Natural Hot Springs Adventure

IMG_6311Here’s a post I wrote a while ago about an unexpected experience at a river’s edge where there was a natural hot spring. I think next time I’ll spend the $6.00. I’ll miss the naked guy, but I’ll appreciate a shower and a nice place to change. Take care! – Lori

“If you want to save some money, there is a natural hot spring down by the river’s edge. It’s beautiful and hardly anyone ever goes down there. Just follow the second logging road in through the trees. You’ll find it.”

The woman at the tourist information centre made it sound like paradise: towering cedars, clear water, and bubbling hot springs. And all for free. Who could resist? And, really, why would you want to?

Listen to me read this post:

IMG_6303

She was right. It wasn’t hard to find. The logging road was well used and, although deeply rutted here and there, quite comfortably passable until we got to the spot where a tree had fallen across the road. A vehicle was already stopped at the tree because there was no way around the tree. Three people were working away to move the barrier. With our muscle added to the effort, the very heavy tree was rolled off the roadway.

We drove a bit farther and finally a little orange sign nailed to a massive tree trunk along the road indicated that this was where to get out and start walking.

The first path was wide and with many twists and turns, and it ended up at a large wooden tub that someone had built by hand. A green garden hose ran into the huge vat from an unseen source. The big wooden tub was full to the brim with steaming water. I stuck my finger in, pulled it out with lightning speed and thought, “If I had 4000 potatoes I needed to boil almost instantly, this set up would be perfect!”

IMG_0905

From where we stood next to the deathtrap hot tub, I could hear   water moving swiftly over rocks. We followed a narrower path around a bend and for a few metres before the river came into view.

There, at water’s edge, someone had painstakingly constructed a piled-stone wall enclosing a little hot pool area six by eight feet or so. A dirty and tattered blue plastic tarp also helped to dam up the separate pool. It wasn’t pretty, but it worked.

Inside that roughly walled off section near the river’s shore, the water was still. Another green garden hose stuck out of the rocks that lined the riverbank. From this flowed more of the potato-boiling hot water I was telling you about. This hot water poured out of the garden hose and splashed into the cold water of the Arrow Lakes chain. Where hot and cold met in the rock pool, the water was pleasantly warm.

DIGITAL CAMERA
A forest path.

We stripped down to our swimming suits, left our clothes on a rock and gingerly stepped in. Not bad. We hadn’t been in there long before someone emerged from the trees on that narrow path. In one hand he held a paperback novel and in the other, half a bottle of red wine. We greeted him. He quietly answered in French and smiled, the light brightening his dreadlocks as he moved out of the shade and into the sun closer to the water’s edge.

Then I watched in fascination as this young man set down his book and his bottle on a flat rock, and proceeded to remove every stitch of clothing. I knew I should look away but this was way too good to believe!

I assumed he was a tree planter, planting new trees in the forests that had been logged. Naked as the day he was born, he scooped up the novel and his wine, and sat down on a boulder. There he read and drank and let his toes dangle in the hot water. From where I sat, I couldn’t argue that he seemed right at home and I envied, just a little, this young stranger’s comfort with himself and the world.

IMG_0104

Although I admired his youth and sense of freedom, I decided to leave some of my own clothes on that afternoon because I no longer share his youth and I’ve never quite been that free. Still, the tree planter made the experience of the natural hot springs just a little more natural, and that was great!

Thanks for reading. Have a great new week! – Lori

 

 

 

 

My Summer – A Photo Blog

Hello everyone! This has been far and away the laziest, least productive summer I’ve had in years. It’s been delicious! Early on in the season, we traveled to Mexico twice. The first time was to Puerto Vallarta where we stayed right downtown. We made this decision based on the fact that whenever we go to that Vallarta area, we end up hopping on a bus and trying to get downtown. It took us several visits to realize that we could just stay downtown…

When we returned home, we discovered that the neighbour’s cat, George, had gone missing. I’m still sad! George treated us like family and really liked to “help” me out around the yard.

After being home for two weeks, we headed off to San Jose del Cabo. This is a trip we’d scheduled earlier in the year with my brother and sister-in-law. We loved exploring a new part of Mexico.

Don’t look too closely at any of the photos of me or you’ll soon notice that I wear the same clothes over and over again. I pack very lightly when we travel so clothing repeats are nearly impossible to avoid. If it’s a good traveling outfit, you’ll see it again and again!

