Hot Spring Soaking and the People You Meet

Okay so it’s been a chill beginning to Spring that still feels like Winter but what’s the rush anyway? Let the seasons change in their own time. Let’s all relax a bit and not expect immediacy in everything. This world needs to slow down and…soak in some hot springs!


We spent a few days in BC this week hanging out at some natural HOT springs soaking in the sulphurous waters, sights, sounds and random people. Sometimes the rock walled tub was packed like a can of sardines. And then that last soak with just me and Pete for a blissful half hour or so of silence.



Beautiful British Columbia



The array of folks seeking the scene or the silence was non-stop entertaining. At times we yearned for the silence of nature but oh well, what can you do when you’re in a place that offers something so sublime, for free, for everyone. Oh my what a wonderful world we live in that these sorts of places still exist.


We spent time soaking listening to all sorts of conversations. Whether we want to or not, there are some voices and volumes you just can’t block out.


There was ‘Rasta Boy’ and his tales of smoking rose hip, wormwort and lavender hand rolled organic cigarettes with the shamans in Costa Rica, or his 3 1/2 foot bong he loads with enough weed for a big dubie, inhaling in one massive pull until he feels a bell ring in his head and the intense otherworldly high ‘oh don’t worry, I’ve been doing this for ten years, it’s awesome…’, or his advice on where to walk in his hometown of Saskatoon ‘along the river and to the oldest heritage building in Canada ‘I don’t know it’s like, uh, 130yrs old or something…how old is Canada anyway?’…150 years, Rasta Boy, 150! His lean rock climbing, yoga studio, tatooed out body and booming-so-everyone-could-hear-voice was mildly annoying yet subtly entertaining.


Until we we were stuck in the tub with a cowboy originally from Alaska now full-fledged Canadian with stories that began as fun ‘around the fire’ tales and devolved into conspiracy theory, misinformation filled tedium. Like how Canada has 25 million (aren’t we at 35M??) and how rich 1%ers buy bodies and the use the corpse to extend their own lives (an I missing something?!?), which devolved more when swapping said theories with an American talking about how you have to tell yourself you love yourself three times a morning into the mirror and ‘everyone can have their own success to achieve…look at Donald Trump he was successful in real estate and is now President! That’s his success!’ and how that missile launched into Syria was ‘just a little warning’. Seriously?!?


Bah!! Can we not talk politics in the hot tub in the great outdoors surrounded by trees birds rushing river natural hot spring water fresh air and NATURE?!?  Is there not a universal rule of no talking politics or religion in the hot springs? How about no talking at all. Shut up and soak, people!


We found ourselves missing Rasta Boy and yearned for his direct blatant lacking any sort of awareness Way of Being. He would have put Cowboy and Mr. USA in their places.  Us, we stewed inside and both went into the lower, luke-warm bathtub temperature water of a lower tub. And waited for them to leave.


We live in a world of free speech and what can you do. Part of getting out and putting yourself out there is exposing yourself to others. People you like and people you don’t. People you agree with and don’t. It’s all good and healthy and necessary to appreciate those gems you find in the world.


One such human form of precious stone was a fellow camper at the still-free-in-the-off-season provincial park campground: Kim.  She came by to say hi our last morning there. She’d been camped out almost 3 weeks with minimal things and slept in her car. She soaked in silence in the springs every morning for hours.  All that’s exposed is her mouth and nose. She’s a Professional Soaker if there is such a thing. Her soaking was a meditation and her bliss was soft and lovely to witness. Soaking was not a social thing but more medicinal. Rasta Boy’s 3 1/2 foot bong offered only a low compared to the natural high Kim achieved while soaking.


She was living proof you don’t much to attain enlightenment. She also seemed to need this. As we all do in ways. Biggest difference being most of us don’t let ourselves sit in silence long enough to allow the healing to happen.


And these are but a few of the characters we met while doing our double day soaks in those fantastic springs in the mountains of BC.



Those other moments of camping, enjoying a fire in the dark silent night, drinking morning tea by the lakeside watching ducks fish their fill, robins bathing in the shallows, songbirds sinking their joyous tunes, Eagle soaring right in front of the vehicle just before we drove over the bridge…so many moments that allow a big breath to enter deep into the belly and fill the lungs.  Living big in the Great Outdoors.



Sitting, breathing, tea drinking lake



Movement is usually my medicine but with this still-to-heal knee I am limited with what I can do. Alternating between the glacier-fed river and hot sulphurous water of the springs made my senses come to life. Sometimes the best kind of therapies are free. We just have to let ourselves experience them and appreciate the perfect setting, however fleeting, when we have it.


I feel slightly transformed and ready to tackle the highs and lows inevitable in life, whatever form tomorrow holds. Bring it on.

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