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

I learned this lesson the hard way.
It was late spring in 2001 and I chose to research the hills over the brand new Elysium property in Malibu, California. Elysium had relocated only a couple of months before from its 30-year home in Topanga after the daughters of its own late creator, Ed Lange, decided to sell. Betty and Sandy Meltzer, longtime Elysium Board members, had purchased 27 acres of largely 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 popular trail provides hikers and nature lovers a brilliant approach to relish the region’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 hiked the Malibu property and parts of the Backbone Trail many times before and never ran into anybody. Ordinarily I’d wear tennis shoes along with a baseball cap and carry a bottle of water and a towel (just in case I ran into someone). Today, nevertheless, I wanted to be adventuresome. I wanted to hike without wearing or carrying anything, to be absolutely nude! 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 shore. It was not long before I decided to turn around and head back. Maybe half an hour or so after, the fog had rolled in so that the visibility I had was no more than ten feet. After another hour or so, I recognized I had been walking around in circles. I did not know which way was West (the ocean) and I couldn’t locate the Elysium Property. Additionally , I started to stress as the temperature regularly drops drastically in the evenings in the hills of Malibu.
What if I cant find my way back during daylight? I continued on the trail, now going in a direction I simply knew was incorrect. After another hour or so, I heard what sounded like farm equipment, a tractor possibly. Subsequently beach girl seemed out of the fog. I considered to myself, I have two choices. If I go down the hill to the house, the folks there may call the police. If I stay up on the trail, I may still be walking after the sun goes down and freeze.

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I made the choice to go down the hill toward the home.
As I continued down the hill, I saw a guy along with a woman. I ceased and I yelled you-who! As the man and girl looked up and saw me I said, Im lost and I need a towel. I went on to say I’m not mad. My buddies allow me to trek naked on their property.
Then I smiled. The woman said that she would get me a towel and walked to the house. The guy simply looked up at me and did not say a thing.
When the woman came back with a towel and 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 asked which way was the road. The girl pointed and said, Its that manner.
I’ve frequently wondered what went through the mind of that girl. I suppose she could have just as easily called the police as help me. On the other hand, dwelling up in a distant part of the Santa Monica Mountains, Ill bet she has seen a lot of unexpected things and met a lot of fascinating folks that have wandered off the Backbone Trail. I can only theorize what her version of the encounter is when she tells her friends about the day a naked man came down the hill toward their house and asked for a towel and directions. On the flip side, maybe she didn’t believe it was uncommon in . Ill never know.
So if you ever find yourself nude and lost in the mountains, just stay calm, and remember, sometimes a huge grin will cover a lot!

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