Holy cow, Burning Man is right around the corner! It never fails — every year it sneaks up on me, and I end up scrambling to get my costumes and stuff ready last-minute. But this year is even worse than usual!
Ironically, I figured I’d have plenty of time this year, since my planned trip to Sturgis got cancelled thanks to my bitch-ass ex-girlfriend bailing on me (I still haven’t heard a word from her — it’s like she flipped a switch and totally froze me out of her life). But before I had the chance to sit around and cry about Sturgis and/or start preparing for Burning Man….wouldn’t you know it, my friend Dr. Kildare made me an offer I couldn’t refuse: come camping with him in Colorado for a week! He even offered to pay my airfare; how could I turn that down?
Besides, I’d never been to Colorado and have always wanted to check it out — especially now that marijuana is legal there 🙂 So I put my Burning Man prep aside, threw all my camping gear in my roommate’s ginormous old Army duffel, and headed for the airport. I’d have plenty of time to get ready for the Burn after I got home, I told myself.
Dr. Kildare met me at the Denver airport, and we headed back down south to this weird high-desert valley he’s enamored of down near the New Mexico border. But first things first — along the way, we had to stop at a dispensary to buy some legal weed!!! We ended up going to The Spot 420 in Pueblo, which turned out to be a fantastic place; management was super friendly, and hooked us up with all kinds of free swag including koozies, shirts, hats and sunglasses. Dr. Kildare went buck wild and bought $170 worth of cookies, hash oil and Purple Passion grape-flavored THC concentrate…but all I really needed was less than one gram of Indica, so I could take a few hits off my pipe at bedtime every night, to help me sleep. I’m a lightweight!
But since we had all that other stuff aaaaaanyway….I went ahead and indulged, enjoying a fabulous sun-and-marijuana-soaked week of hiking, camping, hot springing and Rocky-Mountain-Oyster-eating. Dr. Kildare is like me, always on the go — so we would never really indulge until 6pm or so, after we’d done everything we wanted to do all day. No wake & bake for us; I like to save my high as a reward for a hard day’s fun, and he’s the same way.
Anyway, the first spot we camped was down at the Great Sand Dunes National Monument near Alamosa. Holy cow was that place beautiful!! It’s basically this
GINORMOUS dune field at the foot of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains — I think the highest dune is around 800 feet tall, and people come down there from all over the world to go “sandboarding” (snowboarding on sand, LOL). These dunes are also closed to OHV traffic, so there are no bothersome rednecks razzing around belching gas and noise pollution and throwing beer bottles on the ground. It’s a very peaceful place, and beautiful in an otherworldly way — this huge, vast dune field surrounded by forests and meadows, with a creek that runs right through the sand!!
I’ve never seen anything like it. The first night, Dr. K and I got baked and walked down to the creek from the campground, and it was pitch dark. Dr. K is anti-headlamp, so we walked by the light of the stars, along this little path through the meadow to the creek, which runs along the base of the dunefield. Since it was too dark to see much, all my other senses were heightened, and the feeling of the cool water running through the wet sand was really out of this world! The trickling of the creek was the only sound, and all you could really make out was the occasional glint of starlight on the water — and the occasional flash of a headlamp waaaaaaay out on the dunes, where the truly hardcore had gotten backcountry permits to camp out.
Being baked certainly added to the experience, and Dr. K got all fired up with the idea that we, too should camp out on the dunes the following night. Now, I can think of nothing more otherworldly and amazing than camping out at the top of an 800-foot sand dune, surrounded by miles of sand hills and sand valleys — how freaking awesome and Bedouin would that be, to have a little campfire and a glass of wine under all those stars, surrounded by all that sand?! But the idea of schlepping my gear, plus water, wood and wine, alllllll the way up an 800-foot dune sounded like the opposite of awesome!
The next morning we hiked to the top of the dunes in the daylight, and it was such an ass-kicking workout that Dr. K abandoned the idea of camping up there anyway, and we just enjoyed a day of hiking, instead. In the afternoon we drove to the nearest liquor store to get some champagne — I figured that Purple Passion grape-flavored THC concentrate would taste amazing mixed with some good old-fashioned champers. But it’s not like there’s a BevMo or a WalMart or anything way the fuck out there in the ultra-desolate San Luis Valley! Finding a bottle of champagne seemed like a pretty tall order.
But astonishingly, in the tiny, dusty little town of Blanca we found this Ukrainian woman running a sort of convenience store/liquor shop out of an old adobe building in the middle of nowhere. It was like something out of a Wim Wenders movie — how did she wind up there? But she did happen to have a bottle of Russian champagne in the walk-in cooler –Sovetskoye Shampanskoye, this old-time Soviet-era sparkling wine from Belarus. “We drink on New Years when I was little girl,” she waxed nostalgic, vouching for its indisputable high quality. SOLD! I never thought I’d try Russian champagne for the first time in the Colorado desert….but guess what? It was pretty damn good!
After a few days at the dunes, we headed up north to this amazing nudist hot springs resort called Valley View, nestled in the wooded foothills overlooking the San Luis Valley.
Valley View is your typical nudist hot spring resort — New Agey, full of hippies, with communal kitchens and a music room and stuff like that…but unlike other resorts I’ve been to (Harbin) it’s much less sanctimonious and pretentious. They let you use your phone (there is decent WiFi and cell service), plus it has a more laid-back, slightly busted-up vibe which I totally dug. There are a few cabins and dorm room beds you can rent, plus plenty of RV and tent camping in the forest — so Dr. K and I set up camp, mixed up some Shampanskoye and Purple Passion, and hit the soaking pools.
There are several different soaking pools at Valley View, all fairly rustic, with sandy or gravel bottoms, surrounded by the most beautiful wildflowers and trees. Most of the pools up on the hillside are kinda lukewarm or tepid, but there are two nice hot ones in a grove of apple trees, plus there’s even a full-size swimming pool and a sauna with a cold-plunge pool inside the sauna! The bathrooms and showers are plentiful and pretty clean, and overall I have to give this facility an A+. GREAT place!
Once the Purple Passion kicked in, we wandered around in the dark (remember, Dr. K is headlamp-averse) exploring the grounds. First, we came upon an awesome, enormous open-air wooden pavilion structure strung with colored lights, a communal kitchen on one side and a bonfire in the center, with s’mores accoutrements laid out for all to enjoy. HELLO!!! I spent a few hours beasting on s’mores and drawing all over the walls with chalk, which was provided for just
that purpose, before following the sound of piano music wafting through the dark forest to another building, where a music room had been set up with drums, xylophones, guitars and all manner of other wacky instruments including a hammered dulcimer! Oh my gawd, I’m telling you this was the best place to be high this side of Burning Man. I will definitely be back to Valley View!!!
Aside from just hanging out soaking and relaxing, Dr. K and I also took a trip down into the valley to explore some of the little towns in the area. That really is a unique corner of the country — I mean, when I think of Colorado I think of the Rockies and whatnot, but the San Luis Valley is a really bizarre, windswept, funky little oasis full of some of the best weirdos you’ll ever meet! We checked out an old movie theater in Saguache, a New Age ice cream parlor in Crestone, and this UFO viewing center in the middle of the valley near Moffat, where for $2 you can climb up on a two-story platform and look for mysterious lights, which are said to appear often in that area (the lady working there told us alllllllll about it). Overall, a great and ultra-funky place!
After a few more days camping in the area, it was time to head back north to Denver so I could fly home to Vegas — I had a trade show gig booked the day I got back, so I couldn’t dilly-dally around. We had one last meal of Rocky Mountain Oysters (aka deep-fried bull testicles, which I found to be okay, but probably wouldn’t eat again), and then Dr. K got us a room for the night so I could get cleaned up and trade-show ready — I literally was going straight to work from the airport when I landed in Vegas the next day.
This meant I finally had to shave my armpits, which had gotten SUPER hairy over the 7 weeks I let them grow out this summer. The last time I had shaved was back in June, before that romance novel cover audition — since then, I hadn’t had any gigs requiring me to shave, so I just let the hair grow as a sort of science experiment as I went about my summer fun. WOW!!! I had no idea my armpit hair could get that thick — it was nuts. Thankfully, Dr. K was cool enough to film this video of me shaving them…if you’re interested in seeing for yourself:
Anyway, I flew back to Vegas the next day, grabbed my ginormous duffel from baggage claim, ran to my car and drove straight to the convention center for my trade show gig. But ALAS, in the meantime the guy who hired me had had second thoughts…doubting my ability to get there in time from the airport, he had already hired another girl to replace me. D’OH!!!! I’m telling you, people — I am a woman of my word!! If I say I’m going to be somewhere at a certain time — BY GOLLY, I’LL BE THERE!!! I’m no amateur; I’m Wonderhussy, goddammit! The guy was cool though, and paid me a consolation fee…but it still kinda sucked.
I didn’t let it bother me for long, though — as mentioned, I had a TON of prep work to do for Burning Man, and this would only give me more time to get ready. So, did I buckle down and git ‘er done? What do YOU think? Listen, when you’re the #1 Google result for “Las Vegas Nude Model” (!!!), last-minute gigs tend to pop up like mushrooms in the night…and it’s hard to turn down money, especially with all the cancellations I had this summer.
