Wednesday, November 18, 2009

A Hot Spring Fall

I am so lucky to be in Oregon. Ocean coast, rivers, city, waterfalls, desert and of course, mountains. With these mountains comes hot springs. Oh hot springs. They are way more than just a glorified wooden bathtub. The springs are formed from geothermal activity beneath the ground where hot core/magma sneaks up lil' cracks. This heats the water above and causes some steam. This has definitely been the season for some hot spring action. Maybe it's the change into rainy season. Maybe it's boredom with city-life. Maybe it's my craving for nature's bounty. Maybe it's that I hate taking showers.

Last night Kris and I got ants in our pants and wanted to get out of town for a few hours. So we jumped in the car, drove 90 minutes, and found ourselves in our first snowfall experience of the season. After a beautiful, starry sky drive, we park and hike an easy 1.5 miles in slushy yet well-maintained trails, with a visibility of 10 yards in front of us with headlamps.

It's 12am. No one is there. Silent. Only the sounds of water rushing through the narrow creek. I unplug the hot water spout and start fillin the hollowed out log. Kris runs back and forth about 40 feet filliing up buckets of ice cold mountain water and dumping them in the hot tub. I light 10 tea lights and my favorite fall spice candle. Crack the beer and gaze up into the snowy sky until sleepy eyes cloud my vision...


Then hike back and drive home. Glad I didn't have to drive. But I did do the "I'm a great co-pilot," totally "awake" eyes rolled in the back of my head...


So what's the big deal with hot springs? Hydrotherapy is one of the most powerful tools for wellness. I've mentioned ideas such as foot baths and warming socks in previous blogs, but hot springs are even better. The emersion into the hot, alkaline water allows for muscular relaxation, joint laxity, increased blood circulation, immune system stimulation, decreased inflammation, and detoxification. Water from these areas have high levels of minerals such as calcium, potassium, radon and sulfur all having an effect on heart, nerve and brain function. These minerals are also a smoothing exfoliant and nutritive to the skin.


Always try to rinse or rub down with cold water afterwards (if you can) to enhance it's cirulatory effects. Get up slowly so you don't faint. DRINK LOTS OF WATER BEFORE, DURING & AFTER. Do not stay in longer than 20 minutes if you have hypertension, heart problems, diabetes or are taking pharmaceuticals that could screw you up even more. And of course, don't get too wasted cuz you'll probably pass out and not be able to hike and drive back. Don't do it. And you pregos- just avoid it all together.

I guess you can hard boil eggs there too. Kris says it adds a really nice sulfur taste. As if they didn't smell bad enough?

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