Hike Naked Day

I will never forget June 22nd, 2015– the day I met Donald Trump on the Appalachian Trail (AT).

I’m just kidding, but the imagery in this story is just as humorous (unfortunately for me).

It’s definitely not out of the norm for me to embarrass myself on a daily basis, however there are some incidents that even have me blushing when I reminisce. 

During my northbound thru-hike on the AT, I was known as ‘Wonderland’ for six (usually) short months or, to put it nicely, the girl who does outlandish things and gets herself into even weirder situations.

For instance, on the aforementioned day around 2PM, I found myself in Glasgow, Virginia, scared out of my mind, sitting naked on top of a bridge. I use the term naked specifically, because ‘nude’ often implies confidence and sexiness, whereas the connotation of naked is more akin to how I was feeling– exposed and terrified.

Allow me to explain.

As you may know, June 21st of 2015 was the notorious “Hike Naked Day” (HND) on the trail, a day for nudists to blend in and genitals have increased risk for grazing poison ivy.

Well, my friends and I were sinfully omissive, and took a much needed zero day amongst the giant brontosaurus and alas, skipped HND. Upon this realization my inner and surreptitious (not anymore) nudist sobbed incredulously.

The next day we all decided to jump off the bridge that’s on trail, because apparently it’s a right of passage and you just “have to do it.” I’m not an astronomer (shocking), however there had to have been something celestial going on for me to give in to peer pressure like this.

My actions may be strange, but my fears are pretty commonplace: being naked in front of strangers, heights, clowns, eggs, etc. Oh, that last one is just me? My bad.

Heights terrify me, however I didn’t want to be one of the only people who didn’t jump off the bridge. The idiotic, little kid in me was screaming “fit in!”

After seeing the majority of my trail family jump off, some multiple times, I came up with another one of my brilliant ideas– if I strip down naked, I will be so humiliated I will have to jump off, because I won’t want people to look at me, plus it will sort of fix the whole/hole HND oversight.

Thankfully, my friends are awesome and once I got naked, so did they.

But there was just a minor glitch in my plan. Turns out, my fear of jumping off 40 (hyperbole) foot bridges eclipses my fear of people seeing my naked body.

“Wonderland! You need to jump! Truck drivers are beginning to pull over and stare!” encouraged and warned my friends.

Another nobo named ‘Slomo’ was passing through when she quickly realized the situation. This girl was rad, and I’m sure she’s still rad to this day. She immediately stripped down to her birthday suit and jumped in with me. If she wouldn’t have come along, I think I would still be sitting up there right now. Thanks, lady.

This is my first out of many (I hope) articles I will be writing for Appalachian Trials. I wanted to start off with something light-hearted!

The plan is to write about my overall thru-hiking experience, as well as gear advice, hiking in sandals and hiking with a ‘special diet.’ Thanks for stopping by and happy trails!

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