Chapter 36: A Roar and a Thunder
The following Friday, we held the public wedding reception in the old city park on the south side of town. It was a relaxing location for a relaxed affair, a way for most of our friends to celebrate our marriage since we’d kept the invitee list for the actual wedding party so small. I mainly had work colleagues there, including my boss, whereas Kaitlyn had invited half the city. I kid, but her people vastly outnumbered mine.
We’d specified “no gifts” on the invitations, since we were both old enough to have established households. Besides, I didn’t feel comfortable taking gifts from people not close enough to us to be invited to the actual wedding. It felt like we’d be breaching a kind of social contract.
Kaitlyn and I wore our wedding clothes to the party, as did Kaitlyn’s immediate family, but we did so for the appearance of the thing. The rest of the party was come-as-you-are, so we got a mix of just-off-work business casual down to free-wheeling summer wear. It felt right.
Among the invitees were Kenny & Alex. When they came to us in the reception line, Alex leaned in towards Kaitlyn and whispered, “Aren’t you wearing a bit too much?” Kaitlyn playfully punched him on the arm, but it made me wonder whether they’d have accepted our wedding conditions as we’d set them down or if Kaitlyn had been right, that they’d have gossiped. She knew them best, I supposed.
Kenny being the more socially adept of the two just congratulated us and slipped an envelope inside my tux jacket’s pocket. On opening it later, we found it contained several ‘tickets’ for free river rides. Kaitlyn kissed him on the cheek later for it. It was just the sort of gift we wanted here: friendship.
The whole wedding party showed up, including Jasper and Sherry. “Hey, free cake, right?” he explained to me at one point.
This turned out to be pure pretext, because we later found out that those two were the leaders of the crew that decorated our getaway vehicle, mi burro, which explained why they were both “late” to the party.
There was the usual bit of windshield art, Oreos stuck all over the truck, and suchlike, but we thought we’d gotten off lightly when we finally ran out of the park a few hours after the party started, chased by guests wielding handfuls of birdseed, hopped in mi burro, and peeled out of the dirt and gravel parking space.
As we got to a straight stretch of road out of city limits, Kaitlyn began unbuttoning her dress, and we traded off tossing one piece of clothing each behind the seats in alternating turns until we were both in our underwear. We even tossed our footwear behind the seats. The hot late summer air blowing in through the FJ’s rolled-down windows made clothing pointless. It had hit the mid 90s Fahrenheit at the reception and was only starting to cool down now, a few hours later.
From the point of view of others on the highway, we looked to be wearing swimwear, Kaitlyn in a bikini and me in swim trunks, which was a sensible look for a couple in an off-road vehicle rolling down a canyonlands highway in southern Utah with mountain bikes in a back rack. We were clearly tourists, right?
I wasn’t worried about being pulled over. The FJs of that era were designed for durability, not speed. Between the engine and road noise, there was none of the risk of unconscious speeding that can happen in a modern bubble car which runs quiet even at 80 mph. An FJ cruising at 65 lets out a roar and a thunder.
Half an hour out of town, we were at Crescent Junction, a wide spot in the highway that is named purely so that the chain restaurants and gas stations placed there at the intersection between I-70 and US 191 can get their mail delivered.
“We need to stop here!” Kaitlyn shouted at me over the truck’s noise. “It’s either this or Green River, and Green River is a lot bigger.”
I thought I might have liked “bigger,” but then I began to see possibilities.
There were only two choices of gas station here, facing each other across the frontage road. One was a huge place on acres of blacktop, the sort of place favored by big-rig trucks since it gives them plenty of space to turn and plenty of places to park overnight for a sleep between stops. The other place looked tiny by comparison, but it was in actuality just a normal-sized gas station. With the competition from its big brother across the road, it looked a lot quieter. Perfect.
Once I’d pulled up to a pump, I opened the ash tray and dug out the half dollar I kept there purely because I thought it was neat, not just because they’re rarely used in the US and thus rarely seen, but because it had been minted in the year 2000; I like round numbers. The tray was just big enough for the small smartphone I preferred and assorted small bits and bobs, a much better use than it was designed for, in my opinion.
I held the coin in the flipping position on my thumb and said, “Call it! Loser pumps the gas, and you have to do it in what you’re wearing now.”
“And shoes,” she bargained. “Gas station islands are nnnaaaaaaasty.”
“Agreed,” I said, then flipped it.
Kaitlyn called “Heads,” but she smiled broadly when it came up tails. I guess she thought she hadn’t lost after all. She put her white wedding pumps on and bounced happily out of the truck in those and her underwear, then dug behind the seats and extracted a credit card from her wallet.
