I noticed at the Outback Campground, the staff was very courteous and helpful. They tried to keep the showers hot and the campground safe from intruders. Orlando and I had adjusted quickly to camp living, despite the lack of modern conveniences. He was used to it. Princess Cub here-not so much. The air mattress required filling with the electric pump as well as the hand pump we ended up buying, almost daily! For some reason the darn thing kept losing air....nudge nudge wink wink -. We both felt for the most part that it was pretty comfortable and every so often the air pressure would drop due to the cold night temperatures and he and I would roll on top of each other as we sank in the middle ...Good thing this trip was an anniversary celebration. Now I am a light sleeper so, I had enough presence of mind to realize I'd need earplugs to block out the night sounds, but Orlando did not wear any the first couple of nights. On Wednesday evening we were sufficiently anesthetized from our all day drinking that he slept soundly through the evening. Thursday we monitored ourselves a little more carefully and he didn't get much sleep that night, due to the occaisional YEEE HAAWWW reverberating through the forest, and the incredible cacaphony of snoring bears. But I get ahead of myself. It was Thursday and we had the whole day to ourselves. We planned on attending all the pool parties at all the various resorts that day since we didn't have any volunteer duties until Friday and Saturday.
We wanted to check out the Highlands first. It was not a far walk from downtown, but up on a steep hill. We weren't sure which street it was on and stopped to ask a local. He was a tall skinny long haired kid that looked vaguely like some singer of a rock band I had seen on TV. He seemed ill dressed for a warm sunny day-kind of ready to attend a movie premier in Hollywood with this kind of second-hand clothing chic slacker look. Too manner layers for a warm day. We asked him if the Highland Resort was up the hill he was traveling. He looked at us and and looked dazed and confused. "Um -I dunno Man about a Resort , I mean I've never seen one up here. ...I don't think...I mean I've lived here for like 15 years" Then he absently mindedly reached over on the side of the rode and picked some random vegetation and started nibbling on it. He kind of shifted his weight gazing at us munching on the plant. We said thanks and he loped off saying "No problem Dude" I hear tell that the mary jane ranches are proliferate up here in this neck of the woods which might explain his mellow disorientation. It turned out that the Highlands Resort turn off was approximately 10 yards from where we were standing. We hiked up the hill with nary a complaint because after Mount Lassen -all uphill walks were cake.
There was a marked difference in the atmosphere of the Highlands that we noticed right away. No Music! It was peaceful, and very quiet and much to my sweetie's delight-clothing optional! Except the folks around the pool in the nude weren't exactly the kind of guys you'd really WANT to see naked. Hence Orlando was a very popular new addition poolside. We settled into our chaise lounge chairs in a peaceful area where Orlando insisted we stay. The area had half shade for me and half sun for him. I was-yet again- sprayed down with SPF 70 to insure no burning or tanning to maintain my pasty complexion. We saw some new friends we had made in the distance by the pool and one of them had suffered a nasty sunburn already. His boyfriend was slathering him with sunblock. As I started to recline in the chaise lounge my chair started to tilt back, as did I! I thought that the back hadn't locked into place and it was simply going backward but that wasn't exactly the case...I kept going backward..with the entire chaise lounge. "Ass over teakettle" is the expression that comes to mind. As I sat there flat on my back and my legs AND the chair way up in the air I said, "Honey...a little help here." My sweetie had to take a moment to collect himself because he was laughing sooooo hard, tears sprang to his eyes. It seemed to delight our neighbors as well. After all the excitement of my spill we calmly enjoyed the peace and quiet of The Highlands and chatted with our Aussie neighbor about a number of things. He was on a LONG vacation of 2 months. He says that flying out of Australia is an ordeal anyway, so if he is going to leave, he always is sure that the trip out is worth it. At the moment he was visiting the natural wonders of California.