First I did a shoot in a beautiful suite at the Aria, with floor-to-ceiling windows looking out over the most amazing monsoonal desert thunderstorm. (That room was a photographer’s paradise — if you can afford one of the Sky Suites, they make for great photo shoots.) Then I had a couple shoots with local photographers…and then, I got a call to make a surprise appearance in my showgirl costume, at some ancient goombah’s 80th birthday party over at this awesome old-school Italian restaurant on the east side of town.
Now, I’ve never been a fan of the whole “Everything was better when the mob ran Vegas” mentality (which is the grousy refrain of many old-timers in town, who insist that times were better when a bunch of two-bit thugs ran the show)…but there is definitely something to be said for that old-Vegas lifestyle — you know, martinis and Sinatra and showgirls and all that. Thugs or no, there was a fabulously bizarre sense of elegance back in those days that is fading from memory as all these old fuckers die off; this birthday party was a prime example.
It was in honor of some politically-connected attorney, and all his old-time Vegas cronies were there to celebrate, swilling martinis and feasting on osso bucco and whatnot, just like the good old days. The band played “Happy Birthday” as I carried in a cake, dragged the birthday boy to his feet and shook my feathers like a bedazzled rooster in heat as they segued into “Copacabana.” Then ancient funnyman Marty Allen grabbed the cake and for a minute looked like he would topple over face-first into it, but everyone gathered round and we all posed for a photo, instead. GOOD TIMES!
Being in a hurry as always, I kissed everyone goodbye, grabbed my cash and was out the door and on my way home in my busted-up pickup truck before you could say Bugsy Siegel. But on the way home, with Andy Williams crooning “Moon River” on the radio, I grew somewhat melancholy. Like I said, that whole way of life is on the way out, and the new Vegas is all about douchey mega-nightclubs and plastic-titted Raver Barbies, neither of which hold any interest for me whatsoever. What are these jackass millennials going to do for their 80th birthdays — hire some fat-assed Nicki Minaj impersonator to come twerk to a Calvin Harris cover DJ?? SHUDDER! When I got home, I poured myself a drink and raised a toast to the old-timers: Las Vegas est mort! Viva Las Vegas!
Anyway, I wasn’t melancholy for very long — I had just settled in to do some serious Burning Man prep…when my photographer friend from the Bay Area invited me out to Death Valley for another photo shoot. Death Valley in August? How could I say no to that?!!
Actually, it sounds worse than it was. We got a room at the motel in Shoshone — this funky little outpost on the eastern edge of Death Valley, near Tecopa — and there was air conditioning and a pool and everything, so the days were pretty comfortable. This particular photographer likes to drink really good wine paired with exceptionally fabulous cheese, so things were pretty cushy up until we actually began shooting — and even then it wasn’t bad, because our shoots are always at night.
Why, you ask? Well, I can finally tell you — it’s because he shoots these amazing long exposures of the Milky Way and stuff, so we can’t even start shooting until it’s late enough at night for the heavens to be in alignment. I mean, look at this fantastic photo!!! I just love the insignificance of my naked ass against all that infinite wonder; it’s one of my favorite photos taken of me, ever! Also during our shoots, we hang out enjoying the warm desert night air, listening to far-out electronic music and sipping cocktails in the darkness. Kind of like Burning Man, now that I think about it! Why do I even bother to go to Burning Man, when most of my life is spent doing the same shit, anyway?! (No need to answer that!)
Aaanyway, this photographer also wanted to try some stuff along the lines of those old Renaissance paintings on the theme of “vanitas;” as in, the meaninglessness of earthly life and the transient nature of all earthly goods and pursuits. This is a theme I’ve thought about a LOT my entire life, so the concept was right up my alley. I loaded up any relevant props I could find around the house, including my magnificently gaudy throne, and trucked them all out to the middle of the desert so we could set this shit up one night. FAR OUT! It was definitely different from most of the shoots I do.
And, since I had hauled my throne all the friggin’ way out there anyway…I had an idea for another photo, which the photographer kindly indulged at sunset one evening. This is one of my all-time favorite photos ever; you might have noticed I even changed the header of this blog! I had the idea that it would look really surreal/bizarre to be wearing a crown and sitting on a throne in the middle of nowhere, sort of like the old Maxell tape ads…but after seeing the results, I realize it looks more like an homage to the Anton Corbijn video for Depeche Mode’s “Enjoy the Silence.” Either way….I dig it!
Anyway, after getting back from Death Valley I still had one more weekend to hunker down and prepare for Burning Man. I was trying to make a second electric vagina codpiece — one that lights up for nighttime use — and in addition to that, I had to shop for food and booze, plus pack up all my costumes and camp gear. In sum, I had a shit ton to do…but guess what? I ended up going out of town AGAIN! But this time I had an exceptionally good reason.
Now as you probably know, I’m a huge supporter of equal topless rights; if a man is allowed to sunbathe topless on a beach, then a woman should have the same privilege, no? Sadly, however, our society is so fucked up that you can post all manner of violent nonsense on your Facebook page…but if you show one female nipple, your account gets suspended. How does that make sense?! It all stems from some ancient superstitious nonsense about the first woman on Earth having eaten a magic apple proffered by a talking snake; I don’t get it either, but believe it or not it still informs our culture thousands of years later, even today when it is generally recognized in the U.S. that men and women are equals. Sheesh!!
Well, every year on the Sunday closest to Women’s Equality Day (August 26th; the day women in the U.S. were granted the right to vote), this group called GoTopless.org holds protest rallies in cities across the world. I’ve never been able to attend one of them, however, because I’m usually at Burning Man in late August, so I miss all the fun. Well, this year, because Labor Day falls so late in September, Burning Man doesn’t start until August 30th….which means I was finally able to march in a topless rights parade! It’s something I’ve wanted to do for years, so of course I put my Burning Man prep plans on hold for a few more days.
Now here in Vegas, there is virtually no topless rights movement; this town makes a big chunk of its revenue off women’s tits, so showing them for free does not go down well. You gotta PAY to see nipples in Vegas; tits are a commodity here! Luckily, however, there’s a huge topless rights movement down the road in L.A., and they have a big parade on Venice Beach every year…so I signed up to join the fun and headed out there Friday afternoon. The actual rally wasn’t until Sunday, but I figured I’d make a weekend of it; Friday there was a pre-party at some kooky warehouse in Culver City, and then Saturday I planned to head down to San Diego and finally check out Black’s Beach, a well-known nudist spot I’ve been dying to visit.
I even signed up to perform my Electric Vagina act at the Friday night party, so I got in for free. The only problem was….I didn’t really have an act, per se; I just make vagina coladas in a blender plugged into my crotch. And with everything else going on, it’s not like I had time to work up an act…but guess what? I did anyway! I choreographed a brief performance to Iggy Pop’s iconic “Pussy Power,” involving my baby stroller, blender and some new props I thought up, threw it all in my truck, and hit the road, arriving at the warehouse in Culver City around 6pm. Whew!
Let me tell you, that party was far fucking out!!! The warehouse was this artsy, funky party space used for local Burning Man events, and they had a stage set up and a bar and everything. The party was being hosted by the GoTopless.org group, who also happen to be Raëlians — members of a French sex cult who believe mankind is descended from a master race of aliens (they were in the news back in 2002 when they claimed to have cloned the first human; you might have heard of them then). So the crowd at this party was about 40% Burning Man artist-types, 40% Raëlians, and 20% single men who were just there to perv on the topless chicks. In other words…..best party everrrrr!
After a viewing of the topless rights movie “Free the Nipple” (which was actually super lame; a bunch of cute young white girls, plus one token black chick and one token fat chick, running around scowling earnestly with their titties bouncing…like a topless version of SpiceWorld), the party got started. Since I was getting up early to go to San Diego in the morning, I asked to be one of the first performers, and it went over OK. Unfortunately the DJ was unable to play my song, so I had to perform to some random electronic music, and there was no lighting or anything…but still, for my performance art debut I’d say it went over well. I met a lot of interesting people from the L.A. Burning Man art scene, and ran into a few people I already knew…so I was glad I went.
Anyway, as mentioned I didn’t stay at the party too late because I was meeting a friend at Black’s Beach in the morning –but thanks to traffic and my sleep deficiency, it was more like afternoon by the time I got down there. But OMG, what a fantastic place!! There were hundreds of naked people hanging out in the sun, playing volleyball and frisbee and just relaxing and enjoying being naked — no swingers or perviness, just naturism. Everyone was SUPER friendly, and I really enjoyed the crowd — I will definitely be back there again. The only downside to Black’s is, there’s nowhere free/cheap to camp out nearby (it’s in La Jolla)…but thankfully I was with my friend that I met up with at Deep Creek earlier this summer, and he let me stay at his place up in Newport Beach. So after spending all day in the sun, we went back to his place and crashed out, so that I could get up in the morning and go to the rally in Venice.
