Thursday, September 15, 2011

Hot Springs

Day 20: Sept 15, 2011 (Part I)

Last night was completely delightful! As planned, we ate a yummy dinner (curried beef with peas and peanuts on rice) and then, after I uploaded the blog about Craters of the Moon, we gathered up our swimsuits and towels and walked to the Lava Hot Springs Pools. (Photos from this morning--so they are in daylight.)

The facility is very well done, as you can see from the photos. The dressing rooms are very accommodating, with large changing alcoves (including benches and hooks) and a shower room. There are six hot pools, and they are very large. The one on the end (closest in the photo) is the hottest--the water is 112 degrees, which is how it comes out of the ground. I couldn’t go in, and Joe decided not to try it either, but I did see some folks who could apparently tolerate it. I should add that the waters were completely clear and had absolutely no sulphuric smell (or any smell that we could discern.) Just crystal clear spring water, heated up by Mother Earth for our enjoyment.
The next pool is a sort of S shape; the end closest to the spring felt about 108 degrees, which is where we started. The pools are cement and tile, but what I loved in this pool was the bottom--it was covered with the same kind of tiny pebbles which we’d had underfoot all morning at Craters of the Moon. I just loved how they felt on and under my feet! We soaked at that end for a while, then slowly made our way to the other side of the S, where the water felt noticeably less warm (I don’t want to say “cool”--it was probably still around 106 degrees.)
There’s another large pool which is cooler--maybe 102-104 degrees; and two small pools which have whirlpool jets. We didn’t go into those because they were cooler too. We spent about an hour soaking in the S pool, before deciding we’d had enough. (Well, Joe decided; I could have spent all night there, I think!) Then we took our time showering and dressing, and walked slowly home to Mo. It was a beautiful night, and the walk was just the right length. In fact the evening was perfect.

This morning when I walked Roxy, I took some photos of the campground. It was not a fabulous campground but it’s surroundings were so nice. I discovered another creek ran into the river right at the campground. It's just the kind of thing that makes a so-so campground into something a little bit special.
I took a photo of the moon coming up over the volcanic hill across the road.
When we were ready to leave, we departed via the main street of the town. I took some photos of the Sunken Garden adjacent to the Hot Pools. They were really well done--lots of little display gardens cut into the volcanic rock.
The place also had little rocky walkways between the flower beds, and several overlooks of the gardens and the hot pools, where I took the photos. There were even some small caves in the walls. The entire place had a wonderful ambience--I thought it was wonderful.
And then after I took these photos, we set sail for our next adventure.

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