We went back to the campsite for lunch since we had every meal CAREfully planned out. I am a huge fan of Hebrew National Hot Dogs. The Jews make a damn fine dog! The only thing I wished we had done was get dry ice . We didn't, which meant we kept having to buy bags of ice daily.( We learned on our last night that Safeway carries Dry Ice. Arrrgh.) So the afternoon we noticed that tent city had indeed grown and there were more cars in downtown Guerneville. The boys were all coming to town. What I found interesting was that all the boys were not "bears" by definition. These guys were of all shapes and all sizes but very few heavy set fellows. There is a part of me that wanted to say NOT ENOUGH BEARS! That was my insecurity speaking. Noel Casale (pg 54 of the most recent Gloss) spoke very eloquently on why I need to be careful of those feelings. He says we shouldn't be exclusionary like our other Gay brothers. He goes on to say, " It's wonderful that gay men are 'bear identifying' much younger than before. Why would you want our community to consist of only 40 plus men? And if some 20 year old slightly effeminate, smooth boy would rather be ogling the fur at IBR than heading to Palm Springs for the White Party -that's a good thing! " What do you think?
After lunch we decided to head over to the Triple R. I knew it would be packed and there wouldn't be a comfy place to sit and enjoy the view, since we had barely squeezed ourselves in the previous day -and THAT was before everyone else had arrived. As it was -I was overwhelmed by the seeming endless collection of the buff and tan pornstar-pretty guys there. I saw maybe a few average joes but they were defintely the ultra minority. I looked over forlornly at Orlando and he sensed immediately that this was going to not be all that fun for me. That meant turning around and going to The Woods Resort just down the street. Fine with him because it was clothing optional. We arrived and there were a far more mixed group of body types there. The music was groovin and Orlando immediately shed his clothing. I left my swim trunks on and headed over to the bathroom. They were pushing samples of a "healthy" energy drink that was supposed to be less chemicals than stuff like Red Bull and Rock Star on a table nearby. It was called Verve. The can said it was "insanely healthy energy". I took a sip and noted it was loaded with high percentage of vitamins as well as some stuff I had seen in other health drinks. I wondered what the 10mg of Choline Chloride were supposed to do. I had had some shaky encounters already with Guarana Seed Extract and Taurine in previous energy drinks so I was careful not to drink a whole can.
When I got settled down by the edge of the pool, Lando was talking to a friend we knew. We had a brief chat and then Orlando hopped in the water. I am not sure why I did it . Perhaps I was freed by the nakedness all around me or maybe it was an attempt to show my nudist boyfriend that I didn't have as many hang ups as he had originally thought. Regardless of the reason, I greatly enjoyed the smile spreading across his face as I shucked my swim trunks and popped into the water with him. We proceeded to kiss in the warm water arms , encircled around one another. The Woods boasts a heated pool and a saline content as opposed to a chlorine content. Our friend noticed the amorous moment and discreetly slipped away to the other side of the pool. (Which surprised me because I thought he would JOIN us given his proclivities. It spared me having to reject him. I didn't want to hurt his feelings.) Well...as you can imagine ...kissing naked in warm salt water with your love can um...lead to certain physical reactions. People started looking over at us. I definitely felt "watched". Worse yet -the creature within me who DEMANDS to be on stage from time to time awoke at that VERY moment. That bitch of a showgirl wanted to be noticed and I MEAN NOTICED! I felt "her" invade my body as I gently and lovingly extricated from my husbear, I started to exit the pool. Lando said, "Whoa -wait...don't you think we should um ...settle down a bit before getting out of the water?" I arched my left eyebrow -or rather she did. "Why?" I asked mischeviously. Again Orlando smiled that wide enormously pleased grin I saw earlier. I stepped up and out of the pool casting a very different shadow then when I had gone in. Maybe a third of the men around the pool. stopped talking and looked over at me with a mixture of smirks and surprise and ...lust. No one seemed particularly offended -espescially when Orlando followed me in much the same state. He decided to enjoy the brazeness of it all. I felt like giggling but I knew that would spoil the moment. We toweled off ...slowly and kissed a few more times and went back to the campsite to retire to the privacy of our tent. We stayed in there for a while.