Happy Holidays!

12.27.2005
Season's Greeting Soakers

Well, another year has just about come and gone. Many soaks were had, new friends were made and much was learned about hot springs and the environment.

I think the worst thing that happened (to the environment) this year was the implementation of a new Roadless Rule in May. Read more here >

This new rule has dramatically altered management of roadless areas nationwide. With the new Roadless Rule, the best hope for protection lies within the hands of state governors via non-binding petition-based processes. There is some hope as many conservation and environmental organizations are calling for a rollback to the widely supported 2001 Roadless Rule.

The most positive event, or should I say multiple events, are all related to the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR). Despite dirty tactics, like adding ANWR drilling provisions to budget and defense bills, the wildlife refuge is safe - for now. This was one of the rare times Republicans took a stand against the Bush Administration's destructive policies during a year when drilling seemed imminent.

My best to all of you who tirelessly pick up others trash with a smile on your face.

Happy Holidays!

Juntura Hot Springs in Oregon Revisited!

12.18.2005
Juntura Hot Springs

It has been too long since my last visit to this stellar soak. Albeit; the road (once off the hwy) was pretty icy with a couple inches of snow to boot, and the drive out of the area was somewhat sketchy in a few spots due to rapid snowfall and temps below freezing.

Near Mile Marker 207 on Highway 20 (between Vale and Juntura) is where the shoe tree stands

I would not recommend driving across the semi-frozen river to access the hot springs island - while most of the path was frozen there were wet spots where the ice was broken that clearly revealed water beneath. See picture >

Excellent soaking temperatures

The soaking was awesome! The cold weather has most definitely tempered the usually toasty water; I got consistent 105° readings from different places in the pool. The worst thing about the whole trip (besides all the frozen trash to pick up) was getting out. While we were in the pool ice would form on hair, eyelashes, eyebrows and even skin exposed in the direction of the wind. Soaking in the snow was awesome, but the downside was that it covered everything... no big deal - just made life a little cooler.


Rating: A

Western Oregon Residents - BLM Revises Resource Management Plans

12.13.2005
Western Oregon residents; here's your chance to become involved in public lands management...

The Bureau of Land Management is revising the six western Oregon Resource Management Plans tiered to the Northwest Forest Plan. The revised plans (to be completed in 2008) will address public lands and resources managed by the Salem, Eugene, Roseburg, Medford, and Coos Bay Districts and the Klamath Falls Resource Area of the Lakeview District . The planning area includes approximately 2,550,000 acres of public lands. More>

New Map of Commercial Hot Springs in Idaho Up (Statewide)

12.11.2005
A new interactive map, featuring the entire state of Idaho, has just been implemented in the Idaho commercial hot springs area. This map contains all of the commercial hot springs in Idaho. Click here or on the picture below to view the state map.

Interactive Maps of Commercial Hot Springs in Idaho Added

12.10.2005
Interactive maps of commercial hot springs in Idaho have just been posted to the site. They feature pan, zoom and related establishment information.

Screen Capture

Overview of Taiwan Hot Springs

12.02.2005

Map of Hot Springs in Taiwan

Click on the map above or here to begin the Taiwan Hot Springs Tour


Winter Tools Available on IdahoHotSprings.com

Check out Nationwide winter weather alerts, watches and warnings - as it happens via interactive map!

Screen Capture of the Weather Alert Map



Stop the Biggest Corporate Land Grab in U.S. History



Originally Posted 11.05.05 - Updated 12.02.05

The House of Representatives has passed "mining" language that, if it becomes law, would put hundreds of millions of acres of public lands up for sale. One possible result: the mass exclusion of the public from lands the public now owns -- lands that hosted over 200 million visitors in 2004 for hiking, fishing, hunting, backpacking, birdwatching....

With your help, the Senate can stop this. The Deficit Reduction Act of 2005 (HR4241, aka the budget reconciliation bill) passed the House, but the Senate version does NOT contain the mining language. The differences between the House and Senate versions now have to be reconciled in a conference committee.

Please tell your Senator to tell the Senate conferees on the Budget bill to strip the mining subtitle, and oppose the budget reconciliation bill if it contains the mining language by CLICKING HERE!


Choose Your Gas Provider Wisely *UPDATED*

11.23.2005
[originally posted August 2005]

Purchasing your gas from companies that don't import oil from the Mid East will lower the overall cost of gas - only if done in large numbers!


Companies that import Middle Eastern oil:

Shell............ 205,742,000 barrels
Chevron/Texaco......... 144,332,000 barrels
Exxon/Mobil............... 130,082,000 barrels
Marathon/Speedway... 117,740,000 barrels
Amoco............................62,231,000 barrels

Companies that don't:

Citgo.......................0 barrels
Sunoco...................0 barrels
Conoco...................0 barrels
Sinclair.................0 barrels
BP/Phillips...............0 barrels
Hess................0 barrels
ARC0......................0 barrels

(information from the Dept. of Energy)

If you live in Boise; your best bet is 7-Eleven, Stinker & Smokin Hot Deals gas stations - they server up Citgo and Sinclair gas.

Enough is Enough Idaho - Bad Representation in Need of Correction

Once again, 2 animal fighting bills fail in Idaho; HB 232 and 233, felony cockfighting and dog-fighting bills. Making Idaho the only other state besides Wyoming where dog fighting is not a felony. The bills had the support of the small faction of Idaho Democrats, but did not have a single Republican supporter.

The failure of our Representatives to support the two bills is immense because of the deeply rooted moral and economic implications. Our representation has already made us look bad consistently in the past. Evidence of such humane failures have even been published by the Humane Society; where Idaho scored a whopping '0' on their annual Humane Scorecard.

It's time to let Idaho legislation know how disappointed you are that these important humane bills did not pass:

Click Here to Send an Electronic Letter!

Trail Creek Hot Springs in Idaho Revisited - 8 New Pictures!

11.20.2005

Sunrise at Trail Creek


It was a slow drive in thanks to thick fog and semi-slick roads, but well worth it. The Warm Lake Highway was in pretty good shape save for a few sections of road coated in crusty snow and slick ice. After parking, we slid down the icy path from the pullout to the hot springs - I nearly forgot to stop before the creek because of what caught my eye.



Pool #1 - Upgraded!


The old rock pool (#1) had been upgraded... it is now much larger; width and pool depth have substantially increased along with the water temperature. Cold water intake and outtake valves and plumbing allow for a controllable, variable soaking temperature much like the design of the 2nd pool.



Getting ready for a sweet soak


Both pools were HOT upon arrival, between 114º and 116º respectively. We adjusted a couple valves and eventually tempered the tepid water to a perfect 104º. After that it was relax time. The only trash found was someone's discarded thermal top.
Rating A+


Click here or on any of the pictures above to view the other 5 pictures and the complete listing for Trail Creek Hot Springs in Idaho

Time to Take Action!

