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Trip Report - Timberline Lodge, Crossville (Tennessee)
My husband and I visited Timberline Lodge in Crossville, Tennessee last summer for the weekend. We are experienced nudists, but found Timberline to be a remarkable disappointment.
The Good Stuff: The facility is beautiful. There are acres of lovely woods with winding albeit badly maintained trails. The lttle lake is gorgeous, and the swimming pool was blissfully heated the weekend we were there. Glen (the owner) is sincere, friendly and accommodating (although he spends little time on the grounds, apparently - see the rest of this report). Some of the people we met early Saturday morning were quality folks and very genuine.
The Bad Stuff: Alcohol and bad behavior were major components of the Timberline experience. By early Saturday afternoon, most of the folks were falling-down drunk and it gets worse from there. Thereís a lot of loud talk and a lot of loose talk. Volleyball was played in the mornings, but outsiders - especially women - are clearly not welcome.
Timberline is billed as "clothing optional." Although nudity is prevalent around the pool, there is surprisingly little of it anywhere else. Some of the females paraded around in thongs or short-shorts, removing and replacing their tops and changing outfits frequently for some reason. Most folks on the grounds were partly or fully dressed when not at the pool; on Saturday my husband and I and one other man were the only nude people for the entire afternoon, despite temperatures in the high 80s. By late afternoon, a largely intoxicated population congregated on the deck of a memberís trailer.
The rest of the evening consisted of a shifting population of 30-40 drunken people in various states of dress, laughing maniacally, drinking a vodka-laden drink they called "yucca," and screaming dirty comments and double entendres at the top of their lungs for hour after hour. Those not at the gathering rode around in golf carts shouting and blowing horns at the others. There was no corner of the camp that the noise did not reach.
Our nice folks from earlier in the day had either left the grounds or were hiding out. Our hopes for quiet conversation were erased, and we were very glad we had brought no children to witness the spectacle and hear the comments. One of the members invited us to the dance. We accepted the invitation gladly, hoping to escape the never-ending "frat party," but found the dance to be populated with more of the same intoxicated lingerie-clad types that we encountered on the trailer deck.
We had selected Timberline from its web site, which gives the impression of a family club where quiet conversation and mutual respect are prevalent. The web site lists a number of rules, but we found that none of these were enforced.
There are several dogs that belong to the members that ran free all weekend, despite a published "rule" requiring that they be leashed. A large Great Dane owned by a tall blond woman was an ongoing problem. Among the several loose dogs, we witnessed two dogfights and a snarling attack on another visitor. Although no adult was bitten, we wondered how the dogs would have reacted to children - if any had been present.
We feel empathy for the owner, whom I understand has experienced health problems and cannot spend the time on the grounds necessary to police this behavior. Nevertheless, we cannot recommend Timberline for a first-time nudist, nudists with children, those who appreciate interesting social conversation, or anyone who actually wants to be nude!
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