Hidden hot-springs: Colorado to Kentucky a '87 Toyota 'Le Van'
Updated: Feb 8, 2018
Some of the best things in life are free...
Like waking-up with the sun, falling asleep under a sky full of stars, and steaming hot pools of water begging for you to climb on in.
Nestled in patches of tall grass that fill the valley's indent somewhere around Glenn Springs Colorado lies a delicious natural hot-spring, and a little farther along the path a slightly more questionable hot-spring populated by murky algae.
I decided to ditch my oversized inflatable van bed and spend the entire frigid night in the warmth of the water just in time to catch sunrise. Don't let the photo fool you, this was the hot-spring that never sleeps.
Upon my arrival to the spring, I was warmly welcomed by a scrawny bearded fellow and his dog. He had a great big southern accent and a big ole' toothless grin. He was more or less the current resident of the spring having set-up camp for weeks on end over a near by hill. Charming enough he regaled me with stories from his train hopping routes, long enough for our next guests to arrive. You could hear their voices as they approached, mumbling in Spanish, in walked the three amigos accompanied by a case of bud light. One sat on a plastic chair while the others got in for a soak, they offered beer to everyone over conversations in broken english.
The sun dropped quickly behind the hillside's edge, a thick blanket of darkness filled the valley it became much colder almost instantly, the steam emphasised the outside air.
We were all submerged now in nature's hot-tub, laughing, sharing, and surrendering ourselves to the cold of May's night.
And so the invisible revolving door of visitors continued to ensue. A large bachelor party camping group, three touring members with the dead & company along with three puppies and their cash-out from the food stamp program.
The sun eventually rose revealing a thick frost that covered the ground. Most of us now were outside the water wrapped in blankets, stealing the warmth from the rapidly rising sun. The night flew by being clothe-less in a pool of complete strangers. We left our vulnerabilities on the trail behind us and for the night became the same family cut from different cloths with different nationalities, a mosaic of paths and ambitions. And although we may never meet again, this moment in time that wrinkled the skin on my hands and feet, warmed my heart, and froze the tips of my hair- I will remember.