Day -36 and -35: Goldmyer Hot Springs take II
My friend Susan and I headed out of town to soak at Goldmyer hot springs. It was on the tail end of another fairly dramatic wind and rain storm, so I was fully expecting to find trees across the road blocking our way.
Well, we made it through! No problems. Left my phone in my truck (damnit! at least it was still there when we got back). Hiked in, paid our dues, I gave the caretakers a 4 pack of Fort George IPA, set camp, and went up and soaked. Unlike 3 weeks ago, there were people! Good people, fit people, beautiful people. I keep thinking I might have finally found my clique – not sure what to call them – Susan calls them ‘Mountain people’ — appropriate considering ‘Hough’ means Hill-people or some such. Made a new friend who is joining the Peace Corps.
As for toughening up for the trail – I estimate that my backpack was loaded with 41 lbs. 8.5 pounds of beer, and more water than I needed just to see how I dealt with the heavier load. All things considered while my shoulders felt the weight in ways they hadn’t with 29lbs, I was relatively comfortable. Feet were great except for the stepping in snow and getting wet bits.
Soaked a long time, got back to camp around midnight, Susan cooked a meal, and we crashed.
I suppose I ought to talk a bit about the camp. There was a few inches of snow on the ground, and I actually pitched my tent on top of snow — Not the most brilliant plan, but i wanted to see how it would do. Lets just say that when you roll over and your hip pushes a spot on your air mattress flat over snow – you are instantly cold in that spot.
I slept well, the new pillow makes all the difference. Like last time I woke up before the crack of dawn, turned the red headlamp on, and made it in to the hotsprings at 6:40am. I am NOT a morning person, so this getting up early because I feel like it thing is new to me. I hope that becomes a habit on trail.
I crawled to the back of the cave, and watched the sepia light slowly crystallize in to visibility as the sun came up. Climbed down in to the lukewarm pool and dozed on and off for over an hour – and was surprised when I woke up to another person in the hot springs at 9 — that’s right, I had it all to myself for 2:20 hours.
Hung out, took my time, expecting Susan to show up any minute. After 4 hours or so I finally crawled, all pruned, out of the water and snarkily mentioned that I’m sure Susan would show up the moment I got dressed… CLOSE… I had one sock and one shoe to go and there she was. Back in the hot springs with me!
I kid you not — I entered the hot springs at 6:40 am, and proceeded to spend six hours and forty minutes in them!
Great trip, not crashing hard like I did after I went three weeks ago – curious to see how hard I crash tomorrow if at all.
Gear I realized I really want to have: Tyvek or a garbage bag or some kind of moisture barrier that I can sit on, and keep things off wet surfaces with etc.
I think I invented a backpack hanger — a piece of lightweight cord with loops on the ends and a hook/carabiner. Wind it around a tree, push one end through the other loop, hook the backpack on the hanging loop — never need to have a muddy backpack in camp (as long as there’s a tree around)