Incidentally, the whole time I was in So Cal people kept asking me if I come out there often — and the answer is no! Despite the miserable traffic, heavy smog, parking nightmares and proliferation of douchebags, I do like it there a lot — there’s so much to do! But I don’t think I’d ever move there. Say what you will about Vegas, it’s much easier to be free here. I’m not tied to a $3,000-a-month rental, and I can be out in the middle of the desert in no time. Wide open spaces = F R E E D O M ! ! ! The desert is much more my scene.
Anyway, the next morning my friend made me an awesome big-ass breakfast, and I was on my way to Venice. It was pretty hot that day, so I didn’t wear much — some Wonder Woman boots, star-spangled panties and my Electric Vagina codpiece…with a power drill plugged in, with a 9″ concrete drill bit with an American flag waving from the end. On my nipples, I had flesh-colored pasties on which I’d written “FREE ME” in pink crayon…and on my head, my trusty WONDER HUSSY trucker cap and a ponytail. Low profile, ya know? 🙂
The parade started at the north end of Venice Beach, and when I got there, it was a real shit show — in addition to the usual crew of freaks and weirdos, there were dozens of topless women and hundreds of ogling men milling about, plus a few cool guys wearing pasties and bikini tops in solidarity. A religious group had wheeled out a giant wooden Bible and an angry hatemonger was ranting and raving over a megaphone about how we were all going to hell, but this awesome chick with a Rod Stewart mullet and a boombox was blasting “Girls Just Wanna Have Fun” to drown him out as we all cackled maniacally and danced, waving our asses and titties in his face. It was a blast!!!!!
Once the parade started, we marched down the boardwalk, now numbering in the hundreds, with more and more people joining our ranks along the way. A giant-bare-titted woman on stilts led the way, followed by three sexy Asian Raëlian chicks in UFO mini dresses carrying giant titty umbrellas, and this buff young kid on shrooms who’d been coerced into putting on a sailor costume and pushing this topless mermaid in a wheelbarrow. Meanwhile, the brains of the operation — these three feminist activist types with fake nipples stuck all over their bodies — shouted rallying cries into a megaphone to get the crowd fired up. Like I said….what a shit show!
I marched along with my power drill whirring frantically, spinning the American flag in the face of oppression. When asked, I explained that it was a symbol of empowering the feminine — women don’t realize how much power we hold; if we would only learn to harness the power of the puss, we could rule the world! I tell you I must have posed for 300 photos and done 20 or 30 interviews; it was fantastic! I never wanted it to end!!
Alas, however, I knew I was facing a 5-hour drive home…plus I still had to get ready for Burning Man! I followed the parade all the way to the end, and hung out and danced for a while, having SO MUCH FUN that I literally had to tear myself away — I would have loved nothing more than to join the afterparty at a local bar, and get shitfaced while dancing late into the evening. But…duty calls.
So I walked allllll the way back to my truck, and even then I couldn’t break away — a bunch of cholo bikers from the Vagos bike club were hanging out nearby and wanted me to pose for photos with their bikes, haha. Just like the bad old days with that fat dumbass Blondie! I obliged them, then finally stripped out of my swamp-assy Wonder Woman panties, changed into something more comfortable, and got the fuck out there — hauling ass for the desert.
And that, my friends, is the story of how I now find myself in the unenviable position of having less than 24 hours before I’m supposed to leave for Burning Man….and WAY too much prep work still to be accomplished!! Shit, I’ve already spent far too long writing about all this; time to shut the fuck up and finally get to work.
Because of all the weird fetish modeling I’ve done, people are always asking me “what’s your fetish?”
Well, I hate to disappoint you all, but my fetish is not for being spanked or dressing up like a schoolgirl or any of the other stuff I get paid to pretend to like — when it comes to sex, I’m fairly vanilla, and prefer a traditional male partner with a giant wallet… and chronic erectile dysfunction 🙂
But I do have a fetish — and it’s for summer. If I could make my own perfume, it would totally be something like this cheesy quote from Peter Pan:
“The smell of someone who has ridden the back of the wind…the smell of a hundred fun summers, with sleeping in trees and adventures with Indians and Pirates…The world was ours.”
I love that smell!!!
Summer isn’t just my favorite season — it’s my obsession! From the day Daylight Savings ends until the day it’s finally warm enough to wear flip-flops again, I am a disconsolate mess; not only do I despise wearing socks and shoes and sweaters, and those hideously short days…it’s the withering away of all that’s green and lush and full of life that really sends my soul into a death spiral. I’m a melancholy person by nature, and fall/winter are too gloomy for my fragile psyche. That’s part of the reason I moved here to the desert — the weather stays warm longer, and because of the sparse vegetation, you don’t notice the annual cycle of death as much.
Anyway, I always do my best to squeeze every last drop of nectar from summer, and this year was no exception. I busted my ass hustling all throughout May and June, so that I had enough cash stockpiled to allow me some time off — a reader of this blog had invited me to come check out some hot springs up in Idaho, so I planned a road trip with my sister around that. This reader also happens to be a photographer, and offered to hire me for a shoot while up there, so I could make some gas money along the way. Sweet!!! I packed my bags, left my dog and house in the care of my roommate, and set sail from the desert for the forests of the northwest.
But the problem with a fetish is…real life can never live up to your fantasy. Real life is flaky photographers and spiritual malaise and toothaches and broken beer bottles hidden in sand dunes and hot coals left burning on the edge of hot spring pools by careless hippies — real boner-killer shit! But it’s also all just First World Problems-type shit….so one has to soldier on, if one is hell-bent on milking every bit of enjoyment from the fleeting beauty of summer, as I am.
My summer 2015 started in the redwood forests of Northern California, where I spent the 4th of July kayaking on a beautiful, misty lagoon near Bodega Bay with most of my immediate family (one of my sisters was in Germany). My other sister (the one I travel with) had just gotten back from her own cross-country road trip the day before, so that evening she treated us to a 4+ hour slideshow of her adventures — which were amazing!! She basically drove to Florida and back, sleeping in her 4-Runner at rest areas and Wal Marts along the way, with only a Leatherman tool and two brass balls for protection. Some of the shit she saw and the people she met were incredible — I told her she should start her own blog 🙂
Anyway, because we set off on the road again just a couple days later, she was pretty wore out, and I kinda felt bad dragging her around Oregon and Idaho — at times she seemed pretty road-tripped out. To make matters worse, we had to take her car, since she sleeps in it. But she said she wanted to go, and we ended up having a pretty good time despite her exhaustion — the alternative for her would have been to sit around thinking about how she really has to go back to work this fall; as you may recall, she’s been on a spirit quest since quitting her loathsome corporate job in Feb. 2014, and has set a deadline for herself to get shit figured out.
So we headed up north, and our first stop was the incredibly beautiful, remote Sinkyone Wilderness, part of northern California’s Lost Coast. They call it the “lost” coast because no highways were ever built into its rugged reaches, and all the little towns and communities out there are fog-bound and super isolated. It’s AMAZING, and the Sinkyone Wilderness is this giant state park right in the middle of it.
We camped at Usal Beach campground in the southern part of the preserve, and I’m here to tell you — that is one of the remotest places I’ve ever camped! No running water, and just a few rickety wooden outhouses scattered among the moss-draped, fog-shrouded redwoods…and to get there, a six-mile dirt road that is probably impassable in bad weather. My sister’s 4-Runner made it without a problem, and in fact it looked to me like pretty much any car could have made it at that time of year…but if you go after a rain, be warned!
Anyway, we had stocked up on supplies in Fort Bragg (the nearest town of any size), and we drove right through the forest down to the beach — one of those iconic, rugged northern California beaches that are always shrouded in mist and fog. It was gorgeous! The official campsites are all tucked back in the woods (a few have views of the beach), but I wanted to be right on the sand, so that when I opened my tent in the morning I would see nothing but the sea. It’s the one thing I miss most of all, living in Vegas. I’m not really sure you are technically permitted to camp where we did, but we used an existing fire ring and cleaned up a bunch of trash, leaving the place better than we found it….so, no harm no foul. And besides, this other kooky redneck drove up in the night and slept on an air mattress on his flatbed truck, right at the high-tide mark. When he woke up, he literally just sat up in bed, sparked a bowl, and sat there getting high and watching the waves. Noted for future reference!!!
Meanwhile, on her cross-country road trip my sister had stopped by to visit my stepmother in Tennessee…and come to find out, she’d sprinkled my dad’s ashes somewhere at Sinkyone! So my dad’s ghost might have even been out there, frolicking with the whales in the mist. Apparently, that was one of his favorite places…and in fact I remember him telling me about it waaaay back in the
day, when I was like, “WHAT?! No running water?!?! How can you camp there?!?!?!” (Say what you will; Burning Man really toughened me up in that respect.) Anyway, I paid tribute to my dad’s memory in my own special way: my stripping off all my clothes and running into the chilly surf naked. HI DAD! 😀
From Sinkyone, we continued on north into Oregon. We didn’t really have a strict itinerary on this trip; we had to be at certain places on certain days for my photo shoots, but other than that, we were pretty flexible. My sis has this awesome app where you can find cheap/free campsites, so we basically just made it up as we went along — we knew we wanted to hit the Oregon Country Fair outside Eugene sometime over the weekend, so we just kind of puttered along the coast, through the redwood forests of Sasquatch country, stopping wherever looked good.
