Whenever I travel to Quebec (about once a year), my route takes me past roadside signs bearing illustrations of dad, mom, and child butt cheeks, somewhere west of route 20 and north of route 55, between Drummondville and Sherbrooke. The signs direct the curious traveler to “Centre Naturiste Domaine Soleil de l’Amitie,” words that suggest, to deficient translaters of French such as myself, a kind of nature reserve, steeped in sunshine and friendship. The nekked derrieres on the road signs help demystify the place. (The website’s English version calls it “D.S.A. Nudist Colony,” which is rather less ambiguous than the French version.)
This is a chilly part of the world, and one naturally assumes the naked bottoms are to be found indoors, for many summer days in Quebec are not warm enough for us furless humans to go strutting around au naturel. Perhaps there are cabins, or just a big (warm) indoor hangar. Of course, it’s always best to investigate one’s uneducated assumptions by going online. There is so much to learn! The D.S.A website reveals that this is a family campground, with a 4-star certification from Tourisme Quebec (the highest rating!). Visitors are meant to bring shelter with them, typically in the form of a camper. One can’t help but surmise that more than one tired family, seeking a place to crash for the night and using a smart phone to consult Tourisme Quebec's list of campgrounds, has awakened in the morning to discover that clothes aren’t just optional at this camp, but are actually prohibited. A sampling of the rules page notes:
“Nudism is mandatory whenever weather permits. Shorts are tolerated for women when necessary. (bathing suits and bikinis are prohibited).”
One among many obvious reasons that I don’t walk around naked is that I look much better clothed (trust me on this point). Let’s face it: most of us do. Ultimately, this investigation reminds me of the old SNL skit at the nudist beach, in which either Jon Lovitz or Matthew Broderick, depending on which version you see, learns that people do actually pay attention to penis size at nudist colonies.
The high today (Monday 6/16/14) in the Drummondville area is meant to be 74. Still not 100% convinced that this is the right climate for nakedness.