Thursday, August 21, 2014

Day 15 - Goldmyer Hot Springs

Early this morning I mentioned there was an alternate route we could take for the first couple of days which included a hot springs at the end of the day today. I had forgotten about it and only remembered when looking at maps this morning. It sounded like a wonderful way to end the day and Lorna concurred. Decision made. 

So we checked out of the motel at 7:30 this morning and walked under the highway, picking up a backcountry permit for Lorna at the PCT trail head. Our route actually started about a mile and change down the road so we wandered along till we saw the trail head for Snow Lake and turned right. 

My, my, my. There were an amazing amount of people going to Snow Lake on this fine Sunday morning. How many is a lot? After concurring with L I'd say we passed, or were passed, by no fewer than 50 people and probably many more. Snow Lake is beautiful and all but sheesh. 
Once we broke loose from the streaming masses and turned right instead of left at the junction to Gem Lake we were mostly on our own. What a relief! Little did I know we had a challenging trail ahead of us this afternoon. 

For the next 4-5 miles we walked on poor trail - rocky, slippery, slanted and steep. Really steep. What to do? We didn't want to go back but at various  times of the day one or another of us would say "at least it's not raining" or "I sure hope they have room for us at the hot springs."

Because there was so much moss and other green stuff on everything, including the rocks, I slipped and fell three times today, mostly landing on my pack which doesn't hurt anything but my pride. On number three I wasn't quite so lucky and landed on one of my oh-so-sore shoulders, making it guaranteed to be much more sore than usual. Oh well...

We finally came down to a flattish spot and turned right, heading towards Thunder Creek and Goldmyer Hot Springs, two miles away. Finally after fording Thunder Creek by water (L walked on a big log)
and Burnboot Creek  by logs (no other choice)
we arrived at the junction to the hot springs. 

A quick right turn and we arrived at the cabin where the caretakers live
where we paid our $5 to camp and $15 to soak. Off we went off to set up camp 
and have dinner. Once the chores of the day were completed we took off for the hot springs, 3/4 of a mile upstream. I wasn't sure about the whole idea til we arrived, hot, sweaty and tired. OMG!
The lower pool you see to the right is about 100 degrees, the pool above is closer to 103 and the one above, which is coming out of a cave, is at least 106 or so. THE BEST EVER! We soaked, stretched and grinned for an hour before we had to leave as it was getting twilightish and the trail up to the spring was steep. 
Bathing beauty

Power massage. 
I usually like to start my hiking day super early but tomorrow? No way. We'll be in the hot springs till we are so limber we won't be able to walk. YES. 

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