Boiling River Hot Springs & More
- If you got to this post from the Favorite Blogs and don't know how we got Yellowstone, read this first.
- ...though we did play it safe and bought a single, individually wrapped roll of TP yesterday at the Mammoth store. Someone saw my purchase and said, "you came all this way to buy toilet paper?" She thought I was desperate. Of course I was laughing inside...
- I would be honored if you took some time from your busy life to read about my Daddy.
- The fellow Sportsmobile forum member and his family we met last night as we drove through the campground.
- Be like us and do spontaneous excursions. But don't be like us: do as much research as possible before you lose cell service. Then you won't miss exceptionally cool stuff if your friends don't invite you...
- Even though it's been 17 months post-op, I'm still vulnerable as it takes 24 months to fully heal / the graft to revascularize.
- Update (Aug 14, 2020): Thank goodness we respect these animals, unlike some people who don't have a brain. Or pants...
So here we are, our second full day in Yellowstone1, and the entire Bay Area is in lockdown. The situation in Italy is extremely scary, with high death rates and just under 28,000 cases and counting. All the major ski areas in North America shut down as of yesterday. Suddenly, there is now a deadly disease potentially looming in our own backyard, which means back at home and in Montana Thank goodness we are somewhat away from the masses.
We are practicing social distancing (which is what I do anyways 😆) to the nth degree. It's absolutely surreal being here, where we're safe, warm and comfortable in Beastie, with all our needs met and an adequate TP supply2, all while seeing through the news how the whole world is going to sh*t.
To be this fortunate during this time is really strange and foreign, especially being the daughter of a dirt poor immigrant. My father lived in abject poverty when he came to this country as an 11-yr-old3, and here I am. So humbling.
One of our friends / neighbor, who suddenly lost her active, young, healthy husband four years ago, saw the images from yesterday and said, “Now that’s living.” I really appreciated her words, because we are indeed living an amazing life, and we are bursting with gratitude and thanks for all that made it possible for us to be here and live as we do.
The Boiling River Hot Springs are located between the park's entrance and the campground. These hot springs are what we LOVE, and yet, they are so rare to find these days anywhere. This is not a hot spring where hot mineral water is piped into a pool. No, this is a river, where literally boiling water runs together with super cold water coming from the spring melt. Translation: when walking down the river, one leg is burning from scalding hot water, and the other leg, just a couple inches away from the other, is equally painful because the water is super icy cold.
To get to the official entry spot, there is a nice, easy and beautiful less-than-a-mile walk hugging the river.
There are rocky ledges like stairs to navigate the lower elevation / small drop into the river. Getting in is super dicey, as it's all rocky on the bottom. I was scared to death because of my knee, as I'm still not fully healed from my ACL reconstructive surgery6). One slip, and there goes the reconstruction, or, an equally worse nightmare: there goes the ACL on my right knee.
We had to be extremely careful getting in. The bottom is uneven and extremely slippery. It's also difficult see what you're walking on because there's so much steam. There are also people walking in and / or sitting in the water, so you have to dodge them, especially during a pandemic and social distancing.
There's also the crazy phenomenon of one leg burning, the other freezing. You MUST keep moving, otherwise you will get scalded. This is no joke.
The best way, but the most psychologically difficult, is to just submerge oneself and swim down river. But this means you will likely freeze as you're getting in, and we all know how much we hate that experience.
Luckily, we got in safely. Thank goodness 1der let me be Velcro / Cling Wrap on him because of my knee. He was ahead of me, relaying whether our legs were going to boil or freeze, and then steering us appropriately.
We made our way down river and found everyone. They scored the perfect spot, temperature and current-wise. We hung out for nearly two hours and enjoyed every minute of the soak.
Getting out was much easier, as we comfortably swam out as we were used to the water, hot and cold.
We thoroughly enjoyed our time here; definitely want to come back before we leave Yellowstone, and it's a must-do anytime we return.
After the soak, we went back to the Visitors’ Center to use the WiFi, which we discovered was available outside of the closed visitor's center (good tip for y'all!). Thankfully they left it on, just for us! 😁.
Since the visitor's center is closed and pretty much no one is around, we parked to the side and extended the awning so we could hang our wet stuff to dry. For the record, we would NEVER do this under normal circumstances.
Let the lunch entertainment, which was straight out of the Nature Channel, begin...
We first saw the two giant bison as they were crossing the large field in front of the Visitor's Center parking lot. We believe our things flapping in the wind scared it, and we felt so bad disturbing these magnificent creatures, but there was no way we were getting out to remove the bag.7
The bison continued to hang around the Visitors’s Center; I think they’re trying to bond with Beastie. Either that, or they’re trying to get to our toilet paper stash. 😆
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