The following are excerpts from "94114"---the unpublished recollections
and gay history of San Francisco and the Castro. by Ron Williams.
The geothermal plants were new, PG&E and some of the major oil companies were tapping the steam and generating electrical power. There was an abundance of anther type of energy at this magic spot, tucked away in the coastal mountains of Sonoma County.
Some sixty years before anyone dreamed of geothermal power the "Geysers" was an upper-crust hot springs resort and spa. The old buildings were still there, but neglected and dilapidated. The main swimming pool had been filled in with dirt decades earlier. Next to the old building was the little bar/restaurant that was open on the week-ends and catered mostly to the PG&E workers, selling them those awful dry sandwiches, that were heated up in a little electric oven behind the bar and served with beer and soft drinks.
Well, some adventurous gay men got the idea that it might be fun to camp-out back in the Geysers canyon. And soon the news about the Geysers spread through the Castro and and all over town like the a new psychedelic. During that summer the gay men from all over the City were on their way up to the Geysers by the car load, hitch hicking or any way they could get there. All you needed was sleeping bag, a little money, drugs and poppers (or you could always get drugs from the Polish Love Goddess) and it was off to fantasy land for the weekend. One needed very few clothes, during that era a complete wardrobe was consisted of; a couple of pairs of tight 501s a clean t-shirt and most importantly, your cock ring.
On a busy weekend things got incredibly crowded, parking and camping sites were we hard to come by. The place was steep and rocky and flat places for a campsite were hard so find. Most of the choice campsites were occupied by the men that arrived earlier in the week. Many would spend weeks there at a stretch.
Once settled we would strip down nude and stay that way for most of the weekend. By sundown many were already buzzed out on beer and grass and coming on to their acid fantasies and the party would begin.
Down the path from the end of the road about 200 feet was the old bathhouse. The roof was half gone and the windows were all busted out, but the hot water pools inside were still all being fed by the ancient hot springs coming up out of the earth below. The cement floors were warm and but cracked and chipped from years of neglect. The first room inside had a small hot pool about waist deep. The interior was lighted with a couple of those high wattage unfrosted light bulbs, you know, the ones that drag-queens run away from at 2a.m. after "last call." The other rooms were dark with old mattresses on the floors, visually very sleazy, but with all that hard dick and gorgeous flesh against the back-drop of this falling down old building, fantasies were being fulfilled and lived out.
One particular beautiful blonde stud, an early Play Girl centerfold - Joe, I think his name was - laying on the cracked cement floor in a 69 position. Joe going at it hard, with another equally horny stud, just blowing each other into fury of excitement and flying cum, while the broken water pipes behind them sprayed hot water and hissed out clouds volcanic scented steam.
At the entrance to the bathhouse there was a little deck that hung out over the creek below, where all the water from the bathhouse over-flowed. The railing had been gone for years, yet no one ever fell off, considering how crowded and loaded everyone was. Then at the end of the deck was a footbridge across the creek some 50 feet or so. The path a across the creek led to the mud pit, maybe some 10 feet across and 1 foot deep with creamy smooth, slippery clay mud that was the consistency of pancake batter. There was steam bulling up from the bottom and once you got in the mud you had to be careful of the hot spots on the bottom, but that didn't keep these horny guys out. I'm telling you this mud was erotic and after you wallowed and fucked in with the ten other guys you just let this mud dry on your body while wandering around to other campsites and through the bushes.
A stay at the Geysers was not complete without wading in the creek further back up the canyon. Along the way there were little side canyons where guys had step up campsites away for the main path. It was impossible to continue up stream without being tempted by a hot body laying in the water or some horny guy stroking his meat in the bushes hoping you might wrap your mouth around his eager cock.
About a quarter of a mile up stream the trail ended, the creek narrowed and deepened into a box canyon with vertical stone walls 20 to 30 feet high. The perfect hidden swimming hole, high rocks for diving and a quaint little waterfall. It was the perfect scenario of men exhibiting their bodies and sexuality at the same time being little boys diving and frolicking in the water.
At the point of the waterfall, an old log had gotten lodged between the rocks and some considerate person had tied a rope around the log for people to climb up and continue up stream past the water fall and swimming hole. The canyon widened again onto huge flat smooth rocks, upon which 20 or naked men lay in the hot summer sun. This was truly the time of "so many men so little."
That era sexual freedom and gay innocence was so short lived at the Geysers, the next year PG&E closed off all public access and demolished the old bathhouse. At about the same time, the Russian River was just beginning get the attention of the gay community in San Francisco.