After she’d gotten the pump running to feed my hungry little burro, she began transferring our discarded clothing to the suitcases in the truck’s bed, exchanging our dress shoes for a pair of Tevas each, committing us to this mode of dress for the rest of the trip. I just smiled broadly at her antics and took the occasional picture with my smartphone.
There were a few other travelers at the small gas station while we were there. I didn’t see any outright pointing, and no one said anything to us about Kaitlyn’s choice of attire, so I guessed her modestly-cut white wedding underwear was in fact selling as a bikini. As long as she didn’t go inside the convenience store…
And then she went inside the convenience store!
I slapped my hand over my eyes and raised a prayer to Ritchie & Turing that she would get out of this okay.
Kaitlyn not only got out of it, she came back with ice cream and a broad grin.
“I’m going to have to spank you, aren’t I?” I asked when she handed me the wax paper wrapped ice cream cone.
“You can try,” she challenged.
“What’d they say to you in there?”
“Nothing! They just sort of checked me out — in both senses — slack-jawed. It does a girl’s ego good. Now why don’t I drive you into stunned incoherence, Davie? Are you getting tired of me already?”
I didn’t have to think too hard about that. “I suppose it’s because I know you. This is just the sort of thing Kaitlyn does in my mind, and I love it.” I then leaned across the bench seat and kissed her on the cheek. “Shall we go?”
“Forward!” she proclaimed, pointing imperiously like a captain of cavalry.
A couple of hours further down the road, as we were nearing Hanksville, we passed a sign announcing that Goblin Valley State Park was ahead.
“Oooh, we’ve got to go there, Davie!” Kaitlyn cried, sitting up straight and indicating the sign. “It’s perfect at sunset!”
As I dutifully turned off onto the paved park road, Kaitlyn unclasped her bra and then pulled down her panties, then motioned for me to do the same.
“It’s about 15 miles to the actual park!” she said over the engine noise.
We were going about 40 mph down the road, so I decided she just wanted half an hour of riding nude. I smiled back, glancing over at her in appreciation.
We didn’t see a single car on the way out, and when we got to the covered picnic pavilion, we saw no other cars parked there, so I was only slightly surprised when Kaitlyn got out utterly starkers. She’d even unstrapped her Tevas shortly after we left the gas station and tossed them behind the seat.
Kaitlyn slung her underwear over her purse’s straps by their loops, reached back into the truck, grabbed my thin silk boxers, and stuffed them into the small space left in her purse.
“Coming?” she asked, an elfin grin on her face.
I grinned back, tossed my Tevas into the footwell, grabbed my smartphone, and we walked down the steep trail into the little valley, me utterly naked, she in control of every stitch of clothing I had at the moment, which wasn’t much. It was delicious.
Goblin Valley is one of the stranger places in southern Utah. It’s filled with sandstone wind-sculpted formations like so much of the area, but these ones are like no others I know. They’re round stumpy little things ranging in height from just a few feet to dozens, which makes it all rather small and intimate feeling by comparison to the soaring formations we find elsewhere in the area. I wouldn’t call them goblins myself, but I had no better name for them.
“I guess all the other tourists have left,” I commented at one point.
“Yeah, this place often clears out at the end of the day, even in high summer. But, I brought our underwear along just in case.”
“This is one of the places that should definitely be clothing-optional,” I replied.
“Yeah. You’re not allowed to climb on the goblins, so clothing isn’t needed for protection except from the weather, and on a hot day like today, it’s just in the way.”
“Strange world,” I said, referring both to the goblins and society’s rules about clothing.
“Strange world,” she agreed.
We took lots of pictures, both of the goblins, of each other, and of us posing with the goblins. Kaitlyn was right: the place was perfect at sunset.
“Time to go,” she said when the sun disappeared behind the picnic pavilion from our perspective down on the valley floor. “We’ll still have a bit of daylight left by the time we get back to the truck, just enough to get to the campground and get the tent pitched.”
I remembered seeing the sign for the campground about half a mile back from the parking area, so I just nodded, and we began hiking back as the sky warmed into sunset tones.
We still hadn’t seen anyone by the time we got back to the truck, so I got in as I was, but Kaitlyn put her bra on, probably concerned about the campers we’d soon be joining. In a fair world, the truck’s doors would have been enough cover for her, too, but it isn’t fair.
I moved the Tevas from the footwell to behind the seat with hers, and we pulled out of the parking lot and got out to the campground.
I finally had to put the boxers back on to pay for our spot at the lonely kiosk beside the road leading to the campground, a flat section of land nestled in among a semicircle of low sandstone hills. We drove in and found a spot at the edge of the campground, one backed right up to one of those hills, giving us a measure of privacy.
I got to pitching the tent while Kaitlyn extracted the minimum set of things we’d need tomorrow: a set of clothes each, our hygiene kits, keys, wallets, etc.
