I wonder if I should call this entry ‘Hot-tubbing Across Canada’ or rather ‘Hot-springing across Canada’ 🙂 !
What a delight today has been …. Our third hot-spring-ing session in 3 weeks here at Radium Hot Springs. Wow, wow, wow. The day started out luxuriously sleeping in and enjoying another day of R&R. We ate our breakfast and prepared our snacks rather quickly, as the day was starting to get away from us, with so much planned before the midnight hour. We had wanted to go hiking first thing and Slade discovered a trail that actually scooted beside the canyon up to the parking lot of the Radium Hot Pools. Bonus! When I say skirting, the canyon walls leading into the town were a couple of thousand feet higher than the road level. So this was predicative of the hike before us. Walking the short distance to the trailhead (the gates of the National Park) was the easy part. From there, switchbacks down to the Sinclair Falls gave us an inkling into the radical changes in altitude ahead of us.
Wow, the frozen configuration of ice patterns in both the falls and the rapidly running ice-covered stream was incredible. Here is my prize-winning photo from the falls. What I call as “A Canadian Goose: Frozen in Time”.
Hope you enjoy it as much as I did upon it’s discovery!!!
We must have climbed about 1000+ feet up the canyon wall. The hike was purely magical .. We didn’t come across another human in our 1.5+ hour trek. (30 minutes of that time was spent stopping to take photos and enjoy the views), with heavy snow puffs clotting the bows of the trees … And thousands of trees there were. Everywhere, tall thin pines with clumpy snow balls decorating every tree like a Christmas decoration. It was quite funny when I shook one of those, and the snow tumbled down upon me, leaving me looking like a snowwoman! Gently cleaning the snow from my brows and face, slaDE~ laughed, wishing that he could have caught my naiveté on video (a youTube contestant for sure!). Timing is everything, I guess ;).
We arrived at the Radium Springs Lodge parking lot and crossed the road to our intended destination … Radium Hot Springs hot pools. With a 1.5 hour massage scheduled only an hour away, we hung out in the gorgeous wide expanse of the steaming sultry waters (I’d say 3 times as big as Banff’s pool). Boy, the waters were a plenty filled with people from all destinations savouring the healing benefits of the thermal water. We had the extra benefit of a kick-butt steam sauna in the Pleiades Spa to help melt away the aches and pains.
SlaDE~ and I had different experiences with our masseurs … I like the really deep tissue grind of a good massage but I tend to get the less experienced weaker of the two (perhaps they think that the man can tolerate more?).
After a quick dunk in the hot springs, we left to join the rest of the town in celebration of Radium’s 16th birthday incorporation. Free hot dogs and hot chocolate to wash down the sugary vanilla pudding cake made for a quick hunger fix before our 9pm dinner reservations. Not really the most healthy of meals (I can just hear you, Sandy, gasping in delight!), but hey, with us hiking, spa-ing and dehydrating our water reserves (a good massage and steaming hot pools will do that to ya!), the ‘food’ washed down really quite nicely, filling our hunger gap. Next we tackled the toboggan run. Kids of all ages (ourselves included) hijacked other kids with their crazy carpets and hitched a ride down Radium’s zippy little hill. I’d forgotten the speeds that one can carry when on plastic hits snow, and without brakes! Liken it to a projectile bullet really … anything in your path, watch out!
SlaDE~ proved that one …. he hitched a ride with Grey, a little 5 year old bundled up so cutely! They took the first run without incident. The second run, another little boy (4 years old?) had fallen off of his lone sled; he wasn’t really attuned to the traffic around him. Poor guy didn’t see them coming when he fell off of his peppy ride. SlaDE~ was aware enough to shield them all as best as he could, deflecting his leg off of the standing boy. Luckily, everyone was okay. The little one cried a few alligator tears, more from fright methinks, but quickly jumped into the spirit again :).
Next up was my turn, with the lively Matty and her slick crazy carpet. I haven’t been on one of these rides since my teen years, on the farm. What fun! We hurtled down the hill, several times, much to my delight. A nice bit of excitement to round off the day. But before returning to the hot springs for one last evening soak (we bought a day pass to the springs), we watched the firework finale held at the local golf course. Phenomenal! Really a wonderful exhibition in the winter time, smoke lazily hanging and floating in the air long after the pyrotechnic remnants have extinguished.
Our return to the springs was different this time, with the dark sky enveloping us like a warm cosy blanket, steam and darkness masking the hodgepodge of people filling many a gap. I’d say there was an even number of adults and children alike … we were lucky enough to witness a large family with their 3 month baby there, so cute, the clan, all adorned in their winter hats in the water. I was amazed, truly, at how many kinsmen had the same idea as us to spending their New Year’s Eve here. Fabulous!
Waterlogged we made our way to Helna’s Stube restaurant for a lovely European Gourmet dinner. However, the 70 minute wait for our food wasn’t so spectacular but, really, we were lucky to get in with reservations when we did, made only that morning.
Tired, satisfied and happy, we returned to our quaint Misty River Lodge room and rang in the New Year, drinking fizzy Aqua Libra and watching Dick Clark’s Rockin’ TV legacy.
PS. We’ve been loving the fact that we had a white Christmas in the Mountains! Quite different from last year’s sojourn to the desert. The question on our minds is, where will we spend the holiday season in 2007!