With more than four decades and many thousands of two-wheel miles behind me I have accumulated quite a number of tales from the road, some of which, to paraphrase a fellow moto-blogger, might even be true. This is one such story.
We’d got an early start and by this particular hot July mid-afternoon we had already logged a few hundred miles. We were road weary and ready to stop for the day and pitch camp, preferably where there was at least a pool to cool down in. So when I saw the sign for Sunny Glen Resort Park, advertised as offering a beach, showers, and a licensed restaurant, it seemed like a gift from above.
It seemed a rather long way down a rather rutted gravel road but soon enough we came to the gate and turned in to the office. It was then, after entering a somewhat ramshackle building, that I first learned the difference between a “naturalist park”, which is what I *thought* the road-side sign said, and a “naturist park”, which is what the sign over the office door said. Yep, the middle-aged lady behind the counter was absolutely starkers save for a bit of jewellery and a big smile.
“I… um… ah… we…”.
“First time?” she said, as my crimson face and inability to string two words together belied any attempt to be sophisticated in the face of such casual nudity.
“Uh, yes”, I gasped.
“Not a problem.” And she began to list all the rules and regulations that governed the behaviour of guests in what is really a natural, albeit societally unnatural, state. Undaunted by the lack of any intelligible response she continued. “The rate is $25 a day and we have a really nice tent site available right by the beach.”
By this time I had managed to recover a small degree of composure and I turned to my travelling companion who seemed much more nonchalant than I.
“Well,” she said, “it’ll be an experience. Why not?”
Why not indeed, I thought, as I gazed through the window at the south end of a comely lass heading north. So we paid, registered, and rode over to where our designated tent site was located.
Now if you’ve ever felt overdressed wearing full ATGATT on main street in Sturgis during bike week I can say with certainty that’s nothing compared to full ATGATT among people whose dress of the day consists of flip-flops and possibly a tattoo. But, distractions aside, we did find our camp site and it was perfect, just as advertised – steps from the beach and away from the noise of the activity center and the screaming kids in the pool. We pitched our tent, disrobed (Rule no. 1) and went for a swim.
We were fully comfortable in no time and for the rest of the afternoon and evening we swam, relaxed on the beach, ate a fine meal, and socialised with some good folks over drinks at the bar. In short, we had such a great time we stayed another day, which was when I found the par 3 golf “course” consisting of 3 very short holes surrounding a shallow pond. Clubs and balls were available to borrow and apart from the obvious logistical issues of how to carry tees, extra balls, etc. with no pockets (a small bag did the trick) it was a lot of fun. And putting a ball in the pond was no big deal – you simply walked in and picked it up. (A suggestion to management that they replace the pond with a bed of thistles to make the course more challenging was not appreciated.)
But mostly we just spent our time on the beach, socializing and enjoying another very fine summer day.
The next morning when we left it was with some reluctance but we’d had a great experience, made some new friends, and had a good story to tell. And I had one other souvenir – a very sunburned ass between me and my saddle.