I call the owner of Fire Water Lodge to explain my project and get status on when I might be able to soak there.
Fire Water’s baths are normally restricted to paying lodgers only, but I am friends with Richard and I get full clearance to visit as needed! Thank you Richard!
I opt for one of the two “spa” baths that are available to guests because—in spite of Richard’s recommendation that I use the patio Jacuzzi—it’s windy out, and cool, and it doesn’t seem like the best day to brave the great outdoors. (Recall from the Intro that my toes are cold October through May.)
Once I’m in the private bathing area, I turn on the spigot, and (remembering yesterday) pay especially close attention to the smell of the water. If there’s a rocky underground aroma I’m not picking it up.
My practical self chalks it up to circumstance, spa location (there’s variation, depending on location, in how close the water is to the ground, and water temperatures – see the map below from 1940, which illustrates some of this variation), and my smelling skills yesterday vs. today. In all honesty, even on my best day, I’d probably take last in a smell identifying contest.
Watching the bath fill, snapping photos, I realize that my pictures from day one and two are of this exact thing (baths filling), or of my feet in the water. I decide to try for some head-shots – for variety’s sake and to prove that I got all the way in!
The exercise goes on for too long and is not relaxing in the least, given the likelihood of me dropping my phone into hot liquid. Vanity kicks in, of all things. I shoot and shoot until I begin to feel like a 20-year-old, clocked in at work and supposedly on a quick break, but unable to drag myself out of the bathroom until I get a decent profile pic to post on my Tumblr account.
(Turns out that my “soak mode” selfies tend to look like I’m either dead or drowning – this is the only one I’ll be sharing anywhere.)
All that gripping and clicking and deleting leaves me feeling kinked, and somewhat cheated. But the bath soothes some of my shoulder stiffness, and I get the groovy post-soak feeling afterward.