23 February 2010

Weekend Getaway: Chico Hot Springs

One of the things I love about my little college is the close sense of comraderie among faculty. For the past several years, a group of us has rented a "cabin" at Chico Hot Springs. Though just two hours away and not physically different from hot springs closer to Butte America, it's enough distance to feel a world away. Here are some folks arriving at the cabin with ridges of the Absaroka Range in the background:

There is no television, but I soon forgot about the Winter Olympics (which I have been watching obsessively-- even curling; well, everything but figure skating). The five couples share meals, and it all seems like an effortless, comfortable, happy commune for a few days. We move easily from the dining room to the common room around the fireplace. A long soak in the hot pool feels especially good after a day of skiing. Usually we ski in the Mammoth area of nearby Yellowstone National Park, but this year we gave the dogs a treat (no dogs on trails in the Park) and explored a trail on the National Forest:

After a few miles up a closed road and another mile up a narrow trail, we were ready to relax over some lunch around a fire in sheltered spot out of the wind:

Further up the trail we came upon a little cabin on a piece of private ground (a valuable "inholding!"):

And decided to ski "just a little further" to a waterfall. This area burned in the Passage Falls Fire (link is to a good film of helicopters fighting the fire) three years ago. We removed skis to follow the steep trail with its many switchbacks:

It's a delightful little waterfall, even while frozen into a wintry state:

The sun was ebbing from the sky by the time everyone got back to the trucks at the trailhead. The supper crew did an exceptional job putting together a great meal in short time, and soon we were on our way to the hot pool. By checkout time the next morning, crisp clear weather moved in and we parted looking forward to our next Chico getaway (standing left to right; Bill Macgregor, Jan Munday, Frank Ackerman, Jeff Schahczenski, Andrea Stierle; kneeling left to right: Pat Munday, Hwe-Chu Tu w/ MollyTheDog, Celia Schahczenski w/ Sheikah, Don Stierle w/ Chooka):

7 comments:

Frostbite and Sunburn said...

Sounds like the perfect getaway. Looks like you had fun. Have you booked the next one!

Maria said...

Looks like a wonderful and memorable time was had...
The frozen waterfall is worth an upclose look~ hope everyone enlarges the photos!

secret agent woman said...

Very neat frozen waterfall.

troutbirder said...

What fun!

Judy said...

I love that frozen waterfall!! I wanted to swing by Niagara Falls on the way home from Christmas with my parents, but the husband asked what there was to see there in the winter.

Leslie said...

And the food is the best in the West! Great you had good snow. I heard from a friend who was there last week that there was no snow to speak of in Mammoth at all.

Elizabeth said...

I love the frozen waterfall, its like looking back in time if you know what I mean?!