Alas, however, Oregon is a really fuckin’ rainy state, even in July…so it kinda put a damper on things for a few days. We ended up camping in a drizzly rainforest one night, swarmed with mosquitoes, sitting around a piddly campfire reading this amazing porn/romance e-book about a guy who has sex with a shapeshifting gay bear. I’m not kidding!!! Apparently, this genre is extremely popular in some quarters, and people are making a ton of money writing this crap — which gave us an idea. My sis and I are ever on the lookout for ways to make money from the road; maybe writing weird niche romance porn might be our thing…if we could only come up with a unique angle that hasn’t already been done.
Hmmm…..looking around the gloomy, rainy forest, it hit us: SASQUATCH PORN! We started to formulate a plot based on a beautiful forest ranger’s daughter who falls in love with a sasquatch. But before getting too deep, I did some market research…and discovered to my dismay that Internet Rule 34 holds true — there’s already a WHOLE INDUSTRY devoted to bigfoot/sasquatch porn!!!! LMFAO/EWWWW!!!! The next morning at a seaside internet cafe I downloaded this gem called “Cum For Bigfoot,” by Ms. Virginia Wade, and we spent the next couple of nights reading that out loud around the fire. Goooooooooood times!
But I mean, seriously…..if Sasquatch is real, then he’s totally asleep on the job; you’ve already been subjected to several photos of me wandering around naked in the woods, and I’m here to tell you I was never so much as molested once! Even when I went down to the creek one morning, naked and alone, to take a bath…there was no Bigfoot in sight :-/
Anyhoo, it was raining all over fuckin’ Oregon, so we headed back out toward the coast to try and escape the damp out at the sand dunes near Coos Bay. I had always wanted to check them out, for some reason…but I am disappointed to report that they are nothing more than a playground for gas-guzzlin’, toy-haulin’, beer-drinkin’, ATV-riding rednecks — not a very peaceful place to camp. But at least it wasn’t raining! First we tried one of the tent campgrounds, but it was in a marshy area totally infested with mosquitoes…so we were forced to head out to this RV “campground” on the beach, which was basically just a big parking lot for rednecks to pull their toyhaulers into. We checked the reservation board and found an empty site, and I was just setting up my little tent on the tiny patch of grass allotted us…..when out of nowhere this redneck matron came barreling over: “My family has this whole area reserved! My son was camped here, but he had to leave early…so if you want to stay there, you can just pay me the $20 and I’ll vouch for ya…but you have to leave by noon, because our other son’s coming in.”
Are you serious?! I don’t know why we didn’t just pick up and move across the parking lot; instead, my sis forked over $20 into the matron’s greedy claw, and she toddled off crowing about how “I sold Joe’s spot! Heh heh!” Fuck you, ya greedy bitch! Even worse, when we were woken by the incessant whine of ATV motors the next morning….the whole family was gone!!! “Other son” coming in, my ass. And then, even worse, when I went for a barefoot run on the beach, I cut my toe on a broken beer bottle some redneck asshole had left hidden in the sand. Fuckin’ rednecks! I have zero patience for anyone who feels the need to prove their worth by being a noisy gas-guzzler — whether it’s a jet ski, an ATV, a dirt bike, a monster truck or a power boat…they’re rednecks, one and all, and I truly pity them. If I never see another dickhead in a Fox Racing flat-brim again for the rest of my life, I’ll be happy!!!!!! UGH!!!!
Anyway, as rednecked-out as I was, it was a good thing we were hitting the Oregon Country Fair later that day — it’s the polar opposite of the redneck scene, all dirty hippies and New Agers and granola moms. Whew! We cruised over to the fairgrounds, changed into our hippie clothes, mixed up some rum & Cokes and went in to be with our people. Ahhhhhh!
If you’ve never been, the Oregon Country Fair is basically a mix of Burning Man and the Renaissance Faire — a bunch of kooky white people running around in whimsical fairy costumes in the middle of a forest, banging drums and smoking weed and selling their overpriced arts & crafts to the unsuspecting suburban looky-Lous who come in droves to check it out. In fact, if you’ve ever wanted to go to Burning Man but are too big a pussy to handle the desert and the logistics, the OR Country Fair is a great alternative — no playa dust, plenty of running water, and day use only — so you can come in, have your experience, and then be back in a comfy motel bed in Eugene by sundown. Check it out!
I myself had a pretty good time, eating Himalayan food, pissing in a “Her-inal” (a urinal for women, where you squat over a trough, lift your skirts and cheerfully let loose while chatting with the woman next to you) and dancing with dreadlocked, body-odorous strangers at some kind of ecstatic movement jamboree under a canopy. Then I stumbled on a drum circle, and it was one of the most epic drum circles I’ve ever been to in my life!! A group of whackos was banging away in a grove of trees with a mad crowd of sweaty freaks jerking arrhythmically all around them, shaking tambourines and wailing to the heavens, everyone high as a kite and no one feeling any pain. Before long my headdress had come unraveled and my caftan was making me unbearably sweaty, so I checked with a friendly passer-by and learned that toplessness was OK — so I stowed my caftan and made a sort of sarong out of one of my headscarves, and kept on dancing like a beast!!! Bandaged toe and all!!
Then, out of nowhere, who should show up but my neighbors from back in Vegas! This awesome hippie-type couple lives on the next street over from me and are good friends of mine, and I had forgotten that they were traveling for the summer as well, in their conversion van. At any rate, they were definitely feeling no pain and offered to let me in on their fun…but I declined in a rare moment of responsibility and just kept on dancing. I was thinking about the single more epic drum circle I’ve ever been to, at Burning Man 2011, and how there was this impish little man dancing there that I used to see at all the drum circles at Burning Man……..and then, wouldn’t you know, I ran into him, too!!!!! His Burner name is Ra, and in my mind I had built him up to be almost a magical elf spirit of the drum circle…but of course upon talking to him, he was nothing of the sort; his real name is Steve, and he couldn’t hear anything I was saying because his hearing aid was malfunctioning. D’oh!!!
Anyway, unlike Burning Man, the Fair closes at dusk…and besides, I was tapped out money-wise and we had to find a camp spot for that night, so we headed out. Fortunately, by now we were in fertile hot spring country — there are a shit ton of hot springs in southeastern Oregon and Idaho, which was one of the main reasons for our trip…so we headed out to find a campsite near one of them. We headed for McCredie springs, in the forest beside a beautiful creek, and camped at a Forest Service campground nearby for around $8 (we tried to find free BLM campsites whenever possible, but it was getting dark)…and then in the morning, headed for the springs.
As far as hot springs go, these were OK — they have potential for being amazing, but a flood a couple winters back messed them up pretty badly, so the pools were a little muddy and very rustic. Apparently there used to be a hot springs resort at the site, and you can still see the concrete foundations here and there…it would just take a little work to make this place really bad-ass.
But regardless of the water quality, one of my FAVORITE (if not my #1 favorite) thing about hot springs is the people you meet at them. McCredie was excellent on that front — we met this adorable little herbalist guy from Eugene who was on a monthlong Thoreau-esque retreat, camping in the woods behind the springs somewhere on a beaver dam, and before long we were all fast friends. He was telling us about this weird plant he’d found growing in the woods, called Indian Pipe or ghost plant/corpse plant, due to its creepy pure-white stem and leaves and everything — apparently it’s very rare, and only grows in gloomy rainforest groves, but he had found a bunch and had been chewing it for its medicinal purposes…one of which was to relieve toothaches.
“Toothache?!? I’ve had a toothache for two weeks!” I exclaimed. And it was true; around the 3rd of July, the roof of my mouth had started hurting really bad, though I wasn’t sure it was a toothache — I take very good care of my teeth, brushing and flossing religiously, since I don’t have dental insurance. But now it had been nine days, and I was starting to freak out — I was supposed to go directly to the Sturgis biker rally in South Dakota immediately after this trip; I had no time to go to the dentist!
Well, upon hearing of my tooth distress, my new friend jumped up right away and offered to run back to his camp and get me some Indian pipe from his personal stash — because he liked me, he said. It was a 20-minute run both ways, but he didn’t mind at all — and sure enough, about 40 minutes later he came huffing back with a baggie of mysterious white fungusy-looking things, and told me to chew one up, then swish the saliva around in my mouth as long as I could before swallowing.
Now, you might say it’s foolish to take a strange plant from a strange man in the forest and then eat it (especially one called corpse plant)….but hell, what could I do?? I wanted my toothache to go away, and this little herbalist had appeared from the woods like a magical sprite in a Brothers Grimm tale — he had to know what he was talking about! So, I did as he instructed — and boy, was it nasty! He gave me the whole baggie to take with me, and told me to chew and swish every morning for 21 days, and my toothache would go away.