11.18.2005
The Latest Action Alerts!

Idaho roadless areas at risk: Learn more and take action!


Roadless Wilderness in Idaho at Risk

Exxpose Exxon again by writing a letter to the Editor of your local paper: Click here to get started!

Ask your Senators to support Endangered Species Day Resolution: Take action! Send a letter or make a call here!

Save America's Dogs and Birds from Blood Sports: Stop these barbaric sports! Which are all LEGAL in Idaho!

Utah's Redrock Wilderness is in Danger: Send a letter to save this endangered Wilderness!

Tired of high gas prices? Take action: Demand better fuel economy standards!

Thank the courageous representatives that forced the House to drop Arctic Drilling: Send a letter now!

Happy Winter Soaking! -HSG

Pine Burl and Fire Crew Hot Springs Revisited

11.11.2005
Pine Burl Hot Springs in Idaho


Much better than last time...

What a great time of the year for a hike and a soak. Pine Burl proved to be in excellent shape, a large improvement over the last time I was here. Even better - no trash was found! Wow! Another plus was that the silt levels are way down as well. However, I attribute this to usage - the last time I visited I was probably one of the first to see the hot springs after it sat un-used all winter. The temps. were great, my thermometer was detecting near optimal soaking temps. around 103º - my body was able to confirm (: Good job everyone! This place, despite moderate use, has been taken good care of.
Rating: A


How sweet it is


Fire Crew Hot Springs in Idaho


Light foam, algae and silt

This was the first time I've ever been to Fire Crew with no one around! It was great despite that the soaking wasn't. The pools were either too cold and/or filled with goobers like stagnant water foam, algae and silt. It was a nice day, there was plenty of trash and land abuse evidence though. At least the trash level has gone down somewhat. If you visit this area please take some extra time to pick up some trash and if you must ORV please stay in designated areas.
Rating: D


Looking downstream

Arctic National Wildlife Refuge Safe - Huge Victory!

The House dropped the ANWR off the budget bill thanks to intense pressure from 22 Republican Congressmen, every single Democrat Congressmen and millions of pro-environment activists!

While this victory is HUGE - we need to maintain our guard over the ANWR. There are Senate and House members already trying to find another way in.

Happy Soaking & Best Wishes -Josh (HSG)

Last Chance for the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge

11.08.2005
Drilling in the Arctic Refuge would despoil this last great wilderness for a uncertain amount of oil -- in fact, the U.S. Department of Energy recently estimated that if we drilled for oil in the Refuge tomorrow, it would lower gas prices by merely a penny per gallon...but not for 20 years. And drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge would not put a dent in our dependence on foreign oil or strengthen our national security. But the harm to wildlife and this spectacular wilderness would be permanent and irreparable.

We're now at the 11th hour -- this week could be your last chance to protect one of America's treasures -- the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge! The House is expected to vote as early as this Thursday on a bill that would allow drilling in the long-protected Arctic National Wildlife Refuge as well as revoke the 24-year old moratorium on offshore drilling.

To date, the Sierra Club has received over 50,000 signatures on the petition to protect the Arctic Refuge and with this critical vote in mind; the goal is to reach 100,000 signatures by Wednesday night. Once the goal has been reached the 100,000 signatures will be delivered to Capitol Hill and a clear message will be sent to Congress to oppose Arctic drilling. Your action is urgently needed to help meet this goal of 100,000 signatures and protect the Arctic Refuge -- please take a minute to add your name to the petition and encourage your friends and family to do the same!

Moondipper Hot Springs in Idaho Revisited

11.07.2005

Sun Rays Light the Way

The brisk 2 mile, early morning hike-in was filled with beautiful views of the crisp forest waking up to the sun. The trail was in pretty good condition save for a couple un-marked intersections; which you'll soon enough figure lead to the low-water trail which means many river fords. So my advice: always take the high route.


Very Nice

Moondipper had much less silt than when I was here last, probably due to summer usage - last time I was one of the first spring visitors. Not bad for a soak all in all - but why not wander less than a quarter mile further up a faint path to Pine Burl; which is a much nicer soak.
Rating: B-

Boiling Springs Hot Springs in Idaho Revisited

11.04.2005

Boiling Springs Cabins

The 2 pools near the source were very hot and featured an abundance of silt and algae. The pools near the point where the hot creek (source outflow) meets the river were way too cool. The hearty amount of steam pumping out of the source made for picturesque views of the crisp valley as the sun rose above the mountains in the early morning (see above).
Rating: C+


Overhead shot of the pools near the cabin

Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR) Votes Loom

11.02.2005
As early as this afternoon, the Senate will begin a series of critical votes on a "budget reconciliation" bill that includes provisions to open the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to oil and gas drilling. Unlike other pieces of legislation, the budget bill cannot be filibustered, so the only way your senators can protect the Arctic Refuge from drilling is by voting against the entire budget reconciliation bill.

Should we drill into the nation's largest wildlife refuge for energy savings equal to about 1 cent? It seems like a 'no-brainer' to me. Especially during a time when Exxon/Mobil is posting -yet again- record profits.

The ANWR is currently threatened by politicians that are trying to use the federal budget in an effort to open the wildlife refuge for development -all because they do not have enough votes to drill the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge through a normal process. Don't let them bypass protocol and the public... there is little time left - Now is the time to act!

Below are 5 quick and easy ways in which you can take action:

1. Click here to send your Senators a message opposing arctic drilling

2. Sign the Sierra Club's petition against arctic and coastal drilling

3. Join SaveOurEnvironment.com's campaign and send a message to congress

4. Tell your Senators to keep oil rigs out of the Arctic Refuge

5. Read about NDRC's campaign to save the ANWR

Thank you for your stewardship of the environment -happy soaking,

-HSG

The Hot Springs Guy Featured in Thrive Weekly

11.01.2005
Thrive Weekly is currently running an Active Profile on the Hot Springs Guy (*ahem* - that would be me). Pretty cool stuff!


The Bloke Who Loves to Soak

Pick up a free Thrive in print around the Treasure Valley (ID) or click on the link below to view the web version.

Thrive Weekly Active Profile (web version):

Read 'The Bloke Who Loves to Soak' >

Rocky Canyon Hot Springs in Idaho Revisited

10.29.2005
10.17.05 Rocky Canyon Hot Springs Trip Report

It was a nice return visit to Rocky Canyon. After braving the cold water river ford we were rewarded with a choice of two steamy soaks.


Rocky Canyon Hot Springs

All of the pools look slightly different in contrast to their position and how they were reinforced in the past. Be careful on the steep hike up - use a walking/hiking stick/trekking pole, which will also greatly increase your river fording ability.


