Many people think I'm a native Californian. Although my wife and I have lived in sunny Palm Springs, California for over 17 years, operating The Terra Cotta Inn nude sunbathing resort, I'm actually a native Chicagoan. Growing up in Chicago, you quickly learn there is a friendly rivalry between natives of the states of Illinois and Wisconsin.
Always has been, always will be.
The two states share a 200-mile border, but you would think there was a cultural wall separating the Land of Lincoln from the Dairy State. We have the Bears, they've got the Packers. We eat Vienna Chicago Dogs, they eat beer brats. Each state even has affectionate nicknames for each other. We're called Flatlanders, they're called Cheeseheads. But despite our differences, there is one thing all skinny dippers in the Midwest agree upon: Mazo Beach, which is located on the Wisconsin River, close to Madison, is one of the finest, most beautiful nude beaches in North America.
It has peacefully had nude sunbathers for decades. My wife and I went there in the early 1990's before we moved to Palm Springs. It was pristine and beautiful. And it still is. Families still go there on weekends. It is a very wholesome environment. perfect for first timers and experienced nudists. The organization, Friends of Mazo Beach does a great job taking care of the beach so that present and future generations can enjoy its beauty au naturel.
Nude recreation is growing in popularity in the U.S. From a June 8th Huffington Post article,
Nude tourism appears to be growing in popularity. A survey of U.S. households with income of $50,000 or more last year showed that 17 percent of respondents saw a visit to a nude or clothing-optional resort as extremely or very desirable.
17% of Americans is 50 million American taxpayers who want to visit nudist resorts or clothing optional beaches. That is a lot of taxpayers who would love to find more places to go nude sunbathing. And these are probably the most under served taxpayers in American history.
It would make good sense for city, county, and state agencies to provide clothing optional beach choices to taxpayers. Nude beaches such as Mazo Beach truly are amazing. Right now there is a small handful of nude beaches in our country. Some examples are Gunnison Beach in New Jersey, Baker Beach In San Francisco, Rooster Rock in Oregon, Black's Beach in La Jolla and the most popular beach in Miami Florida, Haulover Beach. these are all very popular beaches.
The American Association for Nude Recreation http://aanr.com is a big supporter of nude breaches. Susan Weaver, the President of AANR has this to say,
The majority of AANR members discovered the clothes free experience at nude beaches, so AANR is extremely interested in working with local, state and federal agencies to assist in designation of specific areas for nude use on public lands. Experience shows us that signs identifying nude use areas is an effective management practice. By the posting of signs, such as "Beyond this point you may encounter nude sunbathers", you give all users of the public lands a choice. Those wishing to enjoy nude recreation know where they may appropriately do so; it also enables those who are not interested to use other sections of the public lands in question. By this means everybody gets the experience they choose.
Since statistics show that millions of Americans wish to visit nude beaches, it behooves the agencies managing public lands to recognize that nude use is like any other recreational use, and should be included in management plans.
AANR members are good stewards of public lands, holding beach clean-ups and encouraging beach users to respect rules that prohibit climbing on dunes or bringing glass items onto beaches where they could break and present a hazard. Various AANR groups have donated to beach improvements, paid for porta-johns, helped install sand dune fencing, donated radios for rangers, and other environmental projects."
July 9th to 15th is the 37th anniversary of Nude Recreation Week. Isn't time that public lands agencies start to serve skinny dippers too?
Follow Tom Mulhall on Twitter: www.twitter.com/nudist_resorts