Friday, August 22, 2008

Be Careful Out There!

I was walking along the Alki waterfront yesterday afternoon, as I often do, admiring the snow-capped Olympic Mountains and the sun that was soon to set behind them. Very scenic, crowded with what seemed like hundreds of people enjoying the view, playing volleyball, and laying out on the beach.

Near the end of the beach, a concrete retaining wall comes up out of the water, and I like to walk on it. Right up close to the water. Especially at high tide, like it was then, and watch the water sloshing around the rocks at the base of it. It also gets me off the very crowded sidewalks this time of year. So I was walking up to this retaining wall, about to start walking on it, and I noticed a large, severely overweight man standing on the beach, back towards me, watching the sun set. He had no shirt on, and it might be politically incorrect, but the first thought that went through my head was, "Oh, I so don't want to see that."

Just as I was about to step onto the retaining wall, the rest of him came into view, and OH MY GOD! He had NO clothes on! And the second thought that immediately went through my head was, "I'M BLIND! I'M BLIND!"

Yes, I bumped into my second "naked hiker." The first one happened years ago while looking for some letterboxes along Denny Creek. I'd never seen a naked hiker before, and it was something of a shock at the time.

But this newest "naked hiker" incident is even more surprising--because it was in a VERY public place: Alki Beach! At least Denny Creek was mostly deserted. I saw him on a weekday and we two were probably the only two people hiking the trail that afternoon. This one was on a crowded beach with hundreds of people around. He was off at the very edge of the beach, mostly hidden by the retaining wall to passer-bys, but it was a shockingly public place to see a naked man loitering around.

I kept walking.....

If you think that was the end of the excitement, you'd be wrong. About ten minutes later, I passed by a small group of trees whose branches are growing out over the retaining wall which forces me off and back onto the sidewalk for a hundred feet or so, and while passing by them, I couldn't help but notice a group of five or six people who seemed to be searching for something. They looked mightily suspicious to me, but I doubted they were letterboxers since I knew of no letterboxes at this particular location. (I have caught letterboxers 'in the act' before along this walk, so I know they're out there--but this location wasn't where any were located.) Could they be.... geocachers? Hmm.....

So I asked them, "Are you guys looking for something?"

And the one replied, "No, not really." He paused and stammered, and they all had that deer in the headlights look. "Well, it's like a treasure hunt," he continued.

"Geocaching?" I asked, probing.

"Yeah! You know about it?"

They asked if I knew where the cache was located--and I waved them off, no, I'm not a geocacher. I didn't even know there was one nearby until I saw them acting suspicious. =) I did express some doubt, though, saying that the cache could be missing. It was an incredibly public location--the type that I wouldn't expect a letterbox to last for more than a week at--and I can't imagine that a geocache would do much better. So I suggested that it might be missing, but I really didn't know for sure since I knew nothing about the cache.

The man pulled out his cell phone or something, punched a couple of buttons, looked at it, and said, "It was found earlier today."

"Well, then," I said, "there's probably a good chance it really still is there." I wished them good luck and continued on my walk, wondering if I should have told them about letterboxing or about the letterboxes around Alki. They were probably puzzled why a non-cacher such as myself would know so much about geocaching in the first place.

But I couldn't help but be amused by the situation. They had absolutely no idea who I was. Not an inkling. In the letterboxing community, I'm rather famous (or infamous, depending on your point of view), and this family didn't have a clue I ever existed until I caught them geocaching. It was kind of fun being anonymous. =)

So if you head out to Alki to find a couple of boxes or meet me at Pegasus for pizza, I have two warnings for you: Watch out for naked men, and if you act suspicious while looking for a box, I might pounce on you. ;o)


Anonymous said...

A third warning ... you won't be the naked man! Was he from Alabama?

true indigo said...

All nudity legalities aside, would you have the same reaction to the naked body of a woman? A body is a body.

Anonymous said...

Ummmm... What does Amanda think of you pouncing on suspicious looking strangers? Is this likely to occur at Live and Breathe? There's gonna be a lot of pouncing!!!


Anonymous said...

Oh, gee, the pitfalls of being a star....sigh.

Okie Dog

Lisa said...

Oh heck. You can't set foot on a beach in northern California, nor attend *any* outdoor gathering with more than a thousand participants without seeing Naked Guy.

I just can't figure out where he keeps his keys.

Ryan said...

> would you have the same reaction to the naked body of a woman?

Depends on the woman, I suppose. Barbara Walters? I'd rather not see her naked. *shrug* If you want to--I respect that. Not a problem. It's just something I'd prefer not to see.

Anonymous said...

Do you think "naked guy" was holding onto the Geocache???...hmmm, makes me wonder

Anonymous said...

Maybe that is where he keeps his to his geocache.