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Deep Creek Hot Springs

The Moon is Waxing Gibbous (95% of Full)


Re: DCHS Reunion

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November 11, 2002 09:57AM
I think the last time we made a trip to DC was probably in August ... I've really missed going there but other things just seem to get in our way these days. The cooler fall weather makes me long for a soak. We were quite excited to see the forest was finally reopened and we decided now was our chance ...

We had a good start in the morning and we arrived at the trail before 10:30 ... pretty early for us since we live so far away. There was a new guy that arrived just before us (I didn't catch his name). It was a little windy and cool, but as we decended into the canyon the winds died and the sun was warm ... I took the opportunity to hike topless and get a little sun. We were wondering how long it would take the rain from the last two days to drain past the hot pools ... would the creek be higher or would it be back to "normal" by now? About half way down the trail we reached the point where we could see and hear the creek ... the first thing I noticed was the sound ... I haven't heard that much roar from the creek in a very long time. I could actually see the water flowing and there was a lot more of it ... there was also a lot of foam ... but this time it wasn't brown but white.

We reached the beach about 11 o'clock or so ... my hubby checked the rocks upstream from the pools to see if he could cross that way ... no such luck - a lot of the rocks were under water and the creek was really whipping through there ... and the Az Pool was inundated by the creek.

We've been visiting the springs for 4 years now and we have never seen the creek this high. The only pools not in the creek were the Anniversary and Womb. The rains had obvisously deposited a lot more of the thick, tarry mud because it was all over the beach. I'd estimate the creek had already receded about a foot from its crest by the time we arrived. We could see a pretty good flow due to some of the foam passing by but since the creek is wide it wasn't too fast.

Mary & Joseph, with their son Chris and their dog, were just about to wade across the creek as we arrived. We could see it was at least waist deep and in some spots mid-chest deep. We stripped and repacked our packs ... as we waded across, the mud was deeper and thicker, the water was pretty cold (but not as cold as the winter months) and we held our packs over our heads. Since some of the rocks were submerged, it was helpful knowing the "lay of the land" ... but I think the creek had changed the creekbed ... it seemed deeper in front of the approach to the crab cooker where you get out of the creek.

By the time you reach the other side you're pretty desperate to get out of the cold creek but without being able to see what you're stepping on it's hard to walk and keep your balance. It really is best to go slowly ... besides, you feel a lot warmer once you finally manage to get out of the water. The new guy was very encouraging to us as we crossed the creek. It was his first trip to a hot spring ever and he sure chose a great day for his first experience. One other tip, it's best to go barefoot because the mud will suck the Tevas or water socks off your feet and you'll never be able to find them!

There weren't many people ... Mary & Joseph ... the new guy ... another couple ... so we made the 6th and 7th person to arrive. I heard that some people hiked down to the beach, looked at the creek and left! It was pretty quiet and not many people seemed to be making the trip.

Much to my surprise, after a while more people started arriving. Pete showed up, then Van (with Sparky and Tuka), a lady with a dog that was half coyote, and Frank showed up ... then later Talahasee Joe! It was like a big reunion. Then Scott showed up alone ... sadly he told us that Wiskers was no longer with us :0( ... it's hard to loose a good friend from the springs, even if it's the four-legged kind. But Wiskers had a good, long life ... he was 14. We will surely miss him.

We all visited and caught up with each other ... we watched as the creek slowly receded. I think it went down at least a foot while we soaked ... then the sun was going down and people stared leaving. I had been soaking for quite a while and needed something to do ... so I got some buckets from the trees (up by the Anniversary and Az pools) and started to wash away some of the mud from the rocks ... I figured it was easier to do when the mud was fresh (even though there will be more mud with the next rain) ... hopefully it will help keep the Womb "cleaner". The creek had receded enought to reveal the Crab Cooker and part of the Lower Pool ... at it's highest point, it appeared it was about 1.5 to 2 feet below the Womb! My hubby helped for a while and then Van pitched in ... we made the rocks pretty clean!

After another short soak it was time to go ... so we packed up (and I retrieved my 2-liter bottle of lemon juice and water from the Crab Cooker) and headed across the creek. The only one left was Van with his two dogs. Thanks, Van for helping me into the creek with my pack ... wish there were like 6 more of you at the springs! You're a great guy to have around and such a great influence on the visitors.

The nice thing about crossing the cold creek going home is the approach to the beach is much better ... you don't have to navigate the rocks when you want to get out of the creek. Once you get past them getting in the creek, then you can hurry across the creek and get out as fast as possible.

I've had a problem reacting to the soaking water so I rinsed off with the hot, lemon-water solution to neutralize the water. It worked pretty well ... but I still ended up with a slight reaction on the inseams of my thighs ... but not as bad as I've had other times. How did you fare, Van?

We got dressed and packed our packs and headed off to our car. Even though we had to cross that creek twice, I still think it was worth it ... I really enjoyed seeing everyone and catching up ... the soak was great and the weather was terrific. I even picked up a bit of color. Hope we can make it back soon.

DCHS Reunion

Wizard 1227November 10, 2002 10:25PM

Re: DCHS Reunion

DCR 376November 11, 2002 09:57AM

Re: DCHS Reunion

Ken 403November 11, 2002 02:35PM

Re: DCHS Reunion

Wizard 353November 11, 2002 08:06PM

Re: DCHS Reunion

Wizard 335November 11, 2002 08:26PM

Re: DCHS Reunion

Rick 356November 12, 2002 09:14PM

Re: DCHS Reunion

Dan 660November 18, 2002 01:14AM

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