Well, guess what? I had noticed that the herbalist’s teeth were kinda black and funky-looking, but I guess I just ascribed it to poor dental hygiene. So the next morning, after waking up and dutifully chewing and swishing another plant, and drinking a cup or two of black coffee….I looked in the mirror, and saw that my tongue had turned black!!!! And my gums and teeth had a greyish cast to them, too! YIKES!!! I tried to scrub it off with toothbrushing, Listerine swishing and tongue scraping….but it was no use; the black was really on there. On the plus side however, for the first time in almost two weeks my mouth pain was gone!!! So what do ya know….I think the little guy’s herbal advice actually worked!!
Since my tooth pain was gone, I bailed on the rest of my 21-day regimen, and gave the plants back to the Earth. And eventually the blackness went away — but the tooth pain never came back 🙂 Thank you, forest sprite!! I guess there *IS* magic in the woods!!!
Anyway, while all this black-tongue stuff was going on, we had moved on to check out legendary Terwilliger (also known as Cougar) Hot Springs. These springs had been recommended to me by various soakers at various hot springs over the years as being one of the best there are, so I knew I wanted to check them out — even though they were said to be really crowded because all those dirty hippies from the Oregon Country Fair like to go there. Alas, camping is not permitted at the actual springs…but we found a really nice campground a few miles down the road, and headed over in the morning for a nice, long soak.
The only bummer about Cougar/Terwilliger springs is, some bullshit concessionaire somehow got the go-ahead to “manage” them, and they charge you $6 for day use — and they close at sunset. WTF!!!! I’m used to my beautiful wild desert springs, and I chafed at the idea of paying some asswipe for the privilege of soaking. But, they do clean them out once a week, and they also maintain a couple of vault toilets onsite…so I guess it’s worth it. Plus, nudity is fully allowed/to be expected (in fact, you can even hike in naked, once you’re out of sight of the road), so you never have to worry about putting on a swimsuit (unless you want to). That right there is worth $6, in my book!
Cougar/Terwilliger is basically a series of beautiful pools ranging from super-hot to warm, sort of stair-stepping their way down a shady ravine through which a creek flows. The pools are hand-made from very rustic stone, with sandy bottoms and good flow, so the water feels very clean. A beautiful forest surrounds them, and makes for a wonderful place to laze about for a day or two — we got there around noon, and stayed til 6 or so…but I can definitely see staying longer than that. (The pools were full of naked people, so I couldn’t take any photos of them, alas.)
The springs didn’t seem too crowded that day (it was a Monday), so I guess most of the Country Fair hippies had already gone home — but there were still plenty of interesting people to talk to. A Deadhead Burner named Eric Goldberg tipped me off to an abandoned blueberry bog in Washington state, and then gave me a few buds from his personal grow as a parting gift, and told me to look him up on Facebook — but alas, when I tried to do so, there were only around 5,000 Eric Goldbergs, so I struck out.
Another stoner kid was smoking dabs in the pool, and gave me a hit — I’d never smoked a dab (basically a dab of cannabis wax that you heat until it starts smoking, then inhale the smoke), and one tiny puff of that got me high as a kite pretty much all day long. I’m a lightweight, I tell you — I normally just take 3 or 4 hits of dried-up ditchweed every night before bed, to help me sleep. I can’t handle this hardcore shit! Worse, the kid was using a hookah charcoal to heat up the dabs, which he left smoldering there on the side of the pool…and in my baked state I forgot it was there, and when I went to lay down for a nap I accidentally burned the shit out of my Achilles tendon. OUCH!!! The perils of hot springs!
Then there was this other stoner kid, but this guy had a real medical reason for smoking — he suffered chronic pain and severe PTSD from being a victim of a school shooting several years ago! Some disgruntled bozo had stormed into his high school and shot him and a bunch of others, and he barely survived. He was really cool, though, and even took us on this little hike down the creek to a secret, hidden waterfall in the forest that was one of the most amazingly beautiful things I’ve ever seen — I mean, it was UNREAL! Like being in Hawaii or something — absolutely amazing. My poor, long-suffering sis was pressed into photographer duty yet again — all the nudies you see here in this post were taken by her. She’s pretty good, eh???
But the MOST interesting person we met at Cougar/Terwilliger was this artist guy who had been living in his Honda Civic (!!!) in Bolinas, ever since being priced out of San Francisco ten years ago. He was a super legit guy, very intelligent and nice to talk to, and the fact that he lived in Bolinas was icing on the cake; Bolinas is this weird, reclusive little hippie town on the coast north of San Fran that I’ve been DYING to check out, but never seem to get to on my travels :-/ This guy was also cool because he has a niece who’s a traveling nude model, so he understood exactly what it is that I do, and didn’t judge me or assume I’m a hooker or whatever. In fact, it turned out that the niece and I are Facebook friends — what a small world!
But the BEST thing about this guy was that he knew all about those secret tidal hot springs in Marin County, down by Stinson Beach — the ones you can only soak in when the moon and the tide are just right. Ever since hearing about these mysterious springs last summer, I’ve been dying to go to them — so we all made plans (the guy, his niece, my sis and I) to try and meet up at the end of the month for a soak, before I went back to Vegas. (Alas, it did end up working out, to my immense disappointment….but hey; if you’re reading this and you live in the area and you want to check them out sometime, I’ll be back up there in November/December! Let’s go!)
After leaving Cougar/Terwilliger, my sis and I headed east toward Idaho — I had photo shoots lined up, so we were more or less on a timetable by this point. Besides, we wanted to stop in Bend, at this amazing burrito place called Parilla Grill that makes the most astonishingly delicious, foodie burritos you’ve ever tasted — but after beasting, we continued on. At least eastern Oregon is basically high desert, so we figured we’d be safe from the fucking rain that had been bedeviling us the entire trip — but, wouldn’t you know, it even rained on us as we entered the desert!!!!
On the way across eastern Oregon we stopped at a couple hot springs, just to check them out — first we hit this place near Juntura, where the springs are on an island in the middle of a fairly deep, swift-flowing river. On the way in, some old kook warned us he’d seen a rattlesnake on the riverbank…so my sis sat this one out, and I carefully waded across to the springs by myself. It was actually a really nice place to camp — a great, hot, sandy-bottomed pool, with plenty of flat area nearby for tents and stuff — but it would have been tough to ford all our gear across the river, so we left.
Next we stopped at a little spot on the Owyhee River called Snively hot springs, right on the Oregon/Idaho border. It was a pretty nice little spring, right on the edge of the river, and one of those deals where super-hot spring water flows in and mixes with the river water in a little sectioned-off pool someone built on the riverbank. You just move around until you find a spot that suits you — but to really enjoy this soak, you’d want to bring one of those low-rise beach chairs with you, so you could just sit wherever. REI makes really sweet collapsible low-rise camp chairs that would be perfect, so I need to get one stat!!
Anyway, technically you can camp near Snively hot springs….but there was a family hanging out with kids, so we couldn’t go nude or anything, and thus decided to move on into Idaho. Which is an absolute BONANZA of hot springs — I mean, I’ve never seen anything like it in my life!!!! Prior to this trip, I always thought of Idaho as strictly the domain of Mormons and white supremacists — but I’m here to tell you, I have RARELY seen such astonishing natural beauty, and I have NEVER seen better hot springs! If you’re a hot spring buff…..I recommend you visit Idaho, ASAP!
The first place we camped was along the Payette River, in the Sawtooth National Forest. There are close to a billion breathtakingly beautiful hot springs right along the banks of this river, and in fact there’s even a Forest Service campground called Hot Springs Campground that is right across the street from a little all-natural 24-hour soaking pool. Highly recommended! We set up camp, ate dinner, and then took our drinks down for a late-nite soak — it was fantastic! And most astonishingly, we were the only two people there; as with most of the amazingly beautiful sites we visited in Idaho, there was little tourist traffic, even in summer. Weird!
The most beautiful hot spring we visited on the Payette was this place called Kirkham, right off the highway adjacent to a campground of the same name. This place actually was kinda crowded, with a bunch of families and stuff hanging out (so you couldn’t go nude)…but it was so amazingly beautiful and accessible that it didn’t bother me — I would go back again in a hot minute.
Now, Kirkham was also the same springs that the reader of this blog had invited me to come visit — if you remember from the beginning of this post, the whole reason I came up to Idaho in the first place was to stay at his cabin there and do a photo shoot. Well, guess what — despite emailing back and forth several times in the months leading up to my trip, once I actually got to the area, I never heard
from the guy again! It was the weirdest thing — I emailed him a few days before the shoot, and he never responded. I even hung around the area for a few days, hoping he had just forgotten to check his email……but no dice; he totally stood me up. I have half a mind to put him on blast here, but I’ll give him the benefit of the doubt; maybe something terrible happened to him, and he’s laid up in a hospital somewhere, unable to text or email.
Either way, it was a pretty big blow — not only was I supposed to shoot with him, but he also had a photographer friend in Boise who was supposedly going to hire me as well, which would have helped pay for gas and stuff on the trip. Well, I never did hear from either of them. And even WORSE, I also had a shoot lined up in Boise for this beautiful giantess’s fetish site, AmazonAmanda.com… and her funding ended up falling thru as well!!!!! So basically, what was to have been over $1000 worth of bookings fell thru 🙁 At least Amazon Amanda was cool about it, and still hired me for a quick one-hour consolation shoot, out of her own pocket (more on that later).
