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Deep Creek Hot Springs

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Trip Report, Friday, 12/27

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December 27, 2013 09:22PM
A quiet but blissful day at the springs for the holiday season. Forecast was sun and high 60s, but the Apple Valley temperature was 34 degrees as I drove along Bear Valley Road at 7:30am. Not much warmer by the time I got to Bowen Ranch, where Mike was greeting but not many cars were yet parked - just 2. The cold air scrapped my plans for free hiking, but the hike was beautiful nonetheless. Birds and rabbits and critters all around. The silence of the desert now that the flies and bees are not buzzing about.

Someone smashed the endangered toad sign at the start of the Bowen trail. It is destroyed and mostly removed. I was sad to see this, as the sign has been there so long. Also, people are jerks.

Expected to see no one on the hike down but did pass some hiking up at 8 am already. Strangely a young couple where the guy carried nothing, and his girl was packed to the rafters but smiling no matter.

Down at the springs, some regulars but only around 5 or 6 people in the morning. Mostly campers. I soaked HARD in the steaming shaded pools. Shared the Anniversary, but had Arizona then the Womb, Serenity, and the Crab Cooker all to myself for a good hour - also some creek jumps, no matter the icy temps. Thanks to one of the regulars who sent me a note, I found the tool stash and used a big shovel to dig out the Arizona Pool for about an hour - I respect the caretakers even more now, as this is not easy work though I expect it is one of the easier jobs down there. I think I deepened it by around a foot all around, and it was enjoyed more during the day. The afternoon prior, I had been in a parking garage and lost my ticket. The attendant was supposed to charge me 28 dollars for the lost ticket to get out, but pulled some kind of scheme and then let me out for free - and said, with a wink, “Pay it forward.” I had that on my mind as I dug out the pool.

(But really, how many years have I been using the pools? How many have worked on them so that I could enjoy them? How much do I owe in return? Very grateful to the people who care for our special place.)

The sun was warm on the nude beach by noon. Sunbathed and drank some beers. The pools kept steaming. I returned the shovel (and another one some regulars handed me) to the stash. Mostly people soaked nude today, or divided themselves between the Arizona and Anniversary pool (everyone nude) and the Womb and Serenity pools (most everyone textilian). I met tons of fun folks, and talked about springs up and down the coast, from Alaska down to Oregon down to Cali and Mexico. Met a nice couple who met at Burning Man. They knew many springs, but the guy had not been at Deep Creek for ten years, he used to visit in the 90s. It was ten years ago that I began visiting. It was nice to meet him and talk springs at the springs.

I hiked out around 3:15. Just as I had pulled on my clothes and hat, I saw some familiar canines bound across the beach, followed immediately by Wizard and some of his clan. I didn’t call out as I didn’t recognize him at first in his winter finery. I also had mine on by then, and expect I was incognito. (In fact a woman who I had soaked nude with passed by at that point, called out to me and said, “Hey you look so strange in your clothes!” “I know,” I sighed. “It is the sad moment of the day when you have to get dressed.”) Wizard looked to be carrying things to work on the pools with? Always good to have a Wizard sighting down at DCHS. As I hiked out I climbed to the overlook and gazed down at the springs. Just after 3, there were a good 20 people soaking in all the pools, maybe a little more.

On the hike out, however, I passed at least 8 hiking down - and there were 14 cars in the Bowen lot when I pulled out and made my way back to the big city.
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Trip Report, Friday, 12/27

neogeo2266December 27, 2013 09:22PM

Re: Trip Report, Friday, 12/27

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