Since the chickie-babe has started school, the frequent hikes of summer are distant (and very fond) memories. Today was a great flashback. We awoke to unseasonably dry weather and the girl expressed a desire to get out of the house and into the great outdoors. She opened the hikling guidebook and suggested Bagby Hot Springs. Knowing nothing at all about it, I grunted, scratched myself, and assented.
The drive was farther than we expected, much of it was along the Clackamas River. This reminded me of the camping in Idaho that I enjoyed so much; vertical rocky cliffs, fast moving and crystal clear water. We saw several kayakers parked on the side of the road and putting into the river, playing in the rapids and the large standing waves. I only envied them a little, the water had to be bitter cold.
We turned onto numbered National Forest roads and forged ahead. Eventually we found the trailhead and started the 2 mile hike back to the springs, through redwoods, lichen, ferns and mushrooms. The trail is maintained by volunteers and features some stunning bridges.
Finally we got to the tubs. Although there were more people than we expected, we managed to find a tub to ourselves. The sign says the water comes out of the mountain at 58 C, and I believe it. I basked like a lobster (and about as red) for several minutes while I added cold water to the tub to bring things down to a manageable level. Despite it being about 2 C outside, the tub was delightful, and the view and setting was blissful. We soaked it in, recharging batteries.
It takes a while to get to the springs, but I’ll definitely do it again. I bet it would be amazing when the snows hit.