Monday, August 30, 2010

Bagby Hot Springs

Ok, for real this time.

Today Kelly and I headed out to Bagby Hot Springs. 61.7 miles south east of Oregon City on HWY 224. Sounds close enough? It was not close. It was very very far. 61.7 miles, oh ya, 61.7 miles, that's like an hour, right? Maybe it is on the 205- but when you are winding through the national forest at 15 miles per hour it's more like 3 hours. And then you have to hike in. The hike was lovely, 1.5 miles, manicured path, no hills. It was more like a stroll along a creek.

The hot springs themselves were an experience I had not prepared myself for. Built in the 80's, they consisted of hollowed out trees that served as bathing tuns, some private, some not. We started off each in our own private tub room. Pull the stick out of the plug, fill the tub. The water was insanely hot, i'm sure somewhere in the neighborhood of 1000 degrees ( fahrenheit). You were provided with your own personal 10 gallon bucket to carry cold water from spring to cool the tub, just down the flight of stairs and to the left. I think i made 8 trips.

That's my bucket!

On the walls were etched and written all of the names of the couples who had, um, well, "enjoyed" the private tub before I had gotten there. A small squirrel ran through several times. It was really nice to lay back in the hot water and have the canopy of trees above you. But it was really hot. And kinda gross. We moved down to the communal tubs after this and shared a large round one, no pics here, there were lots of naked people.

Relaxing on the benches after all the soaking may have been the best part. Looking up at the trees, cooling off after boiling ourselves. The hike out was just as long as the one in but somehow the drive home was shorter. Maybe because we knew where we were going.

Bottom line, would I ever make this a day trip again? No.

Would I go back if we had planned ahead, knew where we were going, brought lots of food, and added the hot springs as one activity on a longer camping trip in the national forest? Yes. That sounds awesome.  

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