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Aug 24

Hot Springs and Cool Caves

The drive from Boulder to Glenwood Springs was beautiful. The highway winds through the Rockies, passing ski resorts such as Copper Mountain and Vail (these first two pics are from the way home because it was too dark to get decent ones on the way there).

We kept on the lookout for wildlife, but Steve only caught a glimpse of one bighorn sheep (of course, not on camera).

We arrived in Glenwood Springs late, around 10 p.m. After stopping at the wrong entrance to the hotel, we drove around to the correct one. In my mind, I went back and forth about where to park the car so we could check in–next to the overhang or under it. Not even THINKING of the bikes on top of the car, I pulled in under the hotel overhang. A series of cracks, snaps, and crunches nearly brought tears to my eyes. For a couple of minutes, both Steve and I sat there with our heads in our hands, afraid to look at the potential mess above. We finally stepped out of the car in embarrassment while onlookers watched. The seat on Steve’s bike was probably less than 1″ too high for the overhang. The seat caught the overhang, then tipped Steve’s bike onto mine. Our new-to-us bike rack snapped, rendering it unusable. A sizable dent appeared on the car’s roof. Luckily, aside from Steve’s seat, it appears that our bikes came away unharmed. The biggest challenge was to fit two bikes inside of the already packed car. Whew!

After a night of much needed rest, we woke up ready to explore the hot springs pool. The main pool is kept at a comfortable 90 degrees. It is actually purified, chlorinated, and cooled, as the Yampeh Hot Spring that provides the water is around 122 degrees. A small natural spring pool is also available on the property.

The main pool (on the right in the next picture) spans over two city blocks! The therapy pool (104 degrees, shown on the left in the next picture) is 100 feet long.

It turns out that the third time is a charm, as Rylie absolutely loved the water. We floated around the pool for an hour, Rylie charming everyone we passed with her smile, kicks, and splashes.

Here she is, kicking away! Excuse my “mom” voice. Oh my.

Unfortunately, Steve wasn’t able to join us in the pool because he was so miserable from his sun burn. He watched comfortably from the shade. We’ll just have to make a return visit some day!

After we finished swimming, and before we headed out of town, we decided to check out a tram that went to the top of the mountain. It turns out that at the top of the mountain is small (but growing) Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park and a series of caves.

One of the rides in the park is a giant canyon swing that soars above the mountain. It looked fun!

The coolest part of the park (literally) was the caves. We opted for a guided tour of the caves, which was a nice retreat from the heat outside. The tour was very interesting, including learning the history of how the caves were first discovered and explored. We learned about several different cave formations such as┬ástalactites and stalagmites (already knew all about those, thanks to Carmen Sandiego back in the day :)), soda straws, and cave bacon (uh, yum?) The final “room” made me feel like I was in the movie National Treasure!

Until planning for this trip, I had never heard of Glenwood Springs. I ran across it on a travel forum suggesting sites to see on I70 from Denver to Moab, UT. The Hot Springs Lodge and Pool and the Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park are definitely on my list of places to visit again!

Come back soon for my trip report from the last part of our vacation in Moab, UT.

 

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