A wind tears through Idaho Springs as if the Sasquatch and Paul Bunyun decided to have a contest to see who could blow the town down the mountain first. We’ve procured a lonely parking spot at the Indian Hot Springs Resort. We seem to be the only ones willing to pay to endure the wind in the bumpy lot next to the freeway. We had hoped the spot would come with free entry to the hot spring-fed swimming pool, but we are apologetically informed that it entitles us to only $1 off the $16-per-person entry price. We decide to hunker down for the night without a dip in the “translucent-domed tropical paradise”.
The morning dawns calm, and the tropical paradise once again beckons. After Sean joins us for a good breakfast in the camper, we decide to give the pool a chance, even though I expect something akin to a giant vat of warm cheese. As such, I reap the pessimist’s reward of a pleasant surprise. There are indeed a fair number of interesting tropical plants in the atrium: birds of paradise, banana trees, ginger, and hibiscus to name a few. The water has a green tinge but is the perfect temperature, and we enjoy splashing around in it for longer than I would have guessed.
We eat lunch at the Tommyknocker microbrewery. It’s not a terrible place, but Ann shrugs at the beer and my veggie appetizer makes my heart race and my eyelids sweat, a dead giveaway of MSG abuse.
To recover from the lunch, we wander up a road near our parking spot with a nice brown sign that says “Montane Park”. We look for a park and find only a neighborhood of modest ski town homes, then a dirt road that continues up the hill as far as we care to go. Ann’s ankle is still healing, but she makes it handily up to a very good viewpoint. A wall of clouds hovers over the divide, probably dropping snow on the other side, sparing three friends who enjoy each other’s company for a little while longer.