We finally had a weekend when the surf was supposed to be waist to chest high, with decent weather predicted. But Saturday morning at 6:30 it was drizzling with temps in the low 40’s so we delayed surfing (again) and we headed for the hills.
A big advantage of living in Southern California is the ability to choose your geography and weather each day. We drove through fog and gloom for about an hour, then started rising into the mountains. About 2000 feet above sea level the sun broke through, the temperature warmed up and things were bright again.
Destination was Bowen Ranch and a hike to Deep Creek. We got tempted by the dirt trails and did a bit of 4-wheeling on the way there, but the destination was the hot springs so that didn’t last too long. The owner of Bowen Ranch greeted us at the gate, we paid him our $10 ($5 per person) and drove down to park. $10 is pretty cheap peace of mind (call it insurance) that you’re leaving your car for the day – and knowing somebody’s patrolling the area.
The hike down was quick. It’s a little over two miles, almost all downhill. It’s fast, easy and holds the reward of hot springs at the end. The water in the creek is still very cold. Very, very cold. The first 10 – 15 feet of wading are OK. But as it go
es to waist high and your muscles start to sting, you begin to wonder if you’ll ever get across. And being naked, and with water that cold. Well, we’ll just say it’s good our team have lots of self-confidence.
But the hot springs were the warm, clear water we expected. The sun was warm enough to lay out comfortably and catch some rays, and there was a fun, eclectic crowd. A few gay guys with a laid back attitude, a group of two men and three women celebrating a birthday and recent divorce decree, a couple hot springs hounds, and various others. There are always good stories, and something about the desert air and hot water (and perhaps the free-flowing wine, beer and margaritas) guarantee some great conversations.
About 4pm we packed our gear and hiked out naked. The sun was warm, the uphill hike kept the adrenaline flowing, and it helped compensate for some of the exercise we’re missing by not surfing.
But it’s mid March so surf season is coming soon! But we’re also planning another day at Deep Creek on May 2.