Well…..that’s the risk you run, being a freelance model; sometimes you get flaked on. But when you’re traveling like that, it’s even worse. I don’t know how these girls who travel full-time do it! Thankfully, I had already busted my hump back in Vegas, and had enough cash set aside to cover me…so I just went about my business, enjoying the beautiful hot springs.
Anyway, after hanging around the Payette River area a few days waiting to hear from the flake photographer, my sis and I headed up farther north, where apparently all the really good hot springs are. When I was at Deep Creek hot spring in southern California earlier this summer, an old-timer there was telling me about the three most beautiful hot springs in the world: Deep Creek, another one he couldn’t remember, and then this place called Gold Bug, up near Salmon, ID. Since we had some extra time because my shoots all flaked, we decided to head up and check it out.
Oh….my….Gawd!!!!!! That place was, without question, the most beautiful hot spring I’ve ever been to in my life!!!!! I hesitate to gush too much about it, for fear of incurring the wrath of the the locals and regulars who want to keep out the riff-raff….but I can’t help it, I was raised to share, so share I must. Besides, this place is remote enough that not just any half-asser can reach it; not only is it waaaay up north, but you also have to hike up a steep, two-mile trail to reach the springs. It’s not for the faint of heart.
My sis and I camped out the night before on the banks of the Salmon River, at some little BLM fishing camp — now that we were off the beaten path, there were more free options for camping. Most of the time, we were the only two people around; occasionally there would be a fisherman or two nearby, but no one ever bothered us other than to give us free firewood. They probably all thought we were lesbians, and thus not worth fucking with. Who knows?!
Anyway, it was a great campsite and in the morning, we packed up and headed up to Gold Bug for a relaxing day of soaking nude in nature. Ahhhhhhhh!!!!! It was F A N T A S T I C ! ! ! First off, Gold Bug was every bit as beautiful as I’d been told — a series of natural stone pools of varying temperatures, with cascading hot and cold waterfalls, perfect for a hydro-massage or for just laying around boozing and relaxing, with the most incredible view looking straight down a majestic canyon. I mean, it was like something out of a movie — unreal!!
There are, in fact, a few little camp areas up there too — but you’d have to pack all your gear up that steep-ass two mile trail, so you’d have to be pretty hardcore to do it. I’d say it’s about the same difficulty as the hike to Bowen Ranch from Deep Creek; if you’ve ever done that, you know what I mean.
Apparently, people even camp up there in the winter time — there’s a spot where hot air vents up from the underground hot water source, through this little cave under a tree, and some people will open their tent onto this vent to get warm…even though the cave is a popular hangout for snakes!!! Yikes, no thanks — although it would be awesome to soak up there in the snow, with mist rising from the water. I’m not sure I’m that hardcore yet, though :-/
Anyway, we found out all this insider info from this super-hot local fireman who was hanging out up there. He was cool, but at first I thought he was pretty square — he made some disparaging remarks about “dope” smoking, and he kinda had that clean-cut Mormon look to him. But after a few hours, he finally removed his swim trunks and I noticed he didn’t have any tan lines….so he must at least be a habital nudist. Either way, he was cool as fuck — and he took a liking to my sis and I, and even took us on a TOP SECRET excursion to THE. MOST. BEAUTIFUL. PLACE. I’VE. EVER. SEEN!!!!!!!
I promised him I would not reveal the location, so I didn’t even take any photos….but OMG. It was indescribably beautiful — a sort of grotto in a moss-covered cave with a waterfall coming down through a natural skylight; just amazing. I wish I would have taken some nudies in there, but I didn’t want to piss our guide off — even though, once he saw me posing for nudes back at the regular pools, he seemed to think it would be OK. But anyway, I guess it’s cool to have some secrets 🙂
I’m telling you, I could have stayed at those hot springs forever…but eventually we had to hike out, as we still had to find a campsite for that evening. The wonderful thing about Idaho is, in the summer it doesn’t get dark til around 10pm, so we always had plenty of time to make camp. The fireman ended up hiking out with us; my sis later said she caught a slight hookup vibe from him, and to be honest I did notice he had a semi at one point…but he never made a move or anything, so we all just parted as friends. That’s naturism for ya!
From Gold Bug, we headed back down south toward Boise — we wanted to hit the big rodeo in town that weekend, plus I was supposed to meet Amazon Amanda for the one-hour consolation shoot. But on the way back to the city, we stopped for a couple nights to camp at ultra-remote BLM fishing reservoirs (for free!!!) and to hike around Craters of the Moon National Monument.
Holy cow, was that place ever weird! Craters is basically miles and miles of lava fields; a totally lunar landscape of black and gray and brown and red, with caves you can explore and all kinds of bizarre, otherworldly formations. After the classic, lush beauty of Gold Bug it was somewhat jarring…but still cool in its way. We hiked every single one of the trails there and even went down into most of the caves — over 10 miles, and I did it all in flip flops. I was trying to burn a few calories off all the camping food I was eating — for most of this trip, my sis and I ate Frito Pie for dinner, which is not very healthy (it’s just chili and cheese over Fritos…but we added some canned veggies to try and make it more nutritious). To be honest, I got kind of obsessed with Frito Pie — my sis discovered it while road-tripping thru the South, and we literally ate it almost every single night, just putting the cans directly into the campfire to heat up before layering it all in our bowls. OMG, just writing about it makes me want more!!!
Anyway, once we got back in to Boise we finally checked into a motel and got cleaned up, mixed some rum & Cokes and headed over to the Ford Arena for the Snake River Stampede…a/k/a the RODEO! Let me tell you, there is nothing as amazing as a red state rodeo on a Saturday night — lassos a-flyin’, Stars & Stripes a-wavin’, and beautiful big-haired rodeo queens everywhere you look. They even did a special Salute to the Troops, with flashing lights and horseback badassery and an announcer intoning ominously about what ISIS would do if they had their way — “they’d take your Freedom in a New York minute!” It was amazing!!!!
As expected, we were pretty hungover the next day…but I had to sack up and get ready for my consolation shoot with Amazon Amanda, at the Holiday Inn over by the Boise airport. Now, who is Amazon Amanda, you ask? Well, she’s a BBW giantess — 6’3″ and around 350 pounds, and she runs a fetish website catering to guys with smother fetishes. One of our mutual fans contacted me about setting up a shoot with her here in Vegas last month, but he never came thru with her cash, so we had to postpone — but when we realized we were both going to be in Boise in July, we arranged to do the shoot there. Unfortunately, as previously mentioned the fan backed out AGAIN…but I’m glad I at least got to meet her, as she is one seriously bad-ass person!
First of all, imagine you are 6 feet tall as a freshman in high school — and a BBW, too! But instead of sitting around feeling sorry for herself, Amanda took charge of her destiny and instead of trying to deny what she was, she found a way to embrace it…and monetize it. Mad props to you, lady!! Now she travels the world doing private domination/smothering sessions, and maintaining her pay website…which is what she hired me for. We did a few clips of her squashing me and whatnot, which will soon be available for purchase at AmazonAmanda.com, if you’re interested.
Now, one interesting thing about my shoot with Amanda was that I hadn’t had a shoot or a gig since that romance novel audition I did in late June…so, as is my wont, I hadn’t been shaving my armpits or anything for about three weeks. I had taken to posting hairy pit pics on Instagram, and had amassed quite a fan base in the meantime — so I was kinda loath to shave my pits unless I really had to; come to find out, some guys are REALLY into hairy armpits!
So when I got to the Holiday Inn, I told Amanda what was going on and offered to shave if she wanted — but to my delight,
she was THRILLED that my pits were hairy; apparently, she gets lots of requests for hairy armpitted models, and in fact also gets requests to grow her own pits out (which she says she’s unable to). So I was able to keep my armpit hair, and she even advised me never to shave again; she seems to think I would make way more money as a niche fetish model than doing what I currently do. HMMMMMM! Food for thought. As it stands today, I haven’t shaved in about 5 weeks…and my pits are really hairy, but I’m going to have to shave them soon because I have a couple of paid gigs coming up, where pit hair won’t fly 🙁 But I’m enjoying them in the meantime…I just love shocking people in public when I lift my arms, hahahahahahahha!
Anyway, another interesting thing about my shoot with Amanda was that her photographer had flaked (hmm, a pattern)…so my sis had to step in as videographer/photographer! It was her first (and probably only) paid gig as a pornographess, and I hope it didn’t scar her too badly :-/ Either way, our visit with Amanda paid for her oil change, our motel room and a few nights of Frito Pie as well 🙂
After shooting with Amanda, we decided to spend one more day up on the beautiful Payette River before leaving Idaho and heading down toward Lake Tahoe, where my grandma was having a birthday party the following Saturday. We found a free campsite on some BLM land along the river near a shooting range — the sound of gunfire was kinda unnerving, but other than that it was an OK spot. There were also a few rednecks camped out there panning for gold in the river; they kept coming around sniffing for companionship and/or puss, but I guess they also thought we were lesbians because they all left us alone in the end.
