Sunday, March 11, 2012

Lava Hot Springs

Finally getting around to posting about my trip to Lava Hot Springs last month. My friend Becky had asked if I wanted to go up sometime while it was still cold. Having never been, I was up for the adventure. Lava Hot Springs is a small town in Idaho built around the naturally occurring hot springs. One of the nice things about these springs is that unlike most hot springs, these have no sulfur in them, so you don't smell for days afterwards. The town has a small main street with a few open gift shops, but not much else. They definitely seem to have been affected by the economic downturn. My only complaint about the place would be that finding someone to eat isn't exactly easy.

We stayed at the Riverside Inn which was a nice little bed and breakfast. Only suggestion, ask to not stay in the room right next to the lobby. And just plan that your back is going to hurt from the mattress. But you know, minor details on an adventure.

Most of the hotels have their own little soaking areas, and then there are 2 large city pools, one wasn't open for the winter. Our B&B had 3 indoor tubs, but the thought of sitting inside, in a small room, in the tubs wasn't exactly appealing to either of us. So we opted for the outdoor barrel tub. There was a bit of an adventure involving a hose and trying to cool the water off a bit, but you probably had to be there.

We also limited our water time to night time. We had a lot of fun sitting in the tub under the stars. And I taught Becky the few constellations that I can ever remember. I will note it's kind of hard to point out stars to someone when every time you raise your hand out of the water, all you do is create a large steam cloud blocking any visible stars. There was a lot of head nodding towards them.

To fill up Saturday we went driving around to take photos. Becky asked at the front desk (because I can't do stuff like that) for any suggestions of places to take photos. We got the recommendation for a close by little ghost town. Apparently we missed the turn off for it, because we never did find that road, but I'm glad we didn't, because I really enjoyed what we did find.

Off the side of the road we saw some beautiful orange willows that I wanted to photograph.

Along that road, we passed a group of horses. Becky suggested stopping because she had never photographed horses before. They were very happy to oblige posing for us.

Three of them were pretty friendly, but one in particular took a liking to me. He took a couple minutes to make sure I was ok, and then decided to take a closer inspection. He started by mouthing my camera strap, then my shirt, and then he started breathing in my ear. It was one of those rare moments when you feel like something really cool is happening, but at the same time you feel like you can't move because you're not exactly sure what is going to happen next. I'm not exactly sure what he was so interested in, but he was kind of like a dog trying to get my attention. I of course completely fell in love and really didn't want to leave, even though it was freezing outside! I would love to go back sometime and hopefully be able to visit the horses again. It was a very special and fun moment.

After the horses we continued our drive and ended up in the little town of Grace, ID. Along the way we passed a very small little town that had murals along several of the now closed businesses along the main road. I thought they were pretty cool.

Grace is a small little farming community, which is pretty much all that exists in that part of Idaho.

I just happened to look in the right direction at the right time and see what was one of the oddest things either Becky or I had seen. A very large, wooden pipeline. With some obvious issues made very evident by the freezing temperatures.

Leaks all along the entire pipeline causing ice sculptures. I'm still a little baffled by this pipeline. There seemed to be as much water outside of it, as I assume was in it. I seriously could have just stared at it for a very long time, except for the biting cold wind that sent me rushing back to the car after 2 minutes. Both Beck and I commented that the pictures didn't seem to capture the oddity of the situation. So I'm glad I got to experience it myself.

That night we went to the city pool, I didn't take a camera, but you can see pictures on their website. I'm pretty sure I would have no desire to be in 100+ water most of the year, but with snow all around you, it was perfect. And walking back the few blocks to our B&B, dripping wet, in swimming suits and towels, with jackets, the towel freezing to my legs and a lady outside laughing and commenting that we were crazy, was pretty awesome, but sadly not photographed.