Tuesday, June 16, 2009

In Hot Water

We visited four hot springs in Colorado. We made reservations and tent camped at Orvis Hot Springs to make the trip to Buena Vista more enjoyable. In my opinion, Orvis is the grand daddy of commercial springs. Facilities, service and landscaping are excellent.

Someone suggested the six of us stop by Mt. Princeton Hot Springs after exploring St. Elmo ghost town. Mt Princeton is simply two large swimming pools void of beauty and serenity. The best part of the experience was talking with a couple from New Mexico.

On one evening four of us chose to visit Cottonwood Hot Springs. This spring has several pools constructed of stone with landscaping and a rustic look. I preferred Cottonwood over Mt. Princeton. A group of kayakers from North Carolina arrived. More enjoyable conversation.

As an impulse decision on our return trip we decided to take a break at Rico Hot Spring. We had been to Rico once before but on that occasion a gentleman had just cleaned the tub and was refilling it. After a short conversation we continued on our way and left him to his work. But, this time we had the place to ourselves.

I like Rico because it's more natural, somewhat remote, sits beside the Dolores River and is peaceful. The water has a slight odor of sulphur and is murky. It's interesting to step into water when the bottom isn't visible. Will it be slick, mucky or littered with something? I touched something that felt like cloth on one side of the tub. Jokingly I told Julie I wasn't going to investigate further in case it was clothing with a body inside.

We listened to the sounds of the river and breeze, watched Magpies in the trees across the river and talked softly. There's something extremely peaceful about remote springs. We had an enjoyable time.

Rico Hot Spring.
The main source of Rico Hot Spring. (Larger version)

Bubbling hot water at Rico.
Bubbling hot water. I was curious about the temperature but chose not to put a hand in the water. (Larger version)

The tub at Rico.
The fiberglass soaking tub. Water is piped from the source and has cooled to about 100 degrees. A stone tub with flat stone around it would be more natural but the atmosphere is relaxing which is more important to me. (Larger version)

The Dolores River at Rico.
The tub sits on the banks of the Dolores River. (Larger version)


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