Chasing Hot Springs in Colorado - page 2
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Chasing Hot Springs in Colorado - page 2
Text by Meeta Gajjar Parker
Photography by Francis and Meeta Parker

Driving a total of 875 miles during our five day visit, we pass tall pine wood forests, Indian tepees, dramatic mountains, dazzling peaks and valleys as we make our way high up into the mountains. Passing through ghost towns, ancient ruins, and alpine tundra, we drive along noticing some of the oldest trains in the west. Going from the 85 degree heat we head right into the bitter cold, snow and ice, until finally reaching the continental divide.

It is thrilling to see the actual sign telling us we are at Independence Pass at an elevation of 12,095 feet. Exiting the car, we walk around taking pictures. It is dramatically beautiful. Making our way to Glenwood Hot Spring, right before entering the pool area, we drive into a park that is offering a gondola ride up the mountain. Who could resist? It is well worth the entrance fee to see the immense awe inspiring beauty from above the mountains, looking down.

Glenwood Hot Springs pool is very nice. It is designed like a large swimming pool, very simple, but we still like it here. The atmosphere is friendly and the water is hot on the end where it is being channeled in. It is a flow-through style pool, which rates very high with us, and it seems mildly chlorinated. There is a side of the pool that is cooler. Getting comfortable on the hotter side, we try to sweat the toxins out of our bodies. A refreshing cold bottle of mineral water helps replenish the fluids we have lost and feels soothing, as it passes through our overheated bodies. The actual minerals in different hot springs vary from spring to spring and are believed to cure different ailments. The four most abundant minerals in this hot spring are: Sodium Chloride, Potassium Sulfate, Calcium Sulfate, and Calcium Bicarbonate which all have healing properties.

Strawberry Hot Spring is in a totally different direction from which we drove on the other days. Driving far through windy road conditions, taking many hair pin turns to get here, we pay and go in. This is an extremely impressive hot spring. Set in the midst of a pine forest, high up in the mountains, we actually walk down into the area where four medium sized lagoon style hot lakes await. These pristine pools overflow into each other, making some cooler and creating mini waterfalls in others. There are steps in between pools to easily access different pools from
wherever we happen to wind up. Strawberry Hot Spring attracts all kinds of people. There are motorcyclists who are just coming through the area, locals and people like us from the other side of the country or perhaps the world. What a wonderful afternoon soaking in these springs.

This is our last morning and we are up at four am, eat breakfast in our room and check out. We drive up to Mount Evans before flying home. Mt. Evans is the highest paved road in North America. I try not to hyperventilate as we drive higher and higher. I am not enjoying the drive up, but I love getting to the top. On our way up, we pass deer and dramatic scenery. The picturesque lakes in the mountains, against snow covered slopes and cliffs are breathtaking. It is nine am when we arrive. The guidebooks advise us to arrive early if we want a chance to see the wild mountain goats that live up here. We see entire families. The babies are so adorable, covered in fluffy white fur. Some of the adults are shedding fur which gives them a disheveled look with fur dangling down off their bodies.

Next: Chasing Hot Springs in Colorado - page 3 , Wild Mountain Goats

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