Man goes au naturel in the great outdoors
What’s a woman to do on the trail when she runs into a hiker who shows off a little more of his “equipment” than she’s interested in checking out?A longtime on-again, off-again resident of the Roaring Fork Valley faced just such a conundrum earlier this month when a buck-naked man popped out from behind a tree on the trail up Conundrum Creek.Sasha’s tale began at about 10 a.m. on a Sunday. She parked and set out what she hoped would be a daylong sojourn to Conundrum Hot Springs. About 20 minutes into the hike she encountered a man, fully clothed, in his late 30s or early-40s hiking out.”He appeared fit and well-equipped – no pun intended,” she said, referring to the fact that it appeared he had a large pack full of camping gear with him. She also recalled that the man had blond hair, glasses and was about 5 feet, 10 inches tall. They spoke briefly and then parted ways. Sasha, who asked that her last name not be used, began to forget about him.Around three-and-a-half hours into the hike, the skies darkened and Sasha decided to call it a day, despite the fact she hadn’t reached her destination. She sat down, ate lunch, smoked a big ol’ fatty, and then began walking back to her car. Raindrops began to fall, so she pulled out her umbrella.About two miles from the parking lot, she was passing a couple headed up the trail when the towheaded hiker whom she had met in the morning reappeared. “At the same time I was greeting them, this guy pops out from behind a tree, naked except for the backpack,” Sasha recalled. “We all looked. He was, like, 10 feet away and walking toward us in a jovial manner.”He was indeed fit, tan from head to toe, but not especially well-equipped. Nor was he aroused. “It was just sort of perched there,” she said.After the man made a lame attempt at a joke about the rain and his nakedness, everyone scattered – the couple up the trail and Sasha down the trail. “I sensed him walking behind me,” she said, adding that she didn’t look back once. “I was getting nervous and thinking about what I could do if something happened.” She thought about her umbrella and the few other items she was carrying, and how they might work as weapons.”I was very nervous.”A few minutes later, she rounded a corner and found a fully clothed man sitting beside the trail. She asked the man, a computer technician from Denver named Rob, if she could hike out the rest of the way with him. When he said yes, she sat down next to him.”In the time we were sitting there, the naked hiker came by us – fully clothed and in rain gear.” Sasha said. “I never saw him again.”Joe DiSalvo, director of investigations at the Pitkin County Sheriff’s Office, said there have been no reports of flashers on Conundrum or any other trails. Sasha did not report the incident.According to DiSalvo, the naked hiker would likely be charged with indecent exposure and harassment if he were caught. He didn’t have any advice for women about how to be prepared for naked men hiding behind trees on remote trails, except perhaps to carry mace or pepper spray.”I’m not really sure that’s necessary,” DiSalvo said.Sasha said the experience made her aware of just how vulnerable she is on solo hikes, but she has no plans to quit walking by herself. “Did it make me never want to go there again – no.”As they walked out to the parking lot, Sasha told Rob the story of her day. “He said that’s really bizarre and then offered to take me out to dinner to make me feel better,” Sasha recalls. She rebuffed her knight in shining Gore-Tex’s advance, too.”If you’re single and looking for action, it might be that Conundrum’s the place to go,” she said.Allyn Harvey’s e-mail address is email@example.com
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