We had a relatively easy day today. We decided to drive into town (the resort complex is a few miles north of town) and see the hot springs. We pass this cute little log cabin at the resort entrance everytime we go in and out.We parked in a lot by the river and wander across the street to The Springs Spa and Bathhouse. There are several resorts on the banks of the river and all of them access the hot springs located behind The Springs Hotel. Each spot has several different pools that people can soak in. The river water is somewhat warm as well and it is very shallow. Sitting in, floating down, and generally having a good time in the river is a popular pastime. A few years ago the city and the county spent a lot of money to enhance the esthetic of the San Juan River. This project improved the look of the area where the river runs through town and the kayaking and canoeing experience futher afield.
Along the River Walk and by the resort spas there are formations – almost like a water feature in a garden – created from tufa (similar to the travertine in Yellowstone). Tufa is hydrogen sulphide and dissolved silica that gets left behind by the flowing water. On the opposite side of the river from the spas, up beside the road above the River Walk there is a viewing platform where you can watch the spa pools and the river players. Another one of the tufa formations is there plus information boards about Pagosa Springs and this was the sight of an Earthcache. So, I had to get John to take my photo so I could send it to the cache owner to prove I was there. We walked along the River Walk to the end just past the big hotel you see at the back of photo above. There was supposed to be a geocache hidden behind a sign at the little amphitheater but it was MIA so we backtracked and crossed the bridge to go past The Springs Hotel.
Looking one way up the river from the bridge and the other way down stream. At the back of The Springs Hotel you can see the Mother Spring – the deepest hot spring pool in the world; as measured by The Guiness Book of World Records. The pool is about 30′ across and what you can see is only about 15′ deep. But in the center there is a small gap through which the hot water surfaces and Guiness measured it at 1002′ deep. This pool you cannot bathe in. It is VERY hot water. On the far side of the pool from the water feature the edge is covered with little unpopped bubbles and streaks of the minerals in the water. And the water is so clear you can easily see the formations on the side of the pool. We returned to the truck and made our way back to the resort for a late lunch and lazy afternoon.
The feature film at the lakeside (sunset) was more a short subject tonight. There had been short rain showers several times over the dinner hour and not a lot of clouds in the sky by the time the sunset to give the nice colours; but still it was a pretty good show.