Dear Friends, Foodies, and Fellow Travelers,
Gourmet Girl Gail here writing from Santa Barbara, where there’s a crispness in the air (finally!) after temps being in the mid 80s earlier this week! If you live in Chicago or Big Piney, Wyoming (the ice box of the nation), you might think this is a wonderful thing. NOT. You see, I’m from the east coast, and when November comes it means Thanksgiving is on the horizon, and I always looked forward to a bit of chill in the air, if not a full-blown snowstorm. LOL!
In my last blog post, we were leaving Cody, Wyoming, and heading to Thermopolis. My Big Piney friends have been recommending the waters at Hot Springs State Park for many years. I’m glad to have made it there! Nestled against the hill of the park is the Star Plunge with water slides and indoor and outdoor mineral pools. I tried the Vapor Cave, a kind of steam room cut into a mountain and naturally heated to 118 degrees. A fountain in the Vapor Cave formed by natural minerals overflows and creates the steam. The entire experience was an elixir for body and soul after the many miles we’d traveled.
Abigail didn’t get to try the pools, but she loved the boardwalk and maybe the smell of sulphur or perhaps she was intrigued by what was under the boardwalk? As it turned out she loves slides!
The first Star Plunge was built in 1900 and has delighted the likes of Buffalo Bill Cody (of course!), Butch Cassidy, Marlon Brando and Robert Redford, among other celebrities. We even found a health food store in Thermopolis called Nature’s Corner where we stocked up on all kinds of organic goodies.
After Thermopolis, we headed to Moab, Utah, and toured Arches National Park. I’d been to Arches before, but its dynamic landscape left me breathless once again. The park has the densest concentration of natural stone arches in the world. There are over 2,000 of them documented.
Our circuitous route back to California was to avoid Interstate 15 through Las Vegas. So we decided to take The Loneliest Road in America, Nevada Highway 50, which stretches 287 miles from Baker, Nevada, to Carson City. I did a bit of research and found a KOA in Ely, which was our only stop along this desolate highway. It’s up and down, up and down, miles and miles of it, all the way. Other than the beautiful vistas, there is much more than meets the eye as this article describes.
Were I to do it again (which I’d love to do), I’d take a much slower pace and geek out on some of its real-deal history.
Until next time
Cheers and happy holidays!
Gail, Denise and Lindsey.