Naked Ed has lived on the Santa Fe River for 24 years. He is the caretaker of the piece of property that surrounds Lily Springs, and he doesn’t wear clothes. I was warned of him at the Santa Fe Outfitters where I rented my kayak, but I already knew about him from my guidebooks and the restaurant in town. The restaurant, The Great Outdoors, sells Naked Ed beer. He has become quite famous in these parts!
I did get a chance to meet Naked Ed. I had stopped in the shade on a bank near the springs, and Ed walked toward me on the opposite bank, just a few yards away. He did, in fact, have a towel wrapped away his waist. He explained that he always does this when he approaches someone. He told me I was welcome to go further into this cove to see the springs, but he warned me that he would be naked.
It turned out that Naked Ed is very nice and quite harmless. We chatted for about half an hour. He loves visitors, and he loves to talk. I had to watch the time as I was told that to make my pick up, I would need to leave Naked Ed no later than 2:30. I felt a bit like Cinderella! What a twist to the story.
If you happen to be floating down the Santa Fe River and have the time, be sure to stop by to see Naked Ed.