Driving on 50, you know what you’re going to get. Open roads and small desert towns left to crumble. The dust devils are continuous roadside attractions and provided us a little bit of excitement when we literally drove through one with the windows down. Just a little extra dust in the bus.
Our destination for the night was a well known boondock spot on BLM land approximately in the middle of nowhere – Spencer Hot Springs. About 10 miles down a dirt road outside of Austin, Nevada. You know you’re getting close when you start seeing naked people peeking out of their RV’s. We weren’t aware of this little feature, but made sure to note the new rule of thumb : desert + hot springs + middle of nowhere = naked time.
There were maybe 10 other campers scattered about a total of 4 ‘pools’. The pools are just steel cattle troughs with spring water diverted to them. We drove right past the first one solely due to the vision of the gentlemen airing out next to it. We made our way towards the back and stopped to chat with a robed Canadian guy sitting next to his truck with BC plates. He’d been there a month. He gave us the low-down and showed us the ‘best’ pool. But, he warned, it was being monopolized by 4 ‘pit-bull’ ladies who had been camping next to it for the past 2 months. “Where’s the hot springs etiquette?” he pleaded.
Unafraid of the pitbulls, we pulled up to the tub, popped the top and jumped in. Within a few minutes, here comes our buddy, giddy at the chance to finally use the best tub. I will say this – a small cattle trough in the middle of nowhere is no place to share a soak with an old rotund naked guy prone to float. He was a polite conversationalist, though. Still not sure about the hot springs etiquette.
Later, Bode and I took a night-time dip and stared at the stars in silence. Two military jets flew overhead in formation, then circled over us a few times before jetting off into the distance. We soaked in silence a bit longer until Bode simply volunteered, “I’m happy.” The first time any of us has uttered the phrase in longer than I’d like to admit. It’s good to be back on the road.