This is one of my favorite stories so far.
When the time came for Silence Betrayed to revamp their image they came to me for the photographs. We went over some locations and it came down to an abandoned silo in El Centro and an abandoned train in Anza Borrego. We went back and forth and eventually
decided on the train. The train is part of the Carrizo Gorge Railway system. It had been smashed and abandoned on an extension of the track. Coincidentally it was placed in an area that gets amazing afternoon light.
The only issue is getting there. The road turns to gravel for a mile then dead ends another mile and a half short of the trains. The road hits an end at the De Anza Nudist Colony. Well these guys are true rockers so once I mentioned the nudist colony I got 4 volunteers to “rock it naked” for the hike to the train. I have never been to a nudist colony and I had no idea what to expect. After some research I found some day passes. I spoke with Kim at the front desk to get the details. She kindly referred to us new comers as “cotton tails”. Apparently new people stand out like a sore thumb with a starch white ass.
Eight cotton tails loaded up in the car on a Saturday afternoon for a journey into the unknown. It was a long trip to the edge of the county but we finally made it. They were a great bunch of people. Everyone was friendly and happy. Hippy happy is the best way to explain it. As we drove through the camp ground there were no nakeds in sight. But it was pretty obvious we were in the right spot. Most campgrounds have a sign with text and an arrow pointing in the right direction. But that would be too easy. The
signs were wooden cutouts of naked characters on bikes or hiking while pointing where to go. If you’re going to do something, go all the way. After some wrong turns and u turns we found the office. The signs were distracting.
Now a couple members of the band are ex-marines. That means they are used to taking control and managing a situation. It’s just natural for them. Mikey is the ring leader for most of the events. I knew things were different because just before we got out of the car Mikey said “ok Zach you’re doing all the talking for this”. Although that was my intention it was funny to hear him actually say that.
The office was a bit busier than the rest of the camp ground. Just before walking into the office a couple walked passed us wearing only what god had given them. Each of us froze. Do you look straight at their face and say hi? Do you walk past them as if they don’t exist? Don’t look at the ground or you might be staring.
AWKWARD. At the office we spoke with Kim. All the staff were fully clothed.
After filling out paperwork and showing ID (I guess you have to be a US citizen to hang out with naked people), we got the quick run down. 8 of us standing at the front desk and this is what she says, “You guys look like you could be in a band. You guys should start a band.” Everyone laughed it off afterwards. But just before finishing our paperwork we all got put in our place. Outside the window, plain sight, a guy climbed into his car. After seeing this man naked all of us quickly opted out of going naked. There was no competition.
The hike was hot. The old train sat on a hillside in the anza borrego heat while mother nature chipped away at human invention. The
photographs just kept presenting themselves. I think the decayed train enjoyed the attention.
- Visit Silence Betrayed at www.silencebetrayed,com.
- De Anza Sprints Resort at www.deanzasprings.com/
- Previous Silence Betrayed Promo. www.zachpetschek.com/photographer/band-promotion
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