Friday, March 2, 2012

Soak it up!

One of the things I have found to be true in life is that there is nothing quite so refreshing and rejuvenation as hot water on a cold day. In the interest of seeking out this experience for a winter adventure, my daughter and I went with some friends to one of our favorite hot spots, Breitenbush Hotsprings. Normally, I like my hotsprings very remote and un-populated, but for winter accessibility and the appeal of warm, dry lodging and hot meals it's a minimally developed locale I truly enjoy. If you've never been there before, their website is a good place to get a little tour:  We went in search of snow, figuring that our odds were very good in February at such a high elevation in the Cascade Mountain Range, and in our optimism, brought along snowshoes we rented from a local outdoor store. Upon arrival, we were greeted by many good sized patches of snow, and enough covering some of the roads to make for good snowshoe trails. The sunny skies and periodic warm Chinook winds on our first full day there made the forecast of snow seem doubtful, but our expectations were met well enough, so there was no fretting. Just lots of soaking.

After much soaking, hiking, stargazing and snowshoeing, we woke up on our second morning in the cozy little cabin (kept nice and toasty with geothermal heat) to a thick layer of snow covering the ground and plenty more falling from the sky. I felt like a little kid waking up on a snow day watching all that snow coming down outside the windows in the early morning light. It was quite magical.

Every tree, shrub and lichen was covered with a stately white mantle of snow...

As were our hair, noses and eyelashes.

We made the short trek past the lodge to the pools listening to our boots crunching through the thick, new snow.

We spent the morning enjoying the geothermal wonderland, soaking in the warm pools with big fluffy snowflakes swirling all around, landing in our hair and disappearing on the surface of the water.

By this point, I was feeling very resistant to the idea of ever leaving, but after my attempt to stay an extra night was thwarted by the news of full occupancy with no open cabins left, I supposed it was a good idea to drive down out of the mountains before even more snow accumulated. After another delicious hot meal in the lodge, we reluctantly headed out that afternoon for our slow journey through the snow down out of the mountains. Before leaving, I made one last visit to the hot-spring heated sauna (which I had all to myself) broken up in the middle by a quick jump into a pile of snow. It was delightful. I left feeling like I had soaked up all the relaxation and rejuvenation I possibly could for the time being, and decided that I just need more hotspring trips in my life. And a few more snow days.


  1. Ooooooo that sounds wonderful....wish I was there now!x

  2. My it looks cold there, wonderful pictures, cheers Marie

  3. that sounds soooooooooooooo fantastic!