Rocky Canyon Hot Springs

The main downer on this particular trip was the insane amount of cigarette butts... good grief! And that's the odd thing - cig butts were the only trash I found save for a lone beer can.

Rating: B+


Endangered Species Update

10.28.2005
The battle to save America's endangered species now depends on the Senate. In September, the House of Representatives approved major changes to the Endangered Species Act (ESA), which would cripple 30-year-old protections.

Send an e-mail - Before the Senate starts debating major changes to the ESA, tell your senators to keep strong safeguards for rare species.

Click on the link below to send an e-mail:

http://actionnetwork.org/campaign/esa_senate?rk=r1qzCqp1-RIbW

Hollywood Going Green? You bet -

I was really stoked when I stumbled upon Leonardo DiCaprio's Eco-Site when researching Global Warming. I love it when someone highly influential dedicates part of their life to a good cause. Granted; our society gives celebrity types way too much power - at least a select few are utilizing that power in positive ways.

His Eco-Site is a great primer for those of you new or wanting to learn more about Global Warming:

http://www.leonardodicaprio.org/

Take Action Against Global Warming!

One Million Citizens: One Goal: Stop Global Warming >

Boycott & Expose Exxon/Mobil >

Tell Car Companies to Innovate, not Litigate >

Take the Ocean's Alive Pledge >

Hot Springs Updates & Action Alerts

10.21.2005
Hot Springs Updates Coming Soon

5 - that's right, 5 hot springs updates complete with pictures are on the way for the following hot springs in Idaho:

1. Fire Crew
2. Pine Burl
3. Moondipper
4. Boiling Springs
5. Rocky Canyon


Action Alerts

"Anything else you're interested in is not going to happen if you can't breathe the air and drink the water. Don't sit this one out. Do something. You are by accident of fate alive at an absolutely critical moment in the history of our planet." Carl Sagan

The Arctic National Wildlife Refuge is under attack and we don't have a minute to spare. Your help is needed right now to stop oil drilling in the Arctic Refuge before it's too late.

Take Action!

http://ga1.org/campaign/arctic_vote?source=200510_adv_arcvir


Protect Western Oregon's Ancient Forests

In a deal with the timber industry, the BLM agreed to revise its management plans and provide an alternative that does not include a “reserve” system for older forests. This “reserve” system is the very heart of the Northwest Forest Plan, and the result of BLM'’s planning effort could destroy the integrity of the reserve system, and all the protection it affords the fish and wildlife in the Northwest. It doesn't have to be that way.

Please Take Action Today:

http://ga1.org/campaign/westernoregon?rk=p1NCkZ51Xu-3W


Help the Humane Society Fight-Back Against the Fur Industry

The Humane Society of the United States'’ new Fur-Free Campaign is fighting back against the heartless fur industry, and I'’m asking you to fight with us. Animals killed for these products suffer terribly, and are killed through horribly barbaric means such as anal or genital electrocution, clubbing, drowning, or neck-breaking. Here'’s what you can do now to help save these animals:

Sign the fur-free pledge today. Make your personal pledge to never buy products that include fur or fur trim. By doing so, you'’ll send a powerful message to the fur industry that you and millions of other consumers will not support cruelty. Click here to sign the pledge.

"One of the penalties for refusing to participate in politics is that you end up being governed by your inferiors"
PLATO

Happy Soaking! ~Josh

Kirkham Hot Springs Scalping Incident - Sentencing Update!

10.16.2005
Originally posted 02.09.05, updated 03.28.05, 07.15.05, 07.18.05, 10.15.05 and last updated 10.16.05.

Marianne Dahle was sentenced for up to 10 years for the scalping that took place at Kirkham Hot Springs; which means she's up for parole in 4. Seems kinda weak considering she ruined the girl's life - let alone nearly killed her.

Check out the links below to read the details - interesting to see it show up in the LA Times:

> Los Angeles Times (LaTimes.com) Article

> IdahoStatesman.com Article


07.18.05 Update

Marianne Dahle (July, 2005)

Marianne Dahle, 26, of Caldwell, pleaded guilty to aggravated battery before 4th District Judge Kathryn Sticklen on Wednesday, the day her trial was to begin. Dahle could face up to 15 years in prison.

It should be noted that this is a reversal of her initial claim.

Prosecutors said Dahle tied up a 15-year-old Nampa girl — who has been identified publicly only by the first name of Sheila — on Jan. 18 and used a 4-inch knife to cut away the entire crown and back portion of her scalp. The attack happened at Kirkham Hot Springs, 70 miles northeast of Boise, where Dahle had invited Sheila and a 16-year-old female acquaintance to soak in the pools of warm water and party.

Investigators said they believe Dahle and Sheila were part of a clique of young female "punkers" who wore mohawk haircuts. Police say according to the group's creed, if a member disrespected women, they were not allowed to wear a mohawk. They believe Dahle scalped Sheila in retaliation for actions the younger girl had made that Dahle perceived as offensive to their gender (Fox News, 07.2005).

Allegidly; the 'offensive' action towards their gender was sleeping with a man. This isn't official, but you can read about it here.


Marianne Dahle (March, 2005)

Check out the article links below to read more about the lesbian-gang/clique related scalping that took place at Kirkham Hot Springs near Lowman, Idaho on January 18th, 2005. This story (unfortunately) made nationwide news in early February 2005.

Updated Links

07.16.05: The Times-Online: Twin Falls, ID
Mom of Scalped Teen Hopes Attacker Gets Maximum Sentence

07.15.05: Standard-Examiner
Mother of Scalping Victim Urges Tough Sentence

07.15.05: KTVB
Mom Says Scalped Teen Relieved by Plea
(requires login to read)

07.14.05: Fox News
Idaho Woman Pleads Guilty to Scalping Teen
(printable version)

04.12.05: KPVI/DT
Kirkham Hot Springs Scalping Update

03.05.05: Associated Press
Suspect in Teen's Scalping Surrenders

02.10.05: Mac-a-ro-nies
Dominatrix Dahle Leads this weeks 'News of the Weird'

02.09.05: Fox News
Scalping Suspect Surrenders to Police
(printable version)

02.08.05: Fox News
Cops: Woman Scalped After Slight
(printable version)


View the Kirkham Hot Springs Listing on IdahoHotSprings.com >>

Idaho & Northwest WebCams Area Updated

10.15.2005
Both Yellowstone cams are back online and live in the Idaho & Northwest WebCams area...



Yellowstone Cam #1: Mammoth Hot Springs



Yellowstone Cam #2: Old Faithful

Endangered Species Under Attack from Congress!

10.14.2005
First Step Already Taken Against the Endangered Species Act

The House of Representatives voted 229 to 193 to approve legislation which, if it becomes law, will eliminate the requirement for "critical habitat" for endangered species.

