Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Geo 730: March 18, Day 442: A Swim in the Desert

The warm spring in Virgin Valley is a very special spot to me. It's not all that warm, perhaps body temperature, though I've never actually measured it. But you can see, it's quite sizable as these things go, and about shoulder to neck deep in most areas. The bottom is gravel, not muck, which is a nice change from many warm springs, and if you grab a handful, you can spot little tiny gem opals. They're not common, and as I say, they're tiny, on the order of a millimeter, but hold the pebbles in the sunshine, and you can spot dazzling flashes of color, most often blue, from what appear to be glassy blebs. There are scads of little fish that look like guppies, which will amusingly mistake hairs on one's skin for worms, and worry at them. It kind of tickles. This pool is at the south end of a fairly large, free campground. It's not the most comfortable camping spot in the world- the ground is rocky and hard- but there's so much to see and do in the general vicinity, and this camp is very conveniently located for day excursions.

Unfortunately, we had squandered so much time on this day... well, not so much wasted, but seen other, unplanned, spots... that we only had a half hour or so before we had to turn around and head back to Lakeview. I have a few other photos of this spot coming up, and I'll squeeze in some descriptions and locations nearby, which sadly, we didn't get to on this trip.

It's no exaggeration to say Virgin Valley is one of my favorite places I've ever been to!

Photo unmodified. August 19, 2011. FlashEarth Location.


Dan McShane said...

Looks like you had a better time of it than when I visited that spot. I went there in November and enjoyed the warm water greatly but had lots anxiety due to the fact it started to snow and I got worried about being stuck.

Lockwood said...

I stay out of this area during cold weather, for exactly that reason. And another, I'm intending to describe tomorrow: getting out (making yourself get out) of the pool is harrowing when it's cold. It's not warm enough to have that sense the excess is radiating off you when you get out. You're wet and freezing the moment you start to lift yourself out of the water!