Wednesday, March 7, 2012

California Hot Springs

The Hot Springs that we visited in Cali deserve a blog of there own.  We visited 4 different springs while driving along route 395.
Hilltop was as the name implies, on top of a little hill, looking out over the mountains from the flat valley, this tub had a little valve on the side so you could adjust the temperature of the water, very nice indeed!  We stayed here for 5 days while we were touring in the Mammoth Lakes, and Bishop region.  One night we went across the way from Hilltop and found Wild Billy's springs, this was a very large pool, and although we had it to ourselves for awhile a group of 15 people (ski and race coaches from the local mountain) ended up joining us, so we didn't stay very long.

Further north, we traveled along a snowy dirt road to the Buckeye springs, where you can see in the pictures, the hot water flowed off of the steep incline and into the riverside pools.  We camped here and spent the day in the sunshine birding and playing games.  The next day a young couple from Berkeley walked up to our camp as we were putting our tire chains on (so that we would be able to get back out to the road) and asked us to help them with their car that was stuck in the snow.  We were able to push them out very quickly, as they were only stuck in 2 inches, we realized once again that having  grown up in New England, we are lucky to have the skills of winter driving!  However, we still had a tough time getting back out to the main road because parts of the dirt road had warmed up and turned into a large mud-pit, the van got a mud bath that day.

The last springs, and the most geologically beautiful and mystifying, was Travertine.  Here there were large (10 foot plus) fins of rock and at the top of them the hot water bubbled out, the water then ran along to top of the fin to the downhill end, where it fell into the pools.  This was indeed my (Hannah's) favorite springs. 

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