Posts Tagged hot springs
Posted on July 30, 2014 by jason
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.
Posted on April 22, 2014 by jason
We had heard about these hot springs from Jake – a guy we met on the beach in Mexico almost 4 years ago. Right on cue, we were walking down the street in Steamboat Springs when Jake popped out of a restaurant – “Hey, I saw the bus – you made it!” Sure, he knew we were coming, but this is not a small town – pretty cool to have the bus open doors for us again. It’s been a while.
Jake told us only 4×4′s were allowed on the road up to the hot springs, but we decided to take our chances – the roads were dry. Red Beard did struggle more than it should have to get up the hills out of town to the pools, but we made it.
It’s a very cool place – one of the better ones we’ve been to in the U.S. The drive out slightly reminded us of the road out to Chillan and the springs themselves reminded us a bit of Fiambala. Not too shabby.
We soaked a while and had to bail out before dark. Apparently, kids are not allowed after dusk because everybody gets nekkid.
Posted on July 16, 2012 by jason
Only ten kilometers away from the ritzy campsite in Villa Elisa, is a completely free campsite on the river in San Jose. And, San Jose also has some nice hot springs of their own at a fraction of the price of Villa Elisa. And, it has hot water slides. It’s Bode’s new favorite thing.
The muni campsite here is set up for hundreds of campers, so it must fill up the in summer. It’s late fall, so we had it to ourselves. It was kind of eerie – like camping in a graveyard. But, we did rest in peace.
Posted on July 14, 2012 by jason
We figured a good way to get over our long and frustrating drive would be to relax at some hot springs – there are lots to choose from in this area.
Villa Elisa was recommended and it was nice. Too nice.
It’s pretty much in the middle of nowhere, but has all the amenities. A golf course. Spas. And, really expensive camping near some hot pools.
We took a day to soak, work on a few projects, and make our list of things to do on our visit to the U.S. We’d like to make some improvements in the “quality of life” department when we return, so we’re inspecting everything and trying to figure out if we can make it better. We can certainly use more lighting (LEDs). Just about every meal we’re eaten in the past 3 years has come from a single cast iron skillet… and, well, I’m not sure we can improve on that. Stuff like that. Suggestions welcomed.
Also, we’ve heard that some folks aren’t seeing our Facebook posts. I think this is a new ‘feature’.
You’re not missing anything important, of course, but if you don’t see our posts, hover over the ‘LIKE’ (or ‘LIKED’) button on our page and make sure that you have selected ‘SHOW IN NEWS FEED’.
Posted on September 1, 2011 by jason
When the holiday crowds finally left, we had the place all to ourselves. Our own mountain hot springs. Not bad at all – especially if you don’t mind frozen swimsuits in the morning.
This is also where we finally declared our point and shoot camera dead. We’ve hated it since we bought it, and barely 8 months later, it’s returning the (lack of) love. It always took crappy photos, so it will not be missed. If anyone wants a compact 12 MP camera that can’t image anything near the red end of the spectrum, says it’s waterproof but isn’t… you can have it. Pick-up required.
We left Fiambala with the plan of finding the nearest ‘large’ city and taking care of our evolving engine problems. We have been burning oil, and the compression on cylinder #3 has been low and getting worse.
We made it to the pleasant-enough town of Chilicitos where we spent two days failing to find any kind of parts for our old VW. At a minimum, I wanted to buy a new piston-cylinder set before pulling the motor – there was a perfectly fine campsite nearby that would have made an adequate work space.
The local parts shops had nothing and as far as I could tell, they couldn’t order the parts either. Again, there was a VW dealer in town willing to help, but ultimately just told us to head to Mendoza or Cordoba. Nine or so hours away.
What we did manage to accomplish in our two days here was to make some more contacts further south. We eventually decided set course for Mendoza. Sounds like a decent place to be stranded.
After exactly 9 hours on the road – including frequent stops to add oil and pick up parts that fell off – we arrived at the doorstep of Beto Oros and the Volkswagen Club of Mendoza.
Also, if you’re interested, Jenn Miller interviewed us a while back for Uncommon Childhood. Thanks Jenn!
Posted on August 30, 2011 by jason
Fiambalá lived up to the hype. It was a holiday weekend and a total scene.
The hot springs are nestled cliff-side at the end of a steep road and are sight to see themselves. A dozen or so waterfall-filled pools rise up the mountain and vary in temperature from 25°C to 45°C.
Because of “La Dia del Niño,” we had to share the springs with a hundred or more mate-sipping parilla-cooking Argentines. It was awesome.
Unfortunately, we failed to capture our fun weekend on film. We were too busy soaking and relaxing.
And, we still haven’t fully embraced a mate habit, but it might happen if we stay much longer.
Posted on January 19, 2010 by angela
We headed across New Mexico to the Gila National Forest. The Cliff Dwellings and hot springs are 2 hours from the closest town of Silver City. The drive was stellar. There are towers of rock that formed these amazing structures. I’ve never seen anything like them.
We arrived after 4 so we headed to the privately owned hot springs a coupe miles from the park. Sweet deal. 3 different pools, all with a beautiful red rock cliff background. We decided to camp there, despite the dropping temperatures. The hot springs were about 10 steps from our van, so we could easily have a dip to warm up. We were pretty cold overnight and woke to find ice on the walls of the van. Everything was frozen and we waited as long as we could for the sun to come over the mountains and hit the van before getting out of bed. A quick soak in the hot springs warmed us right up, and we bundled up for our hike to the cave dwellings.
When we reached the Visitor’s Center we found out it had reached 10 degrees the night before. I’ve put a moratorium on camping below 25 now. Bode LOVES visitor’s centers. Everywhere we go he asks if there is one. Anyway, we spent a long time inside the Gila VC watching a film and looking at the artifacts they’ve found in the cliffs….and warming up.
From the photos, we were a bit skeptical. They didn’t look as cool as the photos we’ve seen of Mesa Verde, but we aren’t planning to go that far north. But after the 30 minute hike, which started with snowball fights and ended with us taking off our gloves and jackets in the warm sunshine, we were in awe. The 7 caves served as home to the Mogollon people who lived in this area over 700 years ago…and they let us hike right through them. Pretty awesome.
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