Driving through Central Oregon late Sunday afternoon, somewhere between Springfield and Sisters, looking for a campground to settle into, when the thought struck me. Maybe there’s a hot springs around here? I fired up the search feature on my amazing Garmin GPS, started typed in “Hot” and up popped Belknap Hot Springs, 12 miles ahead. Oh sure, I thought, no way I could be so lucky. My back was sore from a lot of driving and I sure could use a soak so it was worth venturing off the road to check it out. Maybe they were open on a Sunday? This ain’t Mormon land so the chances were good, if they were still in business. Maybe they had campsites? Is my serendipity such that I could actually soak and stay?
When I pulled in I found it to be big and classy, no run down hick hot springs here. The front desk was like a 3 star hotel and the lady found me the very last RV spot available and she was surprised it was open. They even had two hot pools, one for the general public and one for the RV guests, of which I was suddenly one. After the tepid 99 degrees of Norris (they want the people to stay in longer so they can sell more beer) the 104 did wonders for my back.
So there I was in the canopy of my travel truck with a raging river at my feet writing this post (without internet unfortunately, too far from the main building). I’d had three separate soaks, a good shower, a dinner of cold organic beans with white tuna, and dark chocolate for dessert. Life don’t get much better, I thought…
But wait! The next day I was more direct in pursuing a hot springs to camp out in. I recalled a fine time I had at Miracle Hot Springs a few years back when I had to pick Steph up at the Boise airport. It’s only an hour from the airport and I stayed there the night before. So, I called them from the freeway as I was passing through Boise and they said spots were available. I asked about wifi and the girl said no but their other operation down the road did, so she set me up there. When I arrived I got a nice little spot for $15 and a senior discount all day soak for $6.50. Now here’s the kicker. After setting up camp I came back to the pool to soak and asked about the warmest spot. It turns out the pool is just a large communal warm swimming pool, but it didn’t matter, since they recommended I shoot over to Miracle (just down the road) and get a private room since I was already checked in, and a senior. Really?
Sure enough, for no extra charge I got my own room until 1700 (it was 1530 when I checked in). There was a hose bringing in hot water straight from the springs and before long I had it up around 110° and I was cooking my naked ass off in private. OK, kaboom, it just got way better! Total price for the whole package, including campsite: $21.50.