To add insult to injury, the bill passed by the House last week will make the government pay developers and polluters not to kill publicly owned fish and wildlife. This is detrimental on so many levels, and gives big business way too much control over our public lands.

Sign the petition to Senator Lincoln Chafee (R-RI), on the Fisheries, Wildlife and Water Subcommittee telling him that you support protection for endangered species such as the American bald eagle, the bighorn sheep and the grizzly bear and ask him to oppose this bill in the Senate.

An Important Message from Robert Redford

10.12.2005
Dear Hot Springs and Public Land Users & Supporters,

The Bush Administration and Congressional leaders are shamelessly exploiting Hurricane Katrina as the latest excuse to hand over the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to the oil industry.

Given the massive oil spills still devastating the Gulf Coast, it defies belief that our leaders are rushing headlong to hand over America's greatest wildlife sanctuary to the oil lobby.

Instead of making America more energy efficient -- the fastest way to meet our energy needs and avoid oil supply shocks -- they would sponsor yet another corporate raid on our natural heritage.

This cynical exploitation of a national tragedy has revealed, as nothing else could, the complete bankruptcy of President Bush's pro-polluter energy policies -- policies inspired by nineteenth-century oil barons.

Five years of coddling the oil industry has given us higher gas prices and left us more vulnerable than ever to oil shortages -- not to mention oil spills, air pollution, despoiled public lands, and catastrophic global warming.

You and I must not let the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge become the next preventable casualty of this president's failed policies.

Within the next few weeks, Congress will cast its make-or-break vote on a Budget Reconciliation Bill that would allow oil drilling in the Arctic Refuge. I urge you to pour your heart and soul into defeating that bill.

If you've alerted five friends to the urgency of this effort, mobilize five more:

http://www.nrdcactionfund.org/redfordarctic/tellafriend.asp

Make a donation so that the NRDC Action Fund can run ads mobilizing the public in key Congressional districts:

https://www.nrdcactionfund.org/arcticad/donate.asp

Write a personal, hand-written letter to your Representative:

http://www.nrdcactionfund.org/redfordarctic/arcticvoters.asp

Please do what it takes to win. Because all the beauty and wildness we've worked so hard to protect over the past 30 years could be lost in a single day.

We can win this fight, but only if we build overwhelming public pressure on Congress one person at a time. Thank you for joining with me to make it happen.

Sincerely,

Robert Redford
NRDC Action Fund

-There's no time like the present to start making a difference, our public lands are in urgent need of our support - or they will become lost to us forever. -Josh

National Parks for Sale! What the...

10.10.2005
House Resources Chairman Richard Pombo is at it again...

He is trying to use the threat of selling 15 National Parks in order to influence oil drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR) (1).

This is the same guy who is currently trying to get rid of the Endangered Species Act!

This guy has a lot of money and power; oil and gas were the #1 industry contributor to Pombo's 2004 campaign, to the tune of $85,693 (2). He also has Former House Majority Leader Tom DeLay backing him up, for example:

"I know that Chairman Pombo is committed to ensuring any final bill that reaches the floor has an ANWR provision ... I wholeheartedly supported his efforts in the past and will do so again this year." (3)

In his career, DeLay has received more money from the oil and gas industry than any other industry, totaling $589,900. (4)

Thanks to aggressive corporate lobbying, the false choice between selling our national parks and spoiling the Arctic Refuge is what passes for energy policy in some Washington circles these days.

Instead of fighting for hard-working Americans who need relief at the pump, Mr. Pombo and his allies are fighting to help Exxon get its hands on public resources -- pristine lands that you and I own -- so the mammoth corporation can boost its massive profits by a few million more.

That's not a national energy policy. That's a joke. So, why aren't our leaders fighting for real energy solutions, like improved gas mileage, that will actually lower gas expenses for our families, while protecting our air, land, water and wildlife?

Ask them yourself. Call your senators and representatives:

Let them know Pombo's deceptive tactics aren't working!

http://callcongress.wildlifepromise.com

References:
(1) http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20050924/ap_on_re_us/arctic_refuge
(2) http://www.opensecrets.org/politicians/summary.asp?cid=N00007516&cycle=2004
(3) http://releases.usnewswire.com/GetRelease.asp?id=43228
(4) http://www.opensecrets.org/politicians/allindus.asp?CID=N00005892

48 Hour Action Alert - The Fate of Our Clean Air will be Decided in 48 Hours!

10.05.2005
Important Update from SaveOurEnvironment.org

Last month Hurricane Katrina ripped through Louisiana and Mississippi, killing hundreds of Americans and destroying thousands of homes and lives. This devastating natural disaster also exposed a serious underlying problem -- America is far too dependent on oil. As the cost of fuel continues to skyrocket, some members of Congress have exploited this tragedy by compiling an oil industry wish-list of environmental rollbacks and calling it an emergency energy bill.

But this bill would do nothing to solve our energy problems or help consumers cope with rising energy costs. The House of Representatives will vote on this "No Relief" bill in just 48 hours. Please don't wait- click here to send a free message to your Representative urging him or her to reject this bill!

In a time of crisis, American families should be protected, not exploited and exposed to further risks. This bill uses the recent natural disasters as a pretext to advance a longstanding industry agenda to roll back key Clean Air Act protections.

The consequences would be devastating in communities across the country: more asthma attacks, more heart attacks, and other serious health problems from millions of additional tons of air pollution. The bill also contains new handouts to the oil industry, even as oil companies are reporting record profits, and it actually weakens enforcement provisions of the Federal Trade Commission Act by limiting penalties for price gouging.

We have no time to spare - this bill will be voted on in the house this Friday, October 7! Please click here now to send your message to your Representative today.


Fight for the Endangered Species Act with the Sierra Club

Congressman Pombo has recently tried to spin his efforts as ones to improve the Endangered Species Act. However, a close look at Congressman Pombo's legislation shows that his bill would turn back over 30 years of successful stewardship efforts and cripple the ability of Americans to safeguard the nation's fish, wildlife and special places. It is our responsibility to leave for future generations a natural heritage richer than the one we have enjoyed. Congressman Pombo's bill would rob American children of their birthright of abundant fish and wildlife populations. The Senate is poised to take up similar legislation in the coming months. Please oppose this harmful legislation and work to protect all of America's fish and wildlife.

Take Even More Action with the Sierra Club Against the Pombo Extinction Bill

New Picture Addition, Action Alert & Extinction Bill Update

10.04.2005
New Picture Added to Shower Bath Hot Springs in Idaho

I was revisiting past trips and came across this picture of Shower Bath Hot Springs in Idaho. I liked this pic in particular because you can actually see the pool located at the base of the geothermal outflow.


Shower Bath Hot Springs


Important Action Alert - Now is your chance to make a difference!