We spent a lot of July at home doing some projects and just enjoying life. At the end of July we headed out to British Columbia where we visited my dad for his birthday and stayed in our first B&B.

From BC, we drove down into Washington and flew from Seattle to Las Vegas where we had discounted rooms for the small price of attending a two-hour time share presentation. No. We did not buy a time share, but I did enjoy the room. I also enjoyed meeting the showgirls on Freemont Street in downtown Vegas.

We traveled back through Washington and up to BC, seeing Dad again on the way back. After leaving BC and returning to Alberta, we also had a chance to visit a place I’ve wanted to see forever: the Historic Bar U Ranch in southern Alberta.

When we got home from this jaunt, I spent a little time buidling a WordPress website for our local historical society. It would be great if you’d check it out and consider giving us a follow there.

Thanks for joining me on this short journey down a very recent memory lane! It was nice to remember it with someone. Have a great weekend, as lazy or productive as you want it to be.

~ Lori

To B&B or Not to B&B

If that’s your question, then this article might help you to decide if staying at a bed & breakfast is right for you.

20190727_141323
The view from the lower deck at The White Horse Bed & Breakfast.

On our recent vacation through southern British Columbia and then down into Washington, we spent two nights in a lovely bed & breakfast in Osoyoos, BC, situated right on the border between Canada and the United States.

The White Horse Bed & Breakfast is positioned above the Osoyoos town site and offers stunning views of the valley and lake. There are three guest rooms downstairs: The Prairie Room, The Northern Room, and The Wine Room. We stayed in The Wine Room. Our hosts, Ron and Darlene, made us feel welcome and both mornings, Ron prepared a full, two-course breakfast at the dining room table located just off their top deck and with views overlooking Osoyoos. Delicious and beautiful!

Our hosts, although new to the bed & breakfast business, ran the B&B smoothly and professionally. Both seemed relaxed and genuinely happy to have all of us strangers sleeping in their basement and eating their food. Ron and Darlene are great people, and I admire their adventurous attitude and their business-savvy.

20190727_105542 (1)
Me on the Osoyoos Desert Walk.

At breakfast on the morning of our second night there, a fellow guest asked a good (but rhetorical) question: If you can stay in a place like this, why would you ever stay in a hotel? Immediately and silently, I began compiling my reasons. I’ll share these with you now.

A Stranger’s Home

For me, there was no way to feel completely at ease in someone else’s home. We whispered and tip-toed around so as not to disturb the owners or other guests. When in the common areas, the spacious TV room with wet bar and fridge and the lower deck, I was always on edge, nervous that someone would walk in and join us. I’m an outgoing and friendly person, perhaps a bit above average in this respect. And yet I felt I had to brace myself to meet someone new around every corner. At the bed & breakfast, I could never fully relax.

At a hotel, I pay for the service of staying there and then do whatever the heck I want. I’m quiet and courteous but I am also relaxed. I’m not worried that other guests will be disturbed by my presence in this big hotel. If I see other hotel guests in the hallways, elevator, or common areas, I can greet them or not. Friendliness is optional. I don’t have to be “on” all the time. I can lock that heavy door and fully enjoy the privacy I paid for.

Schedule

Breakfast was at 8:30 every morning. This was necessary, of course, as it’s a sit-down affair with all guests (usually six) seated around a formally-set table. Everyone is fed at one time.

I felt really hemmed in by this set breakfast time. Not because this time is unreasonable or unusual, but because I’m used to staying in hotels where breakfast is often available for several hours and I can eat whenever I want or not at all, which is also a nice option. At a hotel, no one is waiting for me to come to breakfast and wondering where I am if I don’t show.

At a hotel, I eat as little or as much as I want to. No one dishes me up and I clean up my own mess when I’m done eating. I’m most comfortable with this arrangement.

20190727_105950 (1)
A selfie in the desert heat.

Anonymity

At a hotel, no one cares about my life. I like that. Pleasantries and credit card information is exchanged at check in. New arrivals are told about the pool, the breakfast, and about check out time. That’s it and that’s enough. No one asks where you live or about your family or about where you’re headed next. No one cares and that’s fabulous.

At a B&B, especially around the breakfast table, there’s a mild expectation that guests will introduce themselves to other guests and share a bit about themselves. Sometimes I don’t want to share. I’m barely interested in myself. Why would I expect anyone else to be interested?