“Uh, Davie?” Kaitlyn called quietly in the post-sunset dusk.
“There’s no underwear in the suitcases. What we’ve got on now, that’s all there is.”
“I know I packed some.”
“Me, too. I suspect Sherry.”
“She’d do that?”
“Oh yeah,” she said with a grin in her voice, though I couldn’t really see it in the waning dusk.
I thought about this, then with a quirk of a smile, I said, “Well, we hadn’t planned on using underwear very much on this trip, anyway. Or clothes of any kind, for that matter.” She just smiled back, so I continued, “We only wore today’s underwear for, what, four hours? And the last few hours of it they were well-aired. I can clean them magically, even with the tech handicap their high-tech fabric imposes.”
I walked off the concrete pad the picnic table had been bolted to, out into the natural desert that surrounded the camping spot. There I pulled my boxers off, the gathering night being sufficient clothing for my dark skin, slipped into a trance, and directed a cleaning flow of air through them. Using a more delicate touch than I’d used to disintegrate my old bike shorts a few months back, I loosened all of the biological nasties trapped in the fabric, letting the swish of air carry them away.
I walked back to the picnic table and handed them to her. “For your inspection, ma’am.”
In the darkness, I could see her cautiously lift them to her nose, and I heard her take a delicate sniff. “They seem clean!” she replied, sounding surprised.
“I’m pretty sure they’re cleaner now than when hanging on the rack back at the tux shop, since there they had a bit of dust on them, and they don’t now. There’s nothing in your hands but spun silk and thread, Kaitlyn. Slip into trance with me; I’ll do your bra, and you take the panties.”
We walked back out into the open desert a few feet from the picnic table. Kaitlyn removed her underwear for the final time that night, handing the bra wordlessly to me, and I repeated my cleaning wind trick with her bra, working slowly so she could see what I was doing. She picked it up quickly and repeated it with the panties. It was harder work, as there was a lot more synthetic cloth and fancier weaving and sewing involved in her ornate lacy underwear, but even so, it only took us a minute or so to clean them.
“Talk about the delicates cycle,” she commented. “I’m looking with my magical sight at the cloth, and I can’t see any additional wear afterward. Do you think maybe we should clean our normal clothes this way? It’ll save water, and the clothes will last longer.”
“It seems to be a bit more time consuming,” I replied warily.
“Let’s practice this trip. Maybe we’ll get fast enough at it that it’ll be no more work than machine laundering,” she proposed.
“All right,” I agreed. Then I raised a sand shower for myself, and she did the same. She’d gotten the technique down pat by now, so we didn’t wake the other campers with coughing.
We tossed the cleaned underwear into the tent and brushed our teeth. I was about to get into the tent when Kaitlyn stopped me.
“I’ve got an idea,” she said. She moved all of our stuff from the bed of the FJ into the cab, locking it away, then moved the sleeping pad and blanket from the tent into the truck bed. Arranged diagonally in the short bed, it fit almost as if it were designed that way. “Come on up.”
We lay down in the truck bed, snuggled up in a kind of diagonal spoon pose and drifted up into the bright stars, no light pollution for a sixty mile radius.
“It’s gorgeous,” I said.
“I love you, Kaitlyn, my wife, my shishya, my heart.”
“Right back atcha,” she replied cheekily, so I began nibbling at her ear. “All right, all right, I love you, Davie!” she conceded with a giggle, so I switched to kissing her neck, then her shoulder, caressing over her front.
I stilled my hands when she didn’t turn in my arms, then returned my gaze to the sky.
Perhaps fifteen minutes later, after we’d heard no noise from our nearest neighbors, hundreds of feet away across the campground, Kaitlyn climbed atop me and began kissing me, sliding around my belly and over my hips. I quickly got hard, so she reversed her position and straddled me in a sixty-nine, putting one set of lips to work on my glans while offering her other lips to me.
We tongued and sucked each other gently in the warm summer night, neither in any kind of hurry, just building slowly upward.
When Kaitlyn was ready, she spun once again and sunk down on my shaft, her pale torso blotting out the stars, but I didn’t mind. This view was nice, too.
We made love quietly, not wanting to attract attention, Kaitlyn sliding slowly up and down on my shaft, me stroking her body all over as she moved.
Perhaps fifteen minutes later, she whispered, “I’m getting close.”
We rearranged ourselves on the sleeping pad in missionary position, and I finished us off that way, pumping rapidly to a simultaneous completion while Kaitlyn watched the stars over my shoulder until I closed her eyes with ecstasy, her arms and legs clamping around me, holding me tight to her body.
We almost fell asleep there like that, but I managed to overcome the postcoital lassitude enough to transfer the sleeping pad, blanket, and my wife to the tent.
I think she was asleep before I finished zipping the tent closed around us.