For our last Idaho hot spring, we headed up to Skinny Dipper for a relaxing day of soaking and reading in the shade. Skinny Dipper is apparently a very popular party spot, so much so that the BLM is closing it down at the end of the year because of all the litter and pollution — personally, I found it very clean at the time of my visit, so I have a feeling there’s a lot of hyperbole going around, but whatever.
Anyway, when we first got there, a group of dorky gamer-type kids were hanging out, and we all started chatting. I asked how they knew each other, and they kind of hemmed and hawed, “Uh, from work….?” But as the conversation wore on and they became more comfortable, it turned out they were all kinksters from some local Boise BDSM group, LOL!! I can’t imagine being a kinkster in a city like Boise — it’s such a nice, wholesome family-type town! But apparently, according to these kids, there was a little scene going on there, and they had their parties and their fun. Awwww! I told them about Amazon Amanda, so they knew I was cool about such things…I guess.
After the kinkster kids left it was just my sis and I for most of the day. Another couple came by a while later, and you could tell they were kinda frisky from being naked outdoors with strangers, but they were cool and they left after less than an hour. So my sis and I mostly had the place to ourselves, boozing and napping and reading all day long, and it was all very relaxing….until…
Late in the afternoon, this family hiked up — mom, dad, grown son and daughter (son was 24, daughter around 22). The mom and daughter came and sat in the middle pool with my sis and I (which was really the only soakable pool at the time of our visit; the lower pool was much too hot, and the upper pool was full of algae), and we chatted for a while. They seemed nice enough, but didn’t take off their swimsuits or anything (my sis and I were naked all day).
Finally, the daughter worked up the nerve to ask us, “You can say no, but would you mind putting on your bikinis for a while so that my dad and brother can come soak? I’m sorry; we’re from Pennsylvania…” As if that’s any reason to be a prude!!!
To be polite, we both acquiesced…but a friend later said we should have handed them our bikini tops to use as blindfolds, so that they didn’t have to see our scandalous, flame-belching demon twats!!! And, seriously…..this is a hot spring called SKINNY DIPPER, with signs along the trail going in saying “WARNING: YOU MAY ENCOUNTER BARES!” I mean….WTF were you people expecting?!?!?
Sadly, the law was on their side; even at a hot spring where nudity is the custom (like at Terwilliger/Cougar), if the spring is on US Forest Service or BLM land, even if there are 100 people hanging out naked, if one person comes along and asks that everyone put on swimsuits, by law everyone must comply. How fucking puritanical is this shit?! It’s just bodies, people!!!!! Get your heads out of your asses! If people were used to seeing it all the time, it wouldn’t be such a big deal…..ya know?!?
Anyway, the family left after awhile (and left an empty plastic water bottle behind, which my sinful sis and I packed out for them)…but the vibe was kinda ruined, so we pretty much got the fuck out of Idaho after that. Our plan was to head back down through eastern Oregon and camp at another desert hot spring before crossing down into Nevada…but as we were heading south on U.S.93, we saw massive thunderheads rolling in from where else but miserable, rain-sodden Oregon. I swear, even the desert part of that soggy-ass state is wet as fuck — curses!!!
I’m OK camping in rain, but a thunderstorm on a big open prairie like that freaks me out — so we changed course and headed toward the glamorous metropolis of Winnemucca, Nevada, thinking to get a motel room for the night. It was raining all over that part of the country — Nevada too :-/ But we couldn’t find a room for less than $50, and we both absolutely refused to pay more than that — for the caliber of motels available in that dogforsaken burg, $40 is more than enough. To charge more than that is robbery, pure and simple, and we refused to take part in it. Does anyone reading this know why a motel would rather have a room sit empty than to rent it at a cheaper price? We tried Priceline and Orbitz and everything! Do they get some kind of write-off for empty rooms that makes it cost-effective to keep them empty?!? Inquiring minds want to know!
Rather than shell out $50+ for a shitty room, we found a free BLM campsite south of town, along this little creek in a beautiful aspen grove — perfect!! The rain let up long enough for us to set up camp and enjoy a fire, and then we spent a cozy night, protected somewhat from the rain by the canopy of trees overhead. (All this time I was camping in a $20 kids’ tent from Wal-Mart, that’s not technically waterproof…but my sis had an old rain fly I borrowed, and I was cool. But I do need to get a better tent!)
In the morning, it stayed dry long enough to pack up camp and even to do this mini-workout I came up with that I called the Prison Workout — basically, just using a picnic table bench to do pushups, dips, crunches and Bulgarian squats. Gotta stay fit, even while on vacation!!! We did this workout a few times on our trip, with me playing whatever gangster rap I had on my cellphone for a soundtrack — I mean, we must have really looked like two lesbians!!!!! No wonder no one fucked with us the entire trip, no matter how much we ran around naked, smoking weed and cursing!!!!
By now it was pissing rain again. I know there’s supposedly a horrible drought going on in the West, but I mean, come on!! It seems like everywhere I’ve gone this year, I’ve been dodging bullshit rain. Sheeshhh!!!!! We whiled away a few hours in Winnemucca, checking out this bizarre abandoned casino they turned into a visitors’ center/Buckaroo Museum, and then headed west on I-80 to see if the rain would stop. It did not. So we made a soggy detour to this weird Native American monument at the side of the road in the middle of nowhere — a sort of arts & crafts compound made from baling wire and baby dolls, with a few old bottles thrown in for good measure. I’m still not sure WTF it exactly was, but it was interesting.
From there, we continued west, deciding to make up our minds in Fernley: if it was still raining, we’d head into Reno a day early and get a cheap motel room (where you can at least get a room for $30). If the rain had cleared, we’d head up north to the Black Rock Desert, where Burning Man will be held in a month or so. We thought it would be cool to see the playa in the off-season, with no one else around…plus, there are some hot springs up there that are closed during Burning Man, that I’ve always wanted to check out.
Well, when we got to Fernley it was still sort of raining, but looked like it was clearing up…so we took a chance. We headed up north to the tiny town of Gerlach, noteworthy for being the last town you pass thru on the way to Burning Man. There’s not much there, but there is this little cafe called Bruno’s Country Club that I’ve also always wanted to check out…but every time I’ve passed it I’ve been towing 50,000 pounds of crap, so I never took the time to stop.
Well, now I can say that I’ve tried it — and I found it grossly overrated! I think it’s one of those places people like because it reminds them of Burning Man or something — I can’t think why else you would eat there. I had the “world-famous” ravioli for $17, and it tasted really sketchy, like there was ground-up hippie in them or something. Bleccccchhhhh!!!!! Give me Frito Pie any night of the week!
After paying up, we got the fuck out of that tourist trap and headed for this top-secret camp spot some friends had told me about, off Jungo Road near Trego Hot Springs. Trego Hot Springs are all right, but there’s no trees or anything to camp under, and it’s not very scenic…but this other, secret location was pretty sweet! Lots of trees, and little ponds full of frogs and tadpoles and whatnot — very peaceful. I would gladly tell you all about this place, but I have little doubt that hideous wrath would be rained upon me by a legion of outraged Burning Man habitués, and I just don’t feel like dealing with it.
In any event, I got enough wrath rained upon me in the morning, when this sanctimonious hippy harpy came out for a morning swim and asked/told my sister to move her car because it was blocking her view of the desert. Bitch, please!!!!!! It’s not YOUR view of the desert. Ugh, I hate people like that — she could see we were packing up to leave, so if it had been me, I would have just asked how much longer we were going to be. There are nice ways of saying things…ya know?
Anyway, this harpy turned out to be OK once my sister moved her car — it turns out she does a sort of gong-therapy class at Burning Man, which I have actually attended before: you lay there on the ground and they bang all these gongs around you, so that the vibrations wash over you like waves. It’s really trippy! She had a mini gong with her, in fact, and invited us over to her RV to hear it. She also had some new baby kittens we wanted to check out…but the inside of her RV smelled so strongly of cat piss that we got the fuck out of there as quickly as possible. Don’t get me wrong; her rig was very clean and neat, but the kittens had to piss somewhere, so to that end she had a litter box, and it reeked. But her gongs were really cool. Incidentally, the friend I went to Deep Creek with in June gave me a cymbal, which I was thinking to make into a gong…but this woman said she’d never heard of anyone doing it. Idk, it seems pretty logical to me….anyone???
After the woman bathed us in gong waves, we bid her adieu and headed on up the road a bit to Trego Hot Springs. They’re nice enough; a muddy-bottomed sort of ditch with a nice temperature, right beside a railroad track. The railroad tracks got us wondering WHY, if Burning Man is so concerned with being “green,” they don’t ship all their shit up there via rail, instead of using all those carcinogen-belching trucks, vans and and rickety Diesel schoolbuses?? These days they’re trying to “reduce the carbon footprint” of Burning Man by issuing a strictly limited number of vehicle passes…but it’s all a fuckin’ farce. There is no way that event will EVER have a carbon footprint less than the size of Montana!!!
