Dakota Hot Springs

Our battery is low after a day running the heater without any appreciable sun for solar charging. The furnace requires electricity for ignition and running the fan, so if we drain the battery there’s no heat. To avoid this we decide to drive for a while to the Dakota Hot Springs, which are open until 10 pm. The battery charges during the slow, snowy drive. We’re not sure what the hot springs will be like, but we pay $20 for the two of us to find out. It’s great! The water comes from a 2,000-foot well drilled by an oil company in 1924 that tapped hot water instead of crude. It’s clear, odorless water. The central tub feels about 106°F, the rest of the pool maybe 101°F. Swimsuits are optional, and with the snow still coming down onto bare skin the water feels fantastic. We linger as long as we can stand before heading back out to find a place to overnight.

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