The House of Representatives is moving two new energy bills that would exploit our national tragedy in order to fulfill the fondest dreams of the oil giants: to drill in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge . . . to plunder America's coastal waters . . . and to evade pollution controls on their smog-spewing refineries.

Tell your Representative to vote NO on these shameless giveaways to the oil lobby!


Extinction Bill Update from Katelyn of SaveOurEnvironment.org

Dear Josh & Hot Springs Enthusiasts,

Last week we told you that some members of Congress were attempting to cut the heart out of the Endangered Species Act by decreasing protections for our endangered species and severely weakening the law's vital safeguards. Thank you again for speaking out on behalf our endangered species. Unfortunately, despite all of our best efforts, on September 29, the Pombo Wildlife Extinction bill was passed by a vote of 229 to 193 in the House of Representatives.

This vote is a setback, but the fight to protect our endangered species is far from over. Next, this bill will move to the Senate where we expect yet another tough fight and close vote. We hope that we can count on your support as we continue this battle to protect bald eagles, grizzly bears, Florida manatees and other endangered animals and plants.

The Endangered Species Act is a safety net for our nation'’s most vulnerable species on the brink of extinction. This landmark legislation has successfully protected hundreds of vulnerable species. Representative Pombo'’s bill would cut large holes in this safety net and significantly weaken protections for our nation'’s fish, plants, wildlife, and the places they call home.

The cynically named "“Threatened and Endangered Species Recovery Act" is an absolute nightmare for threatened and endangered species. One provision would end the protection of critical habitat necessary for the survival and recovery of animals and plants. Another provision states that taxpayers must pay developers to comply with the
Endangered Species Act, setting up a dangerous precedent of paying people not to break the law.

We a’re not about to stop fighting now. We have strong allies in the Senate, and we're working with them to ensure that this extinction bill does not become law. SaveOurEnvironment.org will continue to keep you informed about what you can do to protect our endangered species.

Thank you for all that you do to protect our endangered species.

Katelyn Sabochik
Online Campaign Manager
info@saveourenvironment.org


Happy Soaking!
-Josh (The Hot Springs Guy)

Molly's Tubs & Vulcan Hot Springs in Idaho Revisited

10.02.2005
Vulcan Hot Springs 10.01.05
http://www.idahohotsprings.com/destinations/vulcan/index.htm


Hot Dam!

Very nice indeed. Instead of 2 or 3 smaller soaking opportunities that often yielded mixed results we discovered that there is now 1, and it delivers! The large, log-dammed pool was a perfect 103°; excellent for toasty prolonged soaking. On our way in we passed a couple and their dogs (running wild off-leash) and a group of 3 on a 4-wheeler that just barley fit on the trail - all on their way back out. Everyone was cordial, and we found out that they were the ones camping near the trailhead. I was primarily stoked that we were able to enjoy Vulcan properly before the late afternoon storm picked up steam and chased us off.
Rating A+


Molly's Tubs Hot Springs 10.01.05
http://www.idahohotsprings.com/destinations/mollys_tubs/index.htm


Hotpotting Couple Bart & Elayne @ the 'Tubs'

Molly's Tubs are looking quite good these days; the condition of the tubs have improved since my last visit. For some reason, despite all of the other nearby soaking ops, Molly's Tubs remains one of the most popular soaks in the area. There were two ladies and one of their children enjoying a couple hot tubs upon our arrival. This place is usually jam-packed with high-end SUVs, cars etc. I think it's become somewhat 'trendy' to soak in the tubs of late.
Rating: B


March 15th, 1984 - For 28 Days the Moss Man Lived in Frenchman's Bend Hot Springs near Hailey Idaho

9.30.2005
The man, the legend, the festival...

I thought I'd heard it all - hot springs wise that is. Then, I stumbled upon this blog posting regarding a transient man who got drunk one night in Frenchman's Bend Hot Springs and woke up the next morning to find his clothes frozen. He remained at the Hot Springs because of stubbornness (and possibly because he was on drugs) for 28 days until he was found with moss growing on his back by cross-country skiers. Now there's a festival named after the guy.

Article Links:

Lean, Green, and Amazingly Serene
by Outside Magazine, March 1997


Perry's Ramble: Moss Man (blog posting)
Sept. 27th, 2005

Here's Your Chance to Make a Difference! Take Action Now!

9.28.2005
Current Action Items:

Idaho Senator Larry Craig Serves on the Committee Responsible for Maintaining the Horse Slaughter Ban (slaughtering horses for foreign consumption)
Urge Larry Craig to Support the Ban Even Though He Opposed it to Begin With >

Pets Were Not Included in Katrina's Disaster Relief Plan Despite Protests to Bush Co
Ask Your Representative to Support the Pets Evacuation and Transportation Act to Include Pets and Service Animals in Disaster Evacuation Plans >

ExxonMobil is Funding Companies that Produce Disinformation to Confuse the Public About Global Warming
Tell ExxonMobil to Come Clean on Global Warming >

Cruel Japanese Dolphin Hunt Reaps Benefits for Few
Protect Japanese Dolphins from Inhumane Hunt >

Endangered Species Act in Danger from Wildlife Extinction Bill
Stop the Wildlife extinction Bill - The Endangered Species Act is at Stake >

Critical Vote for Wildlife Extinction Bill Approaching
Spur Your Representative to Action >

Protect Our Native Ecosystems from the Snakehead Fish - Destroyer of Fish & Aquatic Life
Urge Congress to Support the National Aquatic Invasive Species Act >

Visit NDRC & Take Even More Action
More Action Items >

Mysterious System of Towering Hot Springs in Atlantic Ocean Revisited

9.26.2005
Scientists think that an underwater system of hot springs located deep in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean may reveal information about how life evolved. They are calling the thermal vents the "Lost City" because of how the towering hot springs look like a forest.

Click here to read about this summer's expedition to the Lost City >

Skinnydipper (MM4) Hot Springs in Idaho Revisited


09.25.05
Great soaking at Skinny this morning; the top pool is still out of commission but the lower, other 2 are in good shape despite some broken plumbing. Almost no trash save for a ton of cig butts the last couple visits, at least it's improving! My trash loads are getting smaller and smaller every time I visit. There's talk of organizing a volunteer day coming up; the path needs some work as do the pools. I'll post more to the blog as info. becomes available.

There was a single guy soaking in the party pool upon our early arrival. After about an hour or so a couple, their friend and 2 dogs came up. Everyone seemed pretty friendly. Luckily we like dogs, because theirs ran up and jumped right into the pool and ran wild. This is somewhat of a sore spot with me, especially being a dog owner myself. I just don't understand why people can't leash their dogs... it's really as simple as that. If your dog fights, leave him/her in the vehicle or at home, if they can't stay close and obey commands do the same. The rare times I take my dogs to hot springs they are on leash, and I don't take them to popular hot springs.
Rating: A

New Picture Added to Skinnydipper Hot Springs in Idaho

9.24.2005
New Skinnydipper Picture:


Sunrise @ Skinnydipper

Happy Soaking!