Sometimes I want to eat with my life partner without sharing a table with four total strangers. This shared breakfast experience was a little more than awkward both mornings. The other guests were all great, easy conversationalists with good-humoured dispositions. Yet I dreaded those morning meet and greets. The pressure of meeting strangers for a formal breakfast was anxiety inducing and is probably the biggest reason I didn’t enjoy the B&B experience.

20190727_105800
The Sonora Desert. There is a beautiful lake in Osoyoos. We never photographed it.

A Very Nice B&B

If you enjoy meeting new people and exchanging stories, a bed and breakfast is probably a great choice for you. I think The White Horse is a good B&B for those who like staying at B&Bs. The rooms are large and luxuriously appointed. Each guestroom has its own bathroom complete with bathrobes. Tea and coffee are available at the wet bar in the common area at all times, and in the evening, Ron brings down snacks for the guests. How nice is that?

I’m always learning new things about myself and my first B&B visit taught me that I’m a more private person than I thought. I enjoy my own space and I enjoy not feeling like I’m staying in my parents’ basement. I want to feel free to come and go and eat when I like. Above all, I want to be free and I guess that’s why a B&B is not for me.

Thanks for being with me today. I hope this piece gave you some insight in the B&B experience. If you haven’t tried one, definitely do! B&Bs may be just what you’re looking for and leave you wondering why you ever stayed in hotels at all. Until next time, take care.

Cheers!

Lori

Natural Hot Springs Adventure

IMG_6311“If you want to save some money, there is a natural hot spring down by the river’s edge. It’s beautiful and hardly anyone ever goes down there. Just follow the second logging road in through the trees. You’ll find it.”

The woman at the tourist information centre made it sound like paradise: towering cedars, clear water, and bubbling hot springs. And all for free. Who could resist? And, really, why would you want to?

Listen to me read this post:

IMG_6303

She was right. It wasn’t hard to find. The logging road was well used and, although deeply rutted here and there, quite comfortably passable until we got to the spot where a tree had fallen across the road. A vehicle was already stopped at the tree because there was no way around the tree. Three people were working away to move the barrier. With our muscle added to the effort, the very heavy tree was rolled off the roadway.

We drove a bit farther and finally a little orange sign nailed to a massive tree trunk along the road indicated that this was where to get out and start walking.

The first path was wide and with many twists and turns, and it ended up at a large wooden tub that someone had built by hand. A green garden hose ran into the huge vat from an unseen source. The big wooden tub was full to the brim with steaming water. I stuck my finger in, pulled it out with lightning speed and thought, “If I had 4000 potatoes I needed to boil almost instantly, this set up would be perfect!”

IMG_0905

From where we stood next to the deathtrap hot tub, I could hear   water moving swiftly over rocks. We followed a narrower path around a bend and for a few metres before the river came into view.

There, at water’s edge, someone had painstakingly constructed a piled-stone wall enclosing a little hot pool area six by eight feet or so. A dirty and tattered blue plastic tarp also helped to dam up the separate pool. It wasn’t pretty, but it worked.

Inside that roughly walled off section near the river’s shore, the water was still. Another green garden hose stuck out of the rocks that lined the riverbank. From this flowed more of the potato-boiling hot water I was telling you about. This hot water poured out of the garden hose and splashed into the cold water of the Arrow Lakes chain. Where hot and cold met in the rock pool, the water was pleasantly warm.

DIGITAL CAMERA
A forest path.

We stripped down to our swimming suits, left our clothes on a rock and gingerly stepped in. Not bad. We hadn’t been in there long before someone emerged from the trees on that narrow path. In one hand he held a paperback novel and in the other, half a bottle of red wine. We greeted him. He quietly answered in French and smiled, the light brightening his dreadlocks as he moved out of the shade and into the sun closer to the water’s edge.

Then I watched in fascination as this young man set down his book and his bottle on a flat rock, and proceeded to remove every stitch of clothing. I knew I should look away but this was way too good to believe!

I assumed he was a tree planter, planting new trees in the forests that had been logged. Naked as the day he was born, he scooped up the novel and his wine, and sat down on a boulder. There he read and drank and let his toes dangle in the hot water. From where I sat, I couldn’t argue that he seemed right at home and I envied, just a little, this young stranger’s comfort with himself and the world.

IMG_0104

Although I admired his youth and sense of freedom, I decided to leave some of my own clothes on that afternoon because I no longer share his youth and I’ve never quite been that free. Still, the tree planter made the experience of the natural hot springs just a little more natural, and that was great!