A Road Trip: Freezing in a Hot Spring

photo evidence of Camp Daddy trying to kill us while he drove

It’s finally here! The travel blog encompassing the road trip I took with Camp Daddy and The Rival has been rejuvenated. I know it has been awhile, like long enough you could have probably seen all 50 states since the last post in this adventure, but it’s finally back. I’ve decided to extend the story out into smaller sections and it will probably be a bi-weekly post, but I promise this story will get told!

So anyway, let’s get on with it! Last time I wrote, I told the story about how Camp Daddy, The Rival, and myself made it to Colorado and camped out at a remote site in the Rockies. That day we celebrated The Rival’s birthday before heading to bed.

So the next morning found the three of us waking up around 8:00 am and enjoying the crisp morning air. With how cool the night was, all three of us slept in our clothes and were able to get up and begin our morning routine: eating a breakfast of crushed mini donuts, trying to get coffee started on smoldering embers, putting on deodorant, and brushing our teeth. Did I ever mention The Rival and I decided we didn’t need to shower this trip? We’ll discuss that more later, but just know it drove Camp Daddy up a wall.

Of course taking down the tent is part of any morning camping ritual. Just make sure to be outside of it when it comes down.

Anyway, our big goal for the day was to find the hot springs that was listed near our camp. If you’re in the area I suggest checking it out, the link is here. We had searched around for a bit off the directions on the app, but to no success. Finally, The Rival lost patience and decided to befriend the “Kyles” and when he came back he told us we were very wrong.

Apparently these guys were from overseas and had been just kind of going around camping like we were. They had been to the hot springs area and warned us that it was cold, but we didn’t care. They also had told us there was an area up on the mountain side we had to trek where you could jump down into the Colorado River (something the three of us didn’t do).

So following their directions, the three of us headed out. There was a narrow and steep path that led up the side of a mountain that we first had to climb. I’d say it was easy, but by the time things leveled out, I was winded. From there, we followed a winding path through mountain shrubbery and sage, watching as birds flew overhead and hopped through the brush. It took us about a good 10 minutes to walk over to our destination before we found the sign that showed you could jump into the Colorado River at your own risk.

Sadly, we didn’t get much photographs of this area. The three of us all had low phone batteries and didn’t spend enough time in the car to get them charged. All of us wanted to make sure the hot spring was photographed, and so the phones stayed away as we walked. It took us a few tries to find the hot springs since it didn’t have a sign like the jumping point, but when we did, we were thrilled.

The path down was a narrow climb of rocks on a cliff side. It was another steep drop down, but it appeared people had taken the time to place rocks to have a makeshift “staircase” down to the springs. We slid and flatfooted our way down until it leveled out into the hot springs we were looking for.

The Hot Springs off the Colorado River

We were thrilled to finally be in this spot and felt there was no way that it was cold like our new camping friends said. We each stripped down to our bathing suits and got in. They were right and we were wrong. Although it wasn’t freezing, the water was just slightly warmer than the river that flowed beside it. We took a few minutes and forced ourselves the rest of the way in, we refused to not enjoy the hot springs that we adventured to find.

We spent about a good half hour in the area and during that time we found to areas where warm water was trying its best to make this small pool live up to its name. The first was in a back corner under the water. The Rival had found it after dropping down to his neck in the water. The other was a small flow of water coming out of the wall featured in the photo. During our time here we were able to watch a river tour float on by and while the guide did his best to crack some jokes about poisonous animals by us, The Rival continued to yell back to him, trying his best to be funnier than the guide.

It was at this time I decided it was a perfect opportunity for a “shower.” Although I had no soap, I took the warm water and covered myself in it, getting the fine layer of grease that had started to develop off of my skin. Camp Daddy and The Rival followed suit and then we decided that the hot springs were done for the day. We had the goal of setting up camp near Arches National Park and it was a good 8-10 hour drive away from us.

So we trekked our way back up, Camp Daddy and myself harassing The Rival from a higher perch as he was the last to climb back up and took his time leaving the hot spring. As we were goofing around we heard voices, and fearing it could be a park ranger, we stopped messing around and scurried up to the top.

When we reached the top we encountered two other men around our age with one rocking an awesome Nikon camera and taking shots of the river from above. We exchanged pleasantries and discovered that they were both from Illinois as well and doing some travelling. What was even cooler was that both of them grew up close to where we did. While talking to them, they had highly encouraged us to avoid Arches (it was a tourist trap) and instead go to Canyonlands National Park instead. There they said was less crowded and had more to do. They even told us a story about how they snuck into one area at dawn and beautiful photos of the sun rising over the canyons.

We thanked them for the suggestion, wished each other luck and made our way back to the horrible ride that was our Mitsubishi. If you’re confused on why I say horrible, check back on a previous post that explains our misadventures so far in the vehicle. Anyway, we arrived to find the campground nearly deserted, which worked to our benefit. We took the privacy and changed out of wet swimsuits before climbing into the car and heading out.

We had to drive a good 20 minutes doing nothing but guesswork since there was no service for our phones and most of the phones were dead and dying. We eventually were able to get out of the little range we camped in, found cell service, and routed our way to Moab.

That’s it for this week. Thank you for reading and if you’ve enjoyed this service, go to the bottom of this page and follow me on my social media pages. I promise I talk a lot about writing and do my best to entertain anyone willing to listen. Enjoy!

Author: tynoel

Professional writer and blogger. Author of the book A Monstrous Tomorrow.

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