Take Action Now! Endangered Species Act Under Attack!

9.23.2005
California Congressman Richard Pombo's "extinction bill" is moving forward -- and it's just as bad as we feared. The bill is a nightmare for threatened and endangered species, and ignores the 90 percent of Americans who care about protecting them. One provision states that the government must either allow people to kill endangered species, or force taxpayers to pay them not to break the law. Think that's outrageous? Another provision would end all critical habitat protection for the forests, beaches, meadows, and other places they need to survive and recover. And that's just the beginning!

The Endangered Species Act is a safety net that protects wildlife, fish, and plants on the brink of extinction. When President Richard Nixon signed the Endangered Species Act in 1973, he said "Nothing is more priceless and more worthy of preservation than the rich array of animal life with which our country has been blessed."

The Endangered Species Act works. Over the past three decades, the Endangered Species Act has saved species like the bald eagle, Florida manatee, and key deer from extinction. If Representative Pombo's bill had been law 31 years ago, not even the bald eagle would have qualified for listing.

Let's stop this bill in its tracks! Use the links below to tell your Representative to stand up for our endangered animals by voting against the so-called "Threatened and Endangered Species Recovery Act of 2005".

Take Action Now >

Tell Your Friends >

US Horses Saved from Slaughter for Foreign Consumption, No Thanks to Idaho Senators

9.22.2005
The Senate voted on September 20th, 2005 to pass the Ensign-Byrd Amendment to the Senate Agriculture Appropriations Bill effectively banning the slaughter of horses for fiscal year 2006!

This is indeed a great victory for horses that are sold for slaughter for Asian consumption.

Unfortunately; both of Idaho Senators opposed the Ensign-Byrd Amendment.

Here's your chance to find out why Mike Crapo and Larry Craig are for slaughtering horses (including Idaho's wild horses) for consumption in Asia.

Please use the info. below to contact Idaho's Senators:

Michael 'Mike' D. Crapo - (202) 224-6142
Larry E. Craig - (202) 224-2752

As an Idaho resident I find myself continually outraged by the actions of our representation. In fact, most of us live in Idaho because of the beautiful public and protected wilderness lands that exist here. It sickens me that time and time again our land, animals and rights are constantly being undermined by the politicians we selected to protect such things.

Don't be shy, give these guys a call. They're politicians; if enough people make noise they will alter their stance out of fear of losing the voting support of the public.

Happy Soaking!

Skinnydipper Hot Springs in Idaho Revisited

9.20.2005

09.19.05
I wasn't sure what to expect after receiving multiple reports this summer describing vandalism, pool and pipe destruction and some other items too gross to mention. We (myself and hot springing partner Andrew Nelson of National Geographic Traveler) arrived mid-day to a shockingly near-empty parking area. Keeper Matt was on-hand, and told me that he's been carting trash, broken pipe and more out the last 3 days. He also mentioned that just the other night 3 vehicles got their windows busted out. Despite all of the carnage the place looked great, and you can thank the Keepers for that.

Matt, Harley and Ken are the main Keepers or 'Friends of Skinnydipper' that I know about. I am a Keeper as well, but don't frequent Skinny nearly as often as the others. It should be known that we are in search of additional Keepers - Skinnydipper needs some help and stewardship. If you are interested, talk to one of the Keepers or myself. Your best bet to catch a Keeper is to visit mid-morning on the weekend or contact me.

The soft, hot water felt oh soooo great! Matt had been hard at work jury-rigging the damaged plumbing a week or so ago and had just gotten things up and running shortly before we arrived. He mentioned that the pipes are just barley holding together, and that any messing with them wouldn't be good. There's really no need to mess with the pipes anyway - each pool has a hot and cold water inflow pipe that is adjustable. There is no reason to climb up to the top and make adjustments there.

I was glad to see that Andrew really enjoyed the whole hot springs experience. The biggest downer I felt was the large heart graffiti above the second pool from the bottom.
Rating: A

Boise, in Hot Water - Literally!

9.18.2005
This informative article from NapaNews.com digs into a little of Boise's history with geothermal power.

There's also mention of the City of Boise's commercial hot springs of the past; the Natatorium - last seen: 1930 (!) I've long heard the legend of a hot springs used by the locals, both commercial and non-commercial.

One thing that bugs me about the article is the declaration of hot springs as a 'renewable' source of energy. Here's my problem; we all know that farmers that use aquifers for irrigation have depleted hot springs near Bruneau, Idaho and many other places. The farmers tapped into geothermal wells and drained them dry irrigating their fields. In Bruneau's case, this was also responsible for adding the Hot Springs Snail to the endangered species list.

Another consideration needs to be given to the fact that 90% of hot water (in the NW) is the result of left-over energy from a meteor collision in SE Oregon - the energy super-heats the water in fault lines and send it towards the surface. This would seem non-renewable to me, unless the water in the fault lines is supplied by a renewable water source. That leaves the other 10%, hot water from volcanic activity. Again this would only be renewable if the water source is.

Happy Soaking!

New Wilderness Vagabond Trip Report - Salmon Sojourn

9.17.2005
The Vagabond is at it again!

The Salmon Sojourn trip report is about the two months Rob and Kathleen volunteered for the FS at the Little Creek Guard Station on the Middle Fork of the Salmon River (near river mile 35) in Idaho.

This very large trip report is chalk full of vital information for anyone interested in our public lands and is also sprinkled with interrelated, thought provoking quotes and scenic pictures.

Read the Salmon Sojourn!

View Animal Rescue Efforts Slideshow Footage from Katrina's Wake

9.14.2005
Click on the pic below to view a moving slideshow of volunteers and rescue workers in action during the aftermath of hurricane Katrina.

Help Pets Hurt by Hurricane Katrina >
Please donate to the Humane Society Disaster Rescue Teams

Urge Your Senator to Vote YES on the Ensign-Byrd Amendment to End Horse Slaughter!

I thought you might be interested in this HSUS and ASPCA campaign to protect horses from slaughter. We don't eat horsemeat here, but tens of thousands of American horses are shipped under inhumane conditions and suffer a terrible fate at one of three foreign-owned slaughterhouses in the U.S. Former show horses, thoroughbreds, ponies, foals, wild horses, pregnant mares from the Premarin industry, and any other kind of horse you can imagine, are put through this brutal process all so that their meat can be shipped overseas to foreign markets for diners in Europe and Asia.

This isn't how we want our horses treated and now we have a chance to stop it. We expect a vote to happen in the Senate early this week that could ban this terrible practice. Please ask your two U.S. Senators to support the Ensign-Byrd Agriculture Appropriations amendment to prevent tax dollars from being used to allow horse slaughter. The vote is coming quickly so please don't delay. Click here and take action now!

