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Deep Creek Hot Springs

The Moon is Waxing Gibbous (80% of Full)


Re: 5-23 trip report

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May 24, 2010 10:25AM
Long time Deep Creek Hot Springs hiker, Sonja, and I, made the drive and hike to the loveliest wilderness hot springs on the globe. We paid the day rate to Mike Castro at Bowen Ranch and parked at the campground. The air temperature was cold and brisk blowing from the north. It felt like winter, but we expected the temperature to rise soon. The hike was great, blue skies and no serpents, due, I think, because of the cold. I dreaded the wade across the creek, but the water was cool, not frigid, and the level was just up to my waist.

The number of people at the creek and hot springs was about 15 at 10:30 AM. All were clothed except one thin man, a long time regular, past the half century age, or looking like it, and wearing a battered old fedora (hat). He was the only person we saw without clothing that morning. A small group of Japanese men arrived and tried out all of the hot pools.

Sonja and I postponed a dip in the hot pools and headed upstream to our favorite beach The terrain upstream had been altered greatly by the spring floods with much sand removed from some places and deposited in others. To get to our favorite beach one must either brave a wade or swim around the granite wall blocking passage, or climb around it. We chose the climb. Confirmed naturists, Sonja and I discarded our clothes, kicked back on our towels and then had to cover up as the frigid wind stayed cold.

The little beach had changed. The full, swift creek had completely removed a grove of high shrubs that fronted the beach for a long time revealing the spectacular vista of deep, rushing water, granite monoliths and new growing trees and flowers. The little waterfall drop upstream from the beach was flowing fast and the creek above that, normally a gentle flow gurgling around the boulders, was now a series of small roaring rapids.

Unfortunately, everywhere we looked we saw litter. Beer cans, bottles, a pile of trash that illegal campers dumped, obviously carrying none of their refuse out when they left. Blankets, clothing, tampons! Damn, have they no shame? We packed what refuse we could and moved on.

Mid afternoon we returned to Hot Springs Central, anxious to soak in the Anniversary Pool. Just about to drop into the pool for a soak, I heard excited voices calling out for someone with first aid materials and skills. I'd just refilled my kit the day before so I went to the injured guy who was sitting on the rocks just above the womb (every hiker should pack a simple first aid kit and know how to use it). He'd slipped on the granite and a sharp surface had cut his foot. There was a lot of visible blood, but his body was already clotting the wound effectively. Cleaned, bandaged and taped, the fellow was carried by friends across the creek (to keep the foot dry) to start his painful trek to the car.

The demographics had changed since we'd been there in the morning. A nude group of about 10 men and women were sitting on the beach. Every person I saw up and down the creek were friendly and behaving in a civilized manner. Probably about the time that Jobe was arriving my friend and I were starting our climb up around old Mo'Fo'. A very nice day and we committed to return soon.

A post script: At the Bowen Ranch parking area after hiking back we saw about 12-15 young persons (late teens to early twenties) coming from off the ranch across the campground heading for the "goat trail" to the springs. They were poorly equipped for the frigid night to come and I'm sure they'd not be carrying any trash out. I told Mike Castro about the group, but he said that the authorities probably wouldn't or couldn't do anything about it.

5-23 trip report

jobe1437May 23, 2010 09:14PM

Re: 5-23 trip report

jobe843May 24, 2010 07:46AM

Re: 5-23 trip report

celtfire783May 24, 2010 10:25AM

Re: 5-23 trip report

jobe771May 24, 2010 11:53AM

Re: 5-23 trip report

kitadrift764May 24, 2010 12:13PM

Re: 5-23 trip report

Paul P.730May 24, 2010 03:16PM

Re: 5-23 trip report

kitadrift831May 24, 2010 03:33PM

Re: 5-23 trip report

jobe1139May 24, 2010 08:10PM

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