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The Spas that Refresh Us


Hot Sulphur Springs, Colorado

Miserable people don't really care for other miserable people, any more than the healthy do. It isn't true that Misery loves company - it actually loves Sympathy. Unfortunately for the relationship, that ardor is often unreciprocated.

Nonetheless, here's a little ditty for you:

"Sorry to be so Unretiring, but I'm here to tell you what
a pain in the ass it is to have this pain in the back I've got.
It would be nice to be able to wash my hands without having to squat
That does sound kinda funny, doesn't it? Really it's not."

So much for the power of poetry.

I wrote that a couple of days ago. Every day my back has gotten better. I've decided to blow off medical care for now. This is not an emergency room problem, it is responding to heat and stretching, and I don't want to spend weeks in the August sun chasing flatland doctors around. I want to get on up towards Jasper. Maybe I'll end up checking out that famous Canadian health system. Maybe write a letter to my congressman about it, whoever he is these days.

Think we ought to have a Congresscritter-at-large, just for us full-timers? One who's not allowed to have a physical address? I can just see the orange cord snaking out of a basement window of the capitol, running off to the old Pace Arrow in the parking lot.

There has been a slight change of plans due to all this fuss. I'm now at the back door of the Rocky Mountain National Park, and I can't resist rolling up and over and down to the Ft. Collins area before scooting on up to Laramie.

For one thing, I need to find some of that undercloth to repair the hole the flat made. I may be falling apart, but by gawd the trailer's got to be repaired.

I'm now at Hot Sulphur Springs, gateway to Granby and the high country. I got up here via the Green Mountain Reservoir. There's plenty of primitive camping along the reservoir, but it seemed hot and windless down there, so I went on up through Kremmling and Troublesome, which was not, arriving here at the Spa late one afternoon. To actually get to the Springs, you have to pass through a pleasant green space called Pioneer Park, and cross the Union Pacific tracks. Pioneer Park is primarily a day site for fishing, with a thicket of signs saying "No Camping". They do have a few spots, though, and it's lovely and quiet here along the limpid Colorado, when the trains aren't passing.

Problem is, last night they passed through at a rate of one an hour, each time blasting their horns repeatedly at the empty crossing into the Spa. Just about one an hour.

Still, the campsite is otherwise idyllic and free. I've had a good time here sitting under the cottonwoods and reading by the river, parboiling in the Spa. I've seen quite a few fish caught on bait, but the flyguys are pretty frustrated.

Time to move on.


PS: For those that are interested in Spas, here's a few notes.

Cottonwood Springs was outside Buena Vista. Their good point was the 6 large deep pools with sloping sides and built in benches. But if a schoolbus full of kids showed up, you'd have no place to hide.

Sulphur Springs has 22 pools ranged up a hillside, only two or three big enough for more than 4 or 5 people. Some of these are tiny. If you and dear heart fill it up, others have to apply elsewhere. And vice versa.

The sulphur smell is mild. I did hear one 10 year old tell another that he liked the smell 'cause you could fart in the water and nobody could tell.

After due consideration, I moved on up the hill.

$15 a day, no matter when you come. They are somewhat proud of this stinky water. Most of the pools don't have seats, and the flat tile makes sharp edges. It's hard to lean back, stretch out, and relax in these little pools, compared to Cottonwood.

But I believe any spa, just as any campground, can be ruined by too much of a crowd. One solution is to rent a private pool by the hour. Here it's 12 bucks.

I hope to become sort of an expert on this stuff, a collector of spas. As long as it doesn't turn into work.

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