Daily Archives: June 1, 2015

Verde Hot Springs, Part 3 – May 8-11

  
The next day, most of the people around headed out by late morning-early afternoon. We just hung out for a bit talking with people. 

   

We decided to walk around the closed Childs Power Plant. The building itself is locked up tight, but the fence around it had a number of holes in it. 

  
There was a very large pipe that had a tremendous amount of scale built up inside it. 

  

And we found this plaque. 

  
Once most everyone had left, we went back out to the Hot Springs.  We took the riverside route this time. It required scrambling over a rocky steep bit. We still went upstream of the Hot Springs to cross the river. 

   

When we arrived, there were just a few people there and they were all in the process of leaving. It was really nice having the place all to ourselves.

   

By the time we got back, a number of new campers had arrived. We took a walk around to meet them. We met a couple of guys that turned out to be math teachers in middle and high school. Jon and I talked about how much we use math, especially geometry in our activities. For Jon, it is mostly related to building things. For me, it is mostly craft related. Almost every quilt project I’ve ever done has required a large number of calculations. 

   

After this, I headed back to the camper to work on dinner while Jon walked around talking to people. We had a nice dinner and headed to bed pretty early. I can’t say it was a quiet night. 

   

Around 3:00, we woke up to loud music. It seems like in most of these cases, it is caused by a number of drunk people who are often pretty belligerent. I always bring ear plugs for this very reason. 

The next morning, we packed up. We walked around and talked to a few of the neighbors. We talked with a nice young couple that had a five month old German Shepherd puppy. He was adorable. 

   

It hasn’t rained during the last two days, so the roads should be fine. The rain the first night had made the ground around our back wheels really soft. 

  

We did a little digging and had not yet gotten free. A really nice guy offered to get his pickup truck to give us a tug. 
   

  
We didn’t have any problems on the road out. Everything had dried out and the road was just fine. 

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Verde Hot Springs, Part 2 – May 8-11

  

The next morning, we dried things off a little better inside. Jon hung up a clothes line to hang the wet towels on. Never underestimate the importance of having some clothes pins and rope as part of your equipment (and old towels). 

 
Jon removed the brush bar. I scraped off the old sealant, coatings, etc. Jon was on the roof preparing the surface to be able to reapply the brush bar. 

We wanted to finish this up before heading out to the Hot Springs, especially considering it might rain again. 
While working on the Big Foot camper, a guy from AZ drove up in his pick up truck. He asked us about the camper and we talked for almost the entire time we were working on the vehicle. Once we were finished and about to head to the Hot Springs, he decided he didn’t really want to go and drove away. 
A big van containing numerous college-aged young men arrived while we were talking. They all headed to the Hot a Springs. About an hour later, they all walked back and drove away. 

  

The start of the trail to the Hot Springs. 
The trail is about a mile and a bit. We took the high route which is longer & more exposed (hot). You have to cross the river to reach the Hot Springs. The place we chose to cross was about mid-thigh deep on me. I took off my shoes to keep them dry, but I tripped on a rock and dunked them in the river anyway. 

  

Looking upstream near where we crossed the river

From there, we walked another quarter mile to reach the Hot Springs. 

  
The Verde Hot Springs were once part of a fancy hotel & resort. It burned down about 50 years ago. All that is left is the foundation which includes two hot spring pools and a concrete deck overlooking the river.  

  

One pool is large, very deep and warm. The other pool is in the stone building. It is much smaller and quiet a bit warmer. 

  

As you can tell, there has been a lot of creative expression. 

  

   
 
The Hot Springs have a great view of the river. 

  
– photo of river before Hot Springs. 
When we arrived, there were lots of people there. 

 

And more were arriving. 

It is possible to cross the river at the Hot Springs, but the water is much deeper. 

    Note the guy in white crossing the river. 

We stayed until we started to get all pruney and hungry. When we got back, there had been quite a change in the people at the campground. A number of groups had left and others had taken their place. 

A nice couple originally from El Paso had set up camp next to us. We talked to them for a bit and offered them a few drinks. They really appreciated the cold drinks and suggested that we come by to share in their dinner later. 

After taking a break, we went out to talk with the neighbors. Mike had suggested we come by for dinner since he was sure that he would have a lot more food than his family could eat. Well, he was right. He had fried up cod and hush puppies. His family had already finished eating, so we talked with him and his wife and ate fried fish. The food really was great. 

We later dropped by our new neighbors and had a little grilled steak and tortillas. That was really fabulous too.  We talked with them until it was really late and much past time for bed.  

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Ultimate US Public Campground Project App

Jon and I use this app to help find most of our campsites when we are in the U.S.  It lists most of the places to camp on public lands. Some are really out of the way places to camp and others may be at a city park in town. This includes dispersed camping, municipal sites, Corp of Engineers dam areas, military bases, and state & city campgrounds. 

The app downloads the basic information on your phone so even if you don’t have cell coverage, the basic information is still accessible. 

Ultimate Campground

Some of the campsites are free, especially the ones that are dispersed camping in BLM land. Even the ones that do charge are usually less expensive than commercial campgrounds especially if you have a Federal Access pass. Some places may also require paying for an entrance or day use fee in addition to the campsite. That is especially true in some state parks including ones in Texas and Colorado. 

Please note that some of the campsites require a high clearance or even 4 wheel drive vehicle to reach them, especially those in BLM or Forest Service land. 

As usual, I wouldn’t recommend that you base all of your plans only on this reference since district policies and prices do change on occasion. You may also want to bring small bills since you often are unable to pay with a credit card or get change. 

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