I last left you while we were at Rick’s in Steamboat Springs. Steamboat embraces its western heritage, it reveres its ranching traditions and it boasts world class skiing. Throw in the hot springs, and you have the complete package. There were several hot springs to choose from, we opted for the mountain hot springs.
Two Thumbs Up for Strawberry Park Hot Springs
Just outside of downtown, the road thins to a single lane and then becomes gravel. We climbed 1300 feet in 2 miles. We had hoped to spend the night in one of the covered wagons,
but were “out of luck.” All three were booked through the weekend. Heck, we’ve got our own covered wagon, so we asked about camping options. They offered up the one & only parking pad to us. It felt like a score – one camp spot and it was ours. It had a view, river roaring below and a nice picnic table.The lodging accommodations may be considered primitive, but the facilities (shower, changing rooms, bathroom) were state of the art.
Strawberry Park was family friendly: there is no wifi, cell service or electricity. Yes, off the grid. If you didn’t bring your flashlight, there’d be no nighttime soaks for you. One misstep and you’d be whooshing down the rapid Yampa River.
We soaked for two full days, and boy does that make you sleep hard at night.
Dinosaur National Monument
Weaving in & out of various levels of cell service, we worked our way to a new state, Utah. Thor has been running like a champ and inspired by Utah, got the new nickname: Thorosaurus. We camped a couple nights in Dinosaur Monument National Park, staying at the Green River campground. Such gorgeous, massive scenery to take in.
We can thank Earl Douglass (1862-1931, ) a dedicated paleontologist, for The Quarry Exhibit Hall. It was his idea to excavate this wall of dinosaur bones and display them exactly as they were found.There is something humbling about touching a 149 million year old dinosaur bone.
It’s disturbing to see the scale of deadness in this one location. Apparently it’s a dino-jam. Ancient rivers carried the bones or carcasses great distances, tripping, stumbling and ultimately getting stuck – forever – here.
The Sound of Silence
That was the name of my favorite trail so far. The Sound of Silence trail. I really don’t know the official story of its name, but I can assure you there were spillways, in deeply carved canyons where sound was absorbed by the dense clay. Not even the sound of a bird wrestling around. This hike had big boulders to climb over,
massive granite washes to scale,
stairs to climb, bridges to cross, rain to dodge and breath to be taken away.
We saw just one other soul on the 3.5 mile, loop trail… ah yes, the sound of silence.
From one Hottie to Another
So I’m diggin’ on the hot springs. It has to do with my sore butt-cheeks after those boulder scrambles. Anyway, we have one more hot springs before we hit Boise: Lava Hot Springs.
A tiny Idaho mountain town, tucked away along an old railway trading route. A place where centuries ago, the Ute Indian would come to absorb the healing waters and maybe give their horse a bath. Today these pools were more pool-lookin’ than spring-lookin’, but they did the trick!
There’s nothing like a good hot soak after a hike. We’re hooked, we’ll be keeping our eyes out for other opportunities to soak in natural hot springs.
Next stop: Boise. THEN. . . eastern Oregon!