Contact your senator now to urge him or her to support the Ensign-Byrd Amendment to the Senate Agriculture Appropriations Bill, which would ensure that no federal tax dollars are used to slaughter horses! Click here to send an email and make a phone call today to tell your U.S. senator to vote YES on the Ensign-Byrd Amendment!

Idaho Senator Information:

Michael 'Mike' D. Crapo - (202) 224-6142
Larry E. Craig - (202) 224-2752

Backpacking Trip to Secesh Hot Springs in Idaho

9.09.2005

Secesh Hot Springs

General Description
Secesh Hot Springs lies way above the Secesh River and requires a quarter mile, near vertical hike to reach after fording the Secesh River. Hot water from the source flows directly into the top pool. The outflow from the top pool and two other smaller sources fill the next pool below. The 3rd pool from the top (just below the 2nd) isn't warm or deep enough for a soak. The last and lowest pool; located all the way down by the Secesh River features frigid, stagnant water. Something remarkable to note: the hot springs water is among the softest I have ever experienced - my skin felt amazing after soaking, not dry at all. It should also be noted that the infamous Red Spider Mites inhabit this hot springs as well. Please tread lightly as this area is heavily impacted due to the nearby popular Loon Lake loop hike, bike or motorbike.


Secesh River & Lowest Pool

Pool Condition
All pools feature rock walls, gravel and rock bottoms and are at most 3 feet deep and 6-8 feet wide. They will require revamping and cleaning upon arrival because of their low use. We used the tarps left in the pools (we removed the tarps upon arrival, cleaned the pools, preformed light patch work on the rock walls, then replaced the tarps before soaking) and removed them again before leaving. Please always remove tarps or plastic when leaving the hot springs. The pools were full of algae and goobers due to low usage.


Hot Soak

Seasonal Notes
Fording the Secesh River limits access to this hot springs until late summer, usually starting mid to late July until the snow falls (anytime between Sept.-Nov.). Winter access could be possible with a snowmobile (to the TH) and snowshoes to the hot springs; but fording the river would prove crazy this time of year.


Loon Lake

Camping Notes
There's 1 fairly large and semi-flat, grassy campsite next to the river way below the hot springs. There is no camping up-top near the hot springs: no open or remotely flat space. Please use the existing primitive camp; there's no need to create another campsite. There are other primitive camping opportunities near and at Loon Lake and at the trailhead campground.


B-23 Dragon Bomber (rear)

Briefing

09.03.05 - 09.05.05
Our 3-day backpacking trip to Secesh Hot Springs was a blast! In addition to the hot springs, we also hiked out and around Loon Lake among the horde of day hikers, mountain bikers and motorbikes to the wreckage of a downed WWII B-23 Dragon Bomber that crashed on January 29, 1943. Everyone survived the crash and following ordeal - according to the historical sign; which didn't help the credibility of my (made up) ghost story of the Bomber crew walking the trails at night.

After fording the Secesh River we left the crowds behind, our packs at the primitive campsite and headed up the steep mountain side to the hot springs. That was quite a hike; much more difficult than the 4 mile hike in. The near vertical hike is a maze of faint trails blocked by downed trees and slides. We cleaned up the algae and goober laden pools and enjoyed many grade A, perfect temperature soaks. A slight detraction was the presence of Red Spider Mites.
Rating A-


B-23 Dragon Bomber (front)


Another Increase in Gas Prices & Oil Dependence on the Way

Bush Co. has announced plans that will increase:

Global Warming Conditions
Our Dependence on Oil
Gas Prices

I know I know - big surprise - but here's your chance to do something about it!

Click here to learn more >

Don't forget to tell your family and friends - as always, Happy Soaking

ExxonMobil is Posting Record Profits - Join the Resistance at ExxposeExxon.com!

9.02.2005
On July 28th ExxonMobil announced a record-breaking 2nd-quarter profit of $7.84 billion! Is Exxon using that windfall to invest in more affordable energy alternatives? No! ExxonMobil has decided that it benefits from America's dependence on oil and it's fighting tooth and nail to maintain the status quo. (Source: SierraClub)

Educate & Activate @ ExxposeExxon.com >

ID Representatives Score Whopping Zero on Humane Society Scorecard

The humane Society has just published their Humane Scorecard for the 108th Congress. It's good to see many state Representatives continue to 'fight the good fight', so to speak.

Check out the Scorecard to see how your state Representatives ranked >

Big surprise, both Idaho Republican Representatives did not support the Animal Fighting Felony, Downers (in relation to protecting animals and humans from mad cow), said nothing of the Canadian Seal Hunt and were for drilling into the Alaskan National Wildlife Refuge.

They collectively scored a whopping "0" (zero) on the Humane Society Scorecard.

Contact Your Representatives > Find out why they did or did not support a Humane Scorecard item. Better yet; thank the ones that did.


Help Pets Hurt by Hurricane Katrina >
Please donate to the Humane Society Disaster Rescue Teams

The Fate of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge will be Decided Soon

8.30.2005
The US Congress will soon be deciding upon the fate of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. This a is huge deal!

You can help in 4 easy steps! Click Here

Support Sara James
Many are mobilizing to DC and plan on remaining until the outcome has been decided. Sara James is one of those individuals. While most of us can't make it we can show our support by supporting Sara, she needs it!

Years of her work to protect the Refuge have come down to a vote expected as soon as next month. On September 20, we can stand together, and make clear to Congress that drilling the Refuge would be a grave -- and irreversible -- mistake.

Join Sara, myself and thousands of others across the country in a powerful pledge of support! Click Here

Scenic Hot Springs in Washington Revisited!

8.25.2005

08.20.05 Trip Report
Ahh yes! This trip was excellent! I was a tad bit nervous just because of all the PR surrounding Scenic, but after taking a look at the official Scenic Hot Springs Blog I felt much better. The mild sunny temps made for a great hike up the hill towards the hot springs. We arrived to find 3 friendly guys from Seattle enjoying a soak. We soaked and chatted for a while then the 3 headed out... good guys too, packed out more than their fair share of trash.


Scenic Hot Springs

I was awestruck; here I was enjoying this incredible hot springs that I thought inconceivable to ever have to myself, one last time before it turns completely into a commercial hot springs. It was one of those good and bad moments. I found out from a couple friends that on 08.21.05 (Sunday) the owners were present and working on building construction. Last time I soaked here I meet some people from Sweden and Finland, not too mention experience the gourmet cooking of the naked chef. Seems like eons ago. The single pool was in great shape, and apparently is a temporary soaking solution until natural rock pools can be developed.


Scenic Hot Springs

Much has changed since I was here last. Wikipedia hosts a general description of the hot springs along with a brief history of the springs back in their day as a commercial resort - ironic that now it is once again becoming commercial.

