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We had the neatest motel manager in Fort Nelson. A burly fellow whose clientele is mostly road crews or oil well diggers, he surprised us by baking his own raspberry muffins for breakfast. He enjoyed chatting with us and sharing some of his life stories while also sternly warning us never to get out of the car to photograph a bear--especially a black bear. Oops! We promised to follow his advice from then on and thankful we had a "from then on"!
Our thoughtful trip planner (aka Kathleen) had researched the area and scheduled us less travel this day and a well deserved stay at the Laird Hot Springs in British Columbia. Let it be known that these are NOT hot tubs but very natural springs of hot water coming from deep in the earth. We could see some areas actually bubbling! The waters are deep and I'm balancing on a submerged old tree trunk here.
The setting was beautiful with totally natural pools. Not commercialized at all. People had added wooden boardwalks and decking but the springs were just as God made them, surrounded by lots of greenery and tall trees. The water had uneven temperatures and some spots were absolutely scalding!
We met a friendly trucker and his 5 year old son there. He drives these windy roads all year round and we dared not even think of the blind curves and elevations during the long winter months of snow and ice. He confessed he feels safer on the roads in winter because there are no tourists- the real travel hazard! Whenever his boy is on vacation, he rides along with his dad.
He encouraged us to return to the hot springs to celebrate New Year's (-30 degrees or so) and said everything out of the water is frozen but it's warm underneath. He watched the Northern Lights while soaking. Sounded neat but I don't think I'd want to drive there in the long, dark hours and sub-zero temps. I can appreciate his descriptions and that's enough for me.
We soaked away days of stiffness from all the miles we'd just traveled. Hillary, all flushed from the hot water, cried out, "I'm healed!" See that smile-that is one relaxed girl!!