The trail was a goodly half mile on hardened snow. In most places the snow was crusted enough that we didn't crunch through. A couple of creek crossings later we emerged beside a lovely stream where there used to be a bath house. All that is left now is the concrete foundation and two pools. Apparently there aren't a lot of people who know about this place. It's not in the guidebooks, nor is it described fully on the web, so I have avoided using the names that will cause this post to come up on searches. The locals know about it, and the Russians. And M. She's good at finding hotsprings.
Of the two pools, one was pretty perfect, and the other was cool. Apparently it had been completely cold before Jen and Eugene showed up and put one of the hot hoses in it. We settled into a sunny spot by the creek, having a snack and guzzling some water. Then M and I dropped into the hot water, and Suz took off into the woods. She doesn't like sharing water with strangers.
To me, the best thing about hot springs IS THE STRANGERS. I like the kind of strangers who frequent hotsprings, especially the springs that are somewhat remote. Jen and Eugene told me where they're from, but I've forgotten the town names. I think they were pretty local. I'd say they were in their 20's, young and beautiful. They were surprisingly conscious of the changes that are happening in the world. It makes me smile even now to think of them. She works in retail, selling furniture. He's a carpenter, laid off. He's part of the Russian orthodox church and community, but he knew nothing of the Watchmen or the violence of orthodox Russians against gays. I know he doesn't consider himself one of "the Russians" because of the way he reacted when I said "the Russians are here" (meaning him).
Jen and Eugene see the changes happening in their world, and they are young and flexible enough to adjust their thinking. This could be the first time I've met a girl who says "I LOVE my cell phone" but also "Nobody NEEDS a cell phone." Meanwhile, they were drinking a large bottle of wine and enjoying the day.
We hiked upstream along the creek to take a peek at the upper hotsprings and the resort. There were lots of obstacles in the forest--clearly placed with intent to keep us out by making the way difficult. But we are wiley woodswomen and will not be held back by a few sticks, mudslides, slippery riverbanks. I really didn't notice the big KEEP OUT sign until we were on our way back out--it is green and brown, and blends in nicely with the forest. When we reached the resort clearing there were people in the spring, and people sunning on a grassy slope. We took a look around, and they watched us carefully. I decided not to intrude further. The forest had been full of clues as to their dislike of invaders from that direction. We retraced our steps, stopping on mossy rocks by the creek.
I took a few photographs on our hike out. Jen and Eugene say HI.
|Hotsprings near Detroit
|Jen & Eugene
|Trail to hotsprings