Here's what Wikipedia currently has to say about Scenic:

"...a very popular natural hot spring in Washington State. Located on US Route 2, about 8 miles west of Stevens Pass (via road) and high on a steep northwestern slope.

Known as Madison Hot Springs in the 1890's, a lodge was built to accomadate seekers of mineral baths who arrived by train from Seattle. The name was later changed to Scenic Hot Springs and survived as a commercial venture until 1928.

Construction by the Great Northern Railroad of an 8-mile tunnel under Stevens Pass dumped rubble into the front yard of the lodge and effected its destruction.

Largely forgotten until the 1980's, it then became a popular gathering spot for mineral water bathers with several tubs constructed of various temperatures.

Reports of vandalism to vehicles, as well as rowdy behaviour prompted the landowner to instruct the King County sheriff to destroy the tubs in October 2002.

A new landowner is in the process of reconstructing the tubs and making improvements to the property to support visitors in the near future. The two external links discuss this progress."

Rating A+

Exxpose Exxon!

8.24.2005
Sign a Sierra Club petition (you do not have to be a member) pledging not to buy ExxonMobil gas!

This is because of:
  • ExxonMobil's active support of drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge;
  • ExxonMobil's efforts to block meaningful action to cut global warming pollution and its funding of junk science to hide the real facts about global warming;
  • ExxonMobil's conscious decision to forgo investment in clean energy solutions despite its record profits at a time of rising gasoline prices.
Need you any more reasons!

Basin Creek & Basin Creek Campground Hot Springs Updates!

8.12.2005

Basin Creek Hot Spring in Idaho has been updated with a trip report and pictures, and Basin Creek Campground Hot Spring in Idaho has been added to the website with a picture, general description and trip report.


Happy Soaking!

Traffic Update Posted for Kirkham Hot Springs in Idaho

8.05.2005

07.27.05 Dusk
I was shocked to see the entire campground vacant save for the hosts as we passed on by; it was soooo tempting to stop but it was quickly becoming dark and the hosts enforce nighttime closure.

Read more about Kirkham here >

A Sad, True Story Continues...

8.03.2005
It's terrible that we live in such a world were animal cruelty, brutality and even killing is common place and even legal in some areas. Don't turn your head away with a blind eye. Click on the link below to read about the Mute Swans, then go to HSUS - together we can do something about it!

HSUS: Mute Swans Could Find the World an Alien Place >

BREAKING NEWS

Egg company MORAK in Missouri was caught on video disposing of LIVE chickens in a dumpster!!!! Now is your chance to do something about it!

GO HERE, READ ABOUT IT & TAKE ACTION! >

These cold and cruel corporate bastards think they can throw live chickens away! Don't let them get away with it!

Sunbeam Hot Springs in Idaho Update

8.02.2005
I drove by Sunbeam twice on 07.26.05; each time the pullout and pools were both packed. This time of the year you have to literally stand in line for a hot soak @ Sunbeam. Or, do what I do and go visit some of the other hot springs in the area.

Ever Wonder Why Yellowstone Has So Many Hot Springs? (Article Link)

8.01.2005
Yellowstone, the SUPER VOLCANO, is actually 10,000 times more powerful than Mount Saint Helens!

Read all about it here >

Slate Creek Hot Springs in Idaho Update

My friend and I cruised into Slate Creek hoping for a much needed soak after a backpacking trip. What we found was hard to believe. Every primitive campsite between highway 75 and the hot springs was full except for a couple located just down the road from the highway. We arrived at the parking area just in time to see some idiots moving the large rocks and boulders between the parking area and the short trail to the hot springs. Then, after two street bikes (!!!!) floored it off-road down the trail toward the spring, the pickup followed - backwards! I guess since there was no nearby camping these nutty partiers decided to camp and park their vehicles right next to the hot springs in hopes of having it to themselves....

My recent experience varies with that of a recent trip report I received a few days ago, check it out here.

Bear Valley Hot Springs in Idaho Revisited!

7.30.2005

Bear Valley Hot Springs

It was great to return to Bear Valley after 2 years and find no trash upon arrival. We had the place to ourselves at night and experienced a steady stream of daytime traffic - some friendly and some not. This large influx of day hiker traffic is probably due in part to Backpacker magazine recently featuring Bear Valley. However, they used the wrong picture for the article (Lower Loon Hot Springs was the actual pic used), directions were lackluster and there was no mention of red spider mites. The Boise National Forest also hands out free publications promoting this hot springs as well - funny how their map looks just like that of Evie Littion's Hiking Hot Springs (2nd Ed.) as do the descriptions.

I was not ecstatic to find out that my buddies, the red spider mites, were still around. Despite careful soaking I still came away with a few bites which multiplied after returning (as usual). They even got on a couple of my friends that didn't even go on this trip!

Changes to note:
A downed large tree has crumbled the fire pit and bisects the flat camp site on the Eastern side of the hot springs complexes. The beach area further East of the downed tree has turned into a human flower farm - yeeech! Come on guys! Crap at least 200ft away!

An overzealous hunter has built a structure near the top of the first source so that he may sit comfortably while shooting animals grazing on the algae at the hot springs - wow that's some sportsman. This area is in the Frank Church River of No Return Wilderness; it is illegal to build structures in it!

A very positive change to note however - (despite the human flower farm) there was no other trash in the hot springs area. Further downstream though is another story. Quite a bit of trash was found in a fire pit downstream of the hot springs at an (yes again) Angler camp. Burnt hooks, fishing wire, tin cans, preservative packs and more were among the trash found. I'm soooo sick of finding Angler trash... my guess is that the 'flower farm' is more than likely Angler related as well.

Despite the pesky mites and trashy Anglers, this trip was excellent. The pools felt great and the scenery was nothing short of spectacular.
Rating: A

Mile-16 Hot Spring in Idaho Revisited

7.18.2005

It's always nice to visit good ol M-16; this visit however was one of my least enjoyed. Upon arrival we picked up more trash than I've ever witnessed here. Plus, someone tinkered with the metal pipe that delivers the hot water into the pool. They diverted the main flow from the pipe that feeds the pool to a lower pool that can only be usable in low-water conditions (spring runoff will destroy anything below the mortar reinforced pool). They did a crap job; the big pool is now below 100º when it used to be a reliable and perfect 102º, and the new lower pool's water temperature is a mere couple degrees above that of the river. Nice going guys. Not only was the environment altered, trashed and trampled, but the housing in which the main pipe 'plugs' into the source has been cracked and damaged. I have a real strong feeling that Chinook anglers are responsible for this as the big fishing season just ended in this area. The anglers always leave the area trashed - every year, never fail. I know there are environmentally friendly anglers out there; but they are too few in number.
Rating C+
Related Posts with Thumbnails

Apture