Anyone who knows me knows my favourite place on earth is a small town in Mexico called Zipolite. The entire town is on the beach, and the entire beach is clothing optional. It is a place of complete acceptance where true human connections happen on an insanely regular basis – something uncommon in our modern closed off society.
Never in a million years did I think I’d find another place that would make my nomad heart feel at home like Zipolite does.
I was wrong.
I contacted Two Creeks Campground in northern Minnesota as it was clothing optional and I’d be passing through the area, and I thought it would be a cool place to check out. It advertised a place for nudists, swingers, gays, lesbians, and trans. You could say I was intrigued.
The owner graciously granted me a two day free stay camping out in exchange for a review.
But as my boyfriend and I approached Two Creeks we began to feel wary. What were we getting ourselves into? While I love being able to be naked when I please, I’m no nudist, and I’m certainly not a swinger. Would we fit in? Would it all be about sex? What were we doing?! To boot, I had to write a review, and you know me: I refuse to bullshit, and you get only the truth from me. What if I hated it?
Glen, the owner from Two Creeks, came to meet us at the front gate to check us in and give us the tour. His bright smile lit us up, but we were still terrified by what was beyond those metal gates. We hopped on his golf cart to cruise around the various areas in the immense 100 acre campground, filled with cabins, campers, and a ton of room to camp with or without power and water.
One of our first stops in Two Creeks Campground was an area called Alaska, which on this slow weekend was completely empty. It was decided: we would camp here so we could hide should we feel uncomfortable.
That lasted about an hour.
We passed through the self-proclaimed Homo Heights, greeted with smiles and waves by the residents. Our unease was beginning to subside. On we went to the City, the place where most yearly or permanent residents live. Beautiful campers lined the gravel roads, many with stunning decks and other extensions – hot tubs, pools, amazing hangout areas, and even a fire pit that resembled a volcano.
Within moments of our arrival we met the crew at Misfit Island, a camper owned by a lovely couple but with a big beautiful deck added on for whoever pleased to come hang out. We were instantly invited to dinner. Although we still didn’t know what was in store for us at Two Creeks, we had to find out one way or the other: we were either going to love or hate it, but there was only one way to know.
We brought some chips and vodka along, as no money is exchanged at Two Creeks; instead, people trade – whether you’re chowing down on food donated by a variety of people or slamming shots of fireball, everything is on a donation and trade basis. And it’s beautiful. Plus, if you have nothing to trade, don’t worry, you’ll still be taken care of. It’s just nice to contribute.
Who knows what the residents thought of the two twenty something year olds suddenly at their campground! As they hung out making dirty jokes, laughing the night away and connecting with one another fully naked for the most part, we stood there clothed, meeting more people than we could remember names. But no one pressured us to strip down; they didn’t care. As long as we accepted them, they accepted us.
Soon a storm started to roll in, and we decided we should get a room. Besides, my 6’4″ boyfriend hardly fit in my tiny two man tent. Glen brought us over to a tattered looking bus. Oh boy. We held our breath expecting the worst…
It was the most beautifully renovated bus complete with bathroom, drinkable water, bed, futon, and even a table and chairs to hang out. We fell in love instantly, moved our stuff, and headed back over to Misfit Island. But this time I felt at ease, already having connected with many of the residents. I stripped off my top and we walked over.
The night continued filled with laughter and love. Every person was different yet we connected on a basic human level; we all just wanted to be accepted for exactly who we were, and here we could be. No one cares what you do for work, your background, or any of the junk we are forced to discuss in the “real world”. Here it was about who you truly are. While I find it easy to shoot the shit with most people, finding real connections is a rarity. But not here. From the first night I bonded immensely with the one trans resident at the time, who also happened to live next door to our bus year round.
The weekends can be wild at Two Creeks, sometimes with unorganized weekends like the one we attended, though even on these weekends people can organize things such as dances in the big open hall. Other weekends have events, the biggest being Swingstock. Though I was intrigued to attend, I wondered: was it just geared towards swingers? After a few chats I realized it was anything but; while swingers attend, it was for everyone, and in true Two Creeks spirit there was only one rule: no means no.
Of course, being the youngest ones there and the newest, a few people asked what we were into. In truth all we wanted was to be around free, open people, while in our monogamous relationship. But all it took was saying this, and no one would ask again; we’d simply return to our great chats about anything and everything, with people clothed or unclothed, drinking or sober, laughing the night away.
By the day we were set to check out a lump had grown in my stomach. In four and a half years of travel I’d found but one place that I felt at home… and I had found a second. Leaving broke my heart. My boyfriend looked at me, “Want to stay an extra night?” A giant smile overcame me as I sipped on my beer and excitedly told my new friends we were staying longer.
By Sunday night the crowd had thinned, and Monday was practically empty. No matter though, a few residents still roamed, and it was peaceful as could be. With heavy hearts, we left (okay, we wound up coming back for one more night after a nice dinner with a friend in Minneapolis, a mere hour and a half away). But this was to be one of many times at Two Creeks… from initially being terrified we’d gotten in way over our heads, we’d fallen in love with the freedom, the people, the openness, the pure genuineness of the place.
We couldn’t resist: we signed the lease on the bus for the year, free to come and go as we please. Both craving our return, we cannot wait to meet more of the characters who inhabit or visit Two Creeks. And I can’t wait for all the new true friends just waiting to be met.
From a homeless nomad to a girl with two beautiful homes, I can’t thank Two Creeks and everyone there enough for giving me this feeling of home I have craved for so long. See you soon, Misfits.