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Deep Creek Hot Springs

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may 4 trip report

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May 05, 2021 09:19AM
I have a partner who is compromised in terms of her health, so had to take COVID very seriously. In other words, it has been the longest I've ever gone without visiting the springs. But I was happy to make it back on Tuesday. I've been wanting to go back for a while but frankly, more than COVID, have been hesitating mainly due to what COVID has done to the place, the crowds that seem to always be out there now, the visitors not in the spirit of the springs.

So .... the last time I visited, there was no Deep Creek Campground yet. They were bulldozing the road to the parking from their new entry. I contemplated the Freedom Trail, but then decided why not try it. It was easy though weird to wind up at the parking lot we always knew as the Bowen Ranch but yet not, and lots of activity trying to care for the area more than was the norm in the past. Trash was not in evidence around the campsites, things were tidy more or less, and I could see some buildout down in the valley where the springs by the Ranch always were, I guess this is where the showers will be or are now? I would camp there, for sure. I just hope it isn't pulling more people out to the springs than normal, all this. Only one other car in the lot in evidence, and nothing over at Freedom from what I could see.

Beautiful hike down. Still spring blooms. Passed three young women hiking out, one at a time, not together. They said it would be quiet down there, and at the springs, as I arrived, there were only three people. So I cooled off in the lagoon and then into the Womb, which I had to myself in the shaded morning. Also had Anniversary to myself a little later. Maybe 20-25 people by the mid afternoon, like normal times I thought, and about 50/50 naturist, with some of the never noods joining our team as the day wore on, and with lots of laughter. Met a few PCT hikers. Saw Chuck and Coppertone in terms of regulars. Really had a great visit.

The Contemplation Pool seems to have sprung a few leaks. It is mostly empty. I thought maybe someone was draining it for cleaning, but the pools in general seem not to have been cleaned in some time. Lots of algae if you soak. But no, it wasn't empty for cleaning. The other pools were all great. I stayed mostly out of them if there was a crowd, and with the low number of visitors, had pools to myself quite a lot. The pile of trash on the beach, around the Woodsy sign, is ridiculous. Really bad - tents, containers, food, a metal folding chair, equipment, pillows and cushions, whatever. The squirrels were constantly in it, making it worse. And there was an army of them, everywhere. They were in my pack, hung high on a tree - the trees that remain, there are some very sad stumps where I once hung my hammock and laid in the shade - they were in it by 10 am already and would not stop their assault. They got part of my food, and ripped open 3 other guys' packs, during the day. I was thinking maybe the rattlers have been attacked by visitors, I've seen some videos posted by the lug heads online, but at least one rattler did show up, and hung out in the bush next to the Phoenix pool all day.

So that's the bad: fire rings all over the once pristine sand. Chopped down trees that should have been loved and cared for. A big pile of trash. Armies of robber baron squirrels. But the place still looked extremely beautiful to me. The Yerba mansa grove behind the pool area in full bloom. Green everywhere. Flowers and gorgeous birds. Ducks in the creek, catfish, tadpoles as big as your palm, life everywhere in abundance. Met some great people, and talked all day as one does. Read a book in the shade. Swam, soaked with my umbrella for shade. Deconditioned for my hike out after the long time away. I will be building back and getting back in shape I hope, and hope the same for the springs.
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may 4 trip report

neogeo791May 05, 2021 09:19AM

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Sam D.358May 05, 2021 05:47PM

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neogeo351May 05, 2021 11:56PM

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neogeo378May 06, 2021 07:43PM

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neogeo413May 10, 2021 07:52PM

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jobe338May 12, 2021 11:28AM



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