This past weekend, Lee and I had the pleasure of staying at Chena Hot Springs Resort. A friend’s parents won a free stay, but it was about to expire and they weren’t able to use it in time. So they offered it to us and we gladly accepted!
It was a truly relaxing weekend of bathing in the hot springs and bathing in the hot springs again.
The interior of Alaska, as cold as it gets, is blessed with many hot springs. At Chena, there is a large pool they have called Rock Lake. (It’s behind these frosted trees – see the steam?) You change into your bathing suit in the locker room and then leave your towel inside (it would freeze if you brought it outside). Then, you venture out into the cold in your bathing suit and flip flops. On Saturday, it was 30 below outside. The pain of being basically naked and in -30 degree weather doesn’t last too long. You walk 40 feet to the lake’s ramp. Steam is rising all around and your feet go into 140 degree water. A little ouch at first but once your whole body is in – man is it heavenly! Of course, your head is still in negative temperatures, so the rising steam freezes to your hair and