On Scene: Natural wonders
February 1, 2008
After living in Steamboat Springs for a little more than five months, I finally have time to do some of the things people come to Steamboat to do.
Which is how on Monday night, I ended up in a car with five other people, on the way to Strawberry Park Hot Springs in gusty snow.
This is something I had been meaning to do since I found out there were natural hot tubs nestled in the woods outside of town. And it’s something I had written off when I realized the gates to the springs closed before I finished work most nights, and that by that time, the pools were usually crowded with unloaded tour buses.
Headed down the path at the Strawberry Park site, the hot springs don’t look so peachy. You’ve just been warned by the gate keeper that he’s tired of having people leave the pools with stitches from running into broken glass. According to the same lecture, there is a 150 percent chance you will slip on the algae covering the pool steps and crack your skull open.
At the very least, the five minutes you spend between getting out of the water and getting fully clothed are going to be bone-chillingly, hair-freezingly cold.
Of course, getting into the hot springs is not nearly that perilous, and the water temperature leaves a solid grace period of warmth that is plenty long to throw on a sweatshirt and pants.
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On Monday night, the pools weren’t crowded, and the hot springs became easily the most relaxing Steamboat-specific activity I’ve found so far. Really, anything that involves nature still makes a strong impression on me (being from Greensboro, N.C., a city that is a suburb of itself).
And the more I’m exposed to experiences like the hot springs, the more I understand how people get hooked on this place. It’s been worth it to take some time to do those things, even if that means taking some time off from having two jobs (and financial stability).
Sure, having nights and weekends off can’t be a regular thing if I’m planning to stay here for longer than, oh, another couple of weeks. But it’s nice while it lasts.
– Margaret Hair, 4 Points