Quite a bit has happened since I last published in this blog. You could say I am the laziest blogger ever or maybe just the most neglectful one. To sum up the past few years of my life; I graduated from college, got married to a wonderful man named Justin, had a baby boy named Finnley Ridge, went on countless trips enjoying many days in the great outdoors, and most recently we moved to Ireland (I will get into that later).
Recently we went on a road trip to Montana. The reason for our trip was to take our four dogs to live with my mother while we are abroad for the year. Since we had about a week off for vacation we decided to make this trip into a Hotspringing Adventure. If you ask any of my friends they will probably tell you that I love Hotsprings. Me and my husband even went to Iceland for our honeymoon so we could spend our time in Hotsprings. One of my favorite things to do during the summer and fall would be to mountain bike up to Diamond Fork Hotsprings in Spanish Fork Canyon, Utah and to sit in the springs for a good long soak. There are a few of us regulars, most of whom are men in there 50’s but then there is also me the 20 something old who always has her bike and four dogs and now, husband and baby.
We started our road trip with four dogs (2 toy poodles, a Chihuahua, and Standard Poodle), our ten-month-old son, two mountain bikes, camping gear, and the entire luggage required for a baby (if any of you have children you will know that they require a considerable amount of stuff, things you have never heard of before). We drive a scion XB, it’s not super spacious so we had to buy a roof box after we had the baby. Still, with everything in the car, we reach our maximum capacity limit. One wrong move and something is hanging out of the car window. When traveling I wish we had two roof boxes and even an extra car.
The drive started in Utah and headed up through Idaho into Montana. We didn’t plan on stopping at Hotsprings but as we were headed to Bozeman, Montana we spotted a sign for this nice looking spring called ‘Norris Hotsprings’. It was in the middle of nowhere, but it had a nice little vibe. There was a pool and adjacent to it was a bar and a stage, where you can find bands playing on the weekends.
After soaking we headed into Bozeman for a few days. After dropping off the dogs the adventure began. We purchased a couple Hotspring guides at the local Barnes & Nobles and headed to the next spring. The spring is called Potorsi Hotsprings, it was a great spring and there was even a free campsite near the springs. You might encounter a bear at this campsite because it was in close proximity to the water and it’s located in a very dense forested area.
Next on the list was Renova Hotsprings, it was out of the way but looked like it would be worth it. However, when we arrived at the Hotsprings they were lacking the most essential part of the spring, water. We immediately left and headed to our next stop, Fairmont Hotsprings, a commercialized hot water spring. The water gets piped up to a resorts swimming pool and has its own water slide. The slide is not that bad but the trek up to the slide is quite disgusting. You have to walk through random hallways and up stairs that are carpeted. Why would you have carpet in a pool? It receives constant foot traffic from pool goes and surely must never dry. YUCK! I will tick this Hotspring off of my list but shall never return.
We trekked on heading towards Missoula Montana. Right outside of Missoula is a spring called Nimrod Warm Springs. This water isn’t very warm, but on a hot summer day they are nice to take a dip and cool off. We met some other travelers at this spring and they told us that they were at a festival nearby called the (Testes Fest). I was unfamiliar to this festival but later googled it and found out way to much information.
After driving through Missoula we headed up to our top destination on the list, Jerry Johnson Hotspring. These springs are located in the Clearwater National Forest in Northern Idaho they cross the Lochsa River. After crossing a bridge from the parking lot there is a mile long hiking trail through lodgepole pines, cedars, and fir trees that eventually leads you to the pools. These pools were fantastic to soak in; they are located right next to the river so you can choose to soak in hot or cold pools. There is even a waterfall of warm water that gushes into one of the soaking pools. These are truly magnificent pools that I can’t wait to soak in again.
Making our way back to Utah we drove through the middle eastern Idaho and towards Goldbug Hotsprings. To get to these springs we had to drive three hours from Missoula through the Bitterroot Mountains and past Salmon Idaho. The book marked this three-mile hike as strenuous but from the past hikes I thought their idea of strenuous would be easy, I was wrong. This is a very steep strenuous hike, and poor Justin had to carry a 40-pound backpack with little Finnley as a passenger. However, when you get to the spring it is all worth it, no wonder the travel books describe it as a “geothermal gem”. Well worth the hike!! Ending our Hotspring adventure with this spring was a great choice and Finn seemed to enjoy the soak just as much as his parents.
After a week of soaking, only one swimsuit each, and towels that never got washed, we were overdue for a good laundry mat and a nice long shower.