We had a little delay this morning going to the Orient Land Trust to visit the Valley View Hot Springs. Shortly after leaving the Bonanza Inn, we got a flat tire. We put the donut on and took an out of the way detour into Salida. We found a Big O Tires, but they were unable to repair the tire, which had a screw in it, and it took quite a while to get it replaced.
Finally arriving at the Valley View Hot Springs in the late afternoon, we paid our $13/person entrance fees and set out for the hot spring furthest up the mountain. It was a good steep trek and it is probably a good thing we didn’t have any senior citizens with us. We were passed up by a buck naked young couple-quite the voyeur’s paradise for some, as practically everyone preferred to experience the hot springs in the nude.
We made it to the top and it was a dream come true-sitting in a hot spring atop a mountain, peaceful and serene, with a beautiful valley below, cascading hot spring waterfalls, more mountains in the distance, the shade of a tree-it was perfection itself. We took our time going back down the mountain-stopping at each and every hot spring. They would get progressively warmer the further down the mountain we went. The top one was more luke warm as it mixes with the most rain water and snow from the top of the mountain.
We saw a friendly deer that stood nibbling shrubs bravely close to where the hot spring goers bathed. At the bottom of the mountain there was a mineral water jacuzzi and 8′ deep swimming pool also filled with water from the hot spring. It was great to swim without chlorine. We also used the sauna for a little while. As it began to get dark, a drum circle was heard through the trees of some nearby campers. It was just the neatest place and the people there were friendly and refreshingly different. They spoke of growing their own food, traveling, inner journeys, and the things they have found and the things they still seek.