I don’t ever have to be convinced to sit in a hot spring, but there is something particularly sweet about a natural hot springs pool in the middle of the desert.
The water in the two concrete pools circulates continually. It drains each night and refills each morning when sun hits the solar panels, keeping them very clear and pleasant. It’s not very busy here now, and for a good amount of time, we’ve had the pools (which would hold 8 adults) to ourselves. I have heard it’s busier on weekends, when there are more side-by-sides here. Today I enjoyed two long soaks. My cracked desert feet are happy to have had the treatment, and camp is glorious.
This morning we take a long walk in the sandy desert, looking at plants and the many tracks in the sand. The terrain reminds me very much of the sand dunes of Prince Edward County’s Sandbanks Provincial Park. “This reminds me of…..” a sure sign that my mind is beginning to turn toward home.
I find seed pods of the Devil’s Claw, also known as the Unicorn Plant, which I just learned about at the Apache Cultural Museum. These cool plants are used traditionally by many of the tribes in this area as medicine, food (young pods and seeds) and especially for making baskets. There is a variety that is especially sought after because of it’s black colour, and especially long seed pod fibres, making for a striking basket design.
I also see my first scorpion tracks! We weren’t sure at first, but a quick check against google images seems to confirm my suspicion.
We watch a baby desert cottontail bunny and a little group of quail foraging near the pool of water that gathers behind the van. I think it might have been bunny’s first day out in the world; he seemed quite unsure of the pressure to apply to achieve either scampering or hopping – and like someone just learning to drive a standard, there was much revving, screeching tires and dust kicked up. I could imagine his mother, laughing to herself from a nearby bush.
For a good part of the afternoon, I park in the desert a half hour from camp; reflecting, writing and posting. I’ve come to think of my daily journaling as a sort of personal traffic report; noting the everyday activity on both in inner and outer highways as I commute to and from life experiences.
I know it’s not always the most riveting of activities, but there is a quiet delight in revisiting the day; turning the words over and over until there is an essence of the experience left.
My daily commute is smooth, and there are no problems to report on the either highway. Despite the activity.