Summer Fun: Revealed
There's no denying it: Outrageous heat is better dealt with inside, bathing in the cooling essence of A/C. Honestly, getting naked would be much better.
Sure, the Oasis, a large conglomeration of decks and eateries hovering over the oh-so-desperate-looking Lake Travis is a great place to go when you want to take in the lake. I can totally dig putting some fried shrimp and a cold beer in my belly while perched on the side of a Texas hill, as the sun slowly descends to a mild haze. Sounds pretty ideal, actually. But, that’s not the only way you should be hanging out at the lake this summer (pun intended, you'll see …).
The place to go is actually right below that mini-city and across the lake a tad, occupying a good bit of Lake Travis beach. It’s where the nudes lay: Hippie Hollow – the only public clothing-optional park in good ol' Tejas.
Ah, can’t you just picture it? The rocky shore covered in the leathery hides of overly sun-tanned ass? It’s there, baby, along with a multitude of similarly and not-so-similarly-clad strangers embracing the same 109-acre haven for the same purpose: the au naturale, the free, the beams of societal rebellion that’ve been harnessed at Hippie Hollow since its inception in the Sixties.
I’ll be honest. My first trip to the hollow involved more than a bit of reluctance. That rocky bank festooned in birthday suits (is that term still used?) was a new experience. It wasn’t my bag, at first.
But why? There were men, women, couples, and clusters of friends sippin’ on Texas beer, conversing, laughing, and soaking up the tranquil Texas warmth. “Why am I not doing the same?” I asked myself. “They seem to be having a good time.”
Some folks walked the embankment up to the secluded trail through the woods with only a backpack strapped on. Some waded waist-high in the water, fishing, reading a book, or just gently viewing the receding shoreline. (Now down 40 feet, according to the park ranger. Yikes.) Some folks even day-camped in the woods, and it did not even resemble Deliverance. At all.
I looked down at my swim trunks. They weren’t going to take themselves off.
I didn’t know if I had it in me to step out of them, to bond with the fellow hippies in nudist solidarity. But at the same time, I thought, “How could I not do this? Isn’t this what being an Austinite is all about? Plus, I spent 12 bucks at the gate. Might as well take off the ol' swimming trunks, huh?”[image-9]
One hand pulled the knot out from my waist. The other was placed around the top of my protective shorts. These babies were coming off.
Sure enough, the breeze hit me quick. My trunks fell to ground, and lifting each leg independently, I stepped out of them. It was just the water, the open wind, a bunch of naked people, and me. Me, revealed.
I immediately forgot about those measly little fried shrimp. I felt free. And it was good.
See more Summer Fun at austinchronicle.com/summer-fun.