Since we were so close to the playa, we took a little walk across the tracks and down onto the actual lakebed itself, and went out onto the future site of Black Rock City. It was surreal, as the only other times I’ve been there I was surrounded by 40-, 50- or 60,000+ wailing, blathering hippies and douchebags, with pounding electronic music blocking out everything but the most inane conversations! This time, however, it was just my sister and I — party of two. On a side note, the playa seemed pretty spongy from all the rain that had just passed through (we saw thunderstorms the night before)…so I think it’s going to be a very dusty year!! Although there’s always some asshole hater who goes up early and says that, every year. Well…..congratulations to me. This year, *I* get to be that asshole!!!
After finishing our pre-Burning Man circle jerk, we finally headed down to Reno to wind up our trip with a relaxing night at the Ramada Inn, which I was able to get for a very reasonable $30 on Priceline. THAT’s what I’m talking about! We were able to shower and wash our hair and get presentable before heading to Tahoe the next day, for our grandma’s birthday party, so it was $30 well spent. I even had a little time to hang out at the pool, and read this amazing 1970s trashy novel I picked up at a little thrift store on the Idaho-Oregon border.
Now, ever since we’d first entered eastern Oregon, and on into Idaho and northern Nevada, we’d been in Basque country — for whatever reason, a shit ton of Basque people settled in the area when they fled Spain or France or wherever. We kept seeing signs for Basque this and Basque that, and we were really curious to try Basque cuisine. So, even though it was rated “$$” on Yelp (normally we only went to places rated “$” on Yelp, or just ate Frito Pie), we decided to try the Santa Fe hotel in downtown Reno. It was walking distance from the Ramada, and afterward, a photographer I was Facebook friends with had invited us out for drinks.
Well, Basque restaurants (or at least this one, anyway) are family-style — they seat you at a big table, with a bunch of other people, and you all pass plates around and eat the same prix-fixe menu (which here was $19 — not bad). As luck would have it, the hostess seated us at a table of florid-faced middle-aged horndogs who were well into their cups, and full of innuendo — I’m used to much worse, so it didn’t faze me, but my sister was really freaked out. I bantered back and forth with their dirty old man jokes all evening long as we passed around plates of Basque food, which come to find out is really weird, sort of bland, greasy meat- and carb-heavy stuff like beans, braised oxtails, porkchops, steak, spaghetti and bread. REALLY weird food, but it tasted good enough and I was starving — plus, you get to wash it down with unlimited Basque red wine, which was pretty good. Also, the head perv at our table bought us glasses of Picon Punch, a bitter sort of Basque cocktail that reminded me of my beloved Campari….so basically I would have eaten just about anything at that point.
Except Basque dick — which was what these pervs had in mind, I think. They kept inviting us back to their hotel, where their “social club” was having some sort of meeting — come to find out, they were all members of an offshoot of the Shriners called the Jesters, that were basically like the dirty little brothers of the Shriners; I Googled them after they left, and all kinds of freaky stories popped up! Anyway, that’s why they were out catting around; the main guy was Basque, and wanted to show his fellow clubmembers what his people’s cuisine was all about.
Whatever the case, they were essentially harmless…and shocker, the head guy ended up paying for our whole dinner. Score! We got the hell out of there before he could change his mind, and headed over to Midtown to meet up with this photographer who had invited us for drinks, and then sat around boozing with him and his girlfriend for a couple hours before calling it a night and dragging our exhausted asses all the way back across town to the Ramada. Note to self: it’s worth the extra $6 to get a hotel closer to downtown!!!
Anyway, the only other interesting thing that happened in Reno was the next morning, we were browsing around some souvenir shops and my sister spotted ANOTHER use of my infamous showgirl stock photo — this time, on a “Greetings From Nevada” card!!! My ass is basically being used to sell the state of Nevada — how awesome is that?! I always wanted to be the official ambASSador of Nevada, har har. I told the lady at the register it was me, but she still made me pay $3 for the card…so I could only afford to buy one 🙁 Remember, I was never paid one red cent for posing for that photo! I thought I’d be smart, go home and order them online for cheaper…but I couldn’t find them anywhere!!! They were made by Leanin’ Tree, so if you happen to be out and about and see any for cheap…buy me a few, would ya?! I gave my only copy to my mom 🙂
Well, now our trip was winding down. We headed over the pass to Lake Tahoe, where we met up with my paternal grandmother, and almost all my aunts, uncles and cousins from that side of the family as well — my grandma was so happy, it was awesome. She had rented a bunch of cabins for everyone to sleep in, so we stayed for a couple of days and had a nice, relaxing time just hanging out on the beach and hiking in the mountains. I just love it up there in the summer — SO freaking beautiful!! Every once in a while my grandma or someone would say something about Facebook, and I’d cringe — I mean, I post some truly awful stuff on there, and I forget that both my poor grandmothers are my Facebook friends, and possibly see this shit. Hopefully, they have both blocked me from their feed….I can only hope :-/
From Tahoe, we finished our trip by circling back down to where we’d started — the redwood forests around the Russian River, where my mom and sister live. My mom was feeling left out of all our fun, so we all three went camping one more night, up on the coast near Gualala — this super cool little hippie beach town with some really nice hiking trails. We gave our mom a glimpse into our camping lifestyle, even making her Frito Pie (which she was horrified by; she eats pretty healthy), and all in all it was a very nice evening, and a nice way to end the trip.
Now after all this, I was supposed to come back to Vegas for a day or two, and then leave for the big Sturgis bike rally with my friend Blondie, with whom I hustled at the rallies in Reno, and at Sturgis two years ago. Despite really trying, we hadn’t been able to find legitimate jobs out there — the manager of the Knuckle Saloon, where we worked in 2013, wouldn’t hire us back; he said he preferred to hire local girls, but I heard thru the grapevine that really, one of the bartenders hadn’t gotten along with Blondie, who can be kind of a bitch sometimes…so she probably told him not to hire us back.
In any event, job or no job we still planned to go, and just hustle for tips posing for photos, like we did in Reno. We even had a free place to stay — camping on the front lawn of one of the cooks from the Knuckle Saloon (there are so few hotel rooms up there, lots of people camp out…it’s not as weird as it sounds). The only question was figuring out how to get there — if we flew into Rapid City, we wouldn’t be able to bring much camp gear with us, and we wouldn’t have any way of getting to Sturgis, so we’d have to rent a car. It seemed smarter (and cheaper) to me to just drive there — we could rent a car, stash all our camp gear, and haul ass straight thru from Vegas. I would have even offered to drive my truck, but the brakes were fucked up and I didn’t have time to get them fixed before we left.
Well, Blondie and I texted back and forth for a few weeks…and then the night before I left to come back to Vegas, she said she’d met a guy who would give her a ride out — but he was leaving at 3am that night. I told her I’d call her to discuss — I would have probably hauled ass back to Vegas in time to meet up with them and go along…but she never answered. That bitch just stone cold blew me off!!!! I texted her a few times after that, and she never answered once!
Ooooh, I’ve never been so pissed off at someone in my life — I mean, that’s cold blooded! My feelings were hurt, too — I mean, I thought we were friends, considering all the bullshit I went through with her at that ill-fated Reno rally in June and everything. But now that I think about it, I guess I always knew what she was — she was honestly pretty racy for even my comfort levels, flirting with and leading on a string of bikers whose numbers she collected, but never had any intention of seriously dating; I genuinely feel sorry for some of the saps! What it boils down to is, Blondie is a true opportunist. If you have something she wants, she’ll be your friend…otherwise, forget it.
But incidentally, I do have a lot of incriminating dirt on Blondie, which if I was a woman of lesser scruples I would put on blast all over the internet. For one thing, she secretly works as a nude and fetish model, same as me….she just doesn’t want anyone to know, so she keeps it secret (incidentally, the guy she went to Sturgis with is someone she met at a foot fetish party, who regularly pays to suck her toes). The videos and photos she’s posed for are out there on various websites, and I could easily share them on social media…but I won’t, because why bother? She’s a dumbass, and I’m done with her. Realistically, I guess I’m done with hustling bikers anyway….I mean, after that disaster in Virginia City, how could I keep on without it being pathetic? The answer: I could not!
So…..having been dumped by Blondie, my vacation over, my brakes all wonky and my spirits low, I headed back down to Vegas. I came home to a broken garage door and a busted modem, and when I went to get my oil changed it was almost $500 because of all the driving I’ve been doing — I needed a new battery, and all my fluids needed flushing. So I shelled out a shit-ton of money for all that, but now that I’m not working Sturgis, times are tight. I managed to book a few gigs later in the month, before Burning Man…but until then, I’m on a strict budget.
Thankfully, my friend Dr. Kildare sprang to the rescue, and invited to meet him in Colorado for a few days of camping out in the desert east of the Rockies. Apparently there are some hot springs out there, and even better than that…..there is LEGAL MARIJUANA!!!!!!! I fly out in the morning…..and I can’t wait to get baked out of my gourd.
So, my summer vacation may be mostly over….but I have a few tricks up my sleeve before the party ends: after Colorado there’s Burning Man, and then after that I was invited to take part in an all-female art show at the Life Is Beautiful festival, with my Electric Vagina. I’ll be busy enough to distract myself from my innate melancholia, and I’ll be just fiiiiiine……