  people come here from a variety of  “sunning” backgrounds; anywhere from family-friendly, child-centred campgrounds, to adult-only playgrounds, each with their own norms and micro-cultures. And I have become more in touch with how I feel about it, personally.

I think I’m the kind that mostly likes sunning solo, but enjoys sunning beside water or hot springs with the purpose of soaking with others who also enjoy this activity. I’m definitely the kind who wishes we weren’t a culture quite so hyper sensitive to nudity; having pretty much sexualized everything.  I love being in a larger community where the simplicity and joy of nudity is appreciated. In a practical application, it means I also get to enjoy changing clothes OUTSIDE my van without fear of offending anyone, and that’s awesome!

I’ve  enjoyed my daily hikes in the buff,  sometimes alone and sometimes with my friend. It’s become a daily exercise in radical self acceptance. I’m as human as the next person, suffering from a tendency to judge my body harshly, and I’m telling you there  is nothing like a 5 km jiggle to wake up  “The Critic”. You may have wondered why mindful walking is such “a thing” for me?  It’s to keep that inner critic busy with more important things while I get enough peace and quiet to enjoy the sunshine. I will often thank my body as I walk. For having the strength and health to carry me forward the way it does. For having the capability to heal.

I’ve discovered I’m not as enthusiastic about socializing naked as some are. I really did enjoy the dance last week, but after an hour or so I just wanted to put my cozy clothes on and listen to the music. There are heaters in the clubhouse, so it’s not that I was cold. I experienced the same thing tonight with the concert. It seemed too much of a fuss to get UN-dressed when I was already totally cozy and comfortable in my soft pants and sweater. I would have liked to have gone clothed, but would have felt out of place.  Or maybe that’s not quite true either. Maybe my resistance was not about being naked, or not naked, at all. In truth, I typically enjoy one-to-one meetings or small groups of familiar friends, to large groups.  Larger gatherings are more of a challenge and would be, even in a snow suit. I was quite content enjoying the buzz of the party from a little distance 🙂

The nice thing about here in the Circle is that there is no pressure to do anything. A lot of people here never come to the clubhouse at all, and just enjoy a quiet and private camping experience simply knowing that being nude any time they like is ok dokie here.


Anyway, I also enjoyed a lovely lunch with a wonderful new friend today.  She has moved on from Quartzsite (we met during the RTR) but I have a feeling we will have the pleasure of connecting again, not too far down the road. Conversation ranged  from the personal politics of social nudity to the sad lack of women’s rights of passage in mainstream North Amercan culture. An awesome meeting of minds and hearts.

My favourite Disco Desert Movie.

Before coming back to camp, I went to the library and downloaded some new music. Disco, if the truth be told. Have you ever seen the movie The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert? Delightful film, and filmed in the desert in Australia. I often think of that film when I see big colourful busses out here in the desert. Or when the wind blows. It makes me want to listen to Donna Summer. So, I got me some Donna Summer.

Follow your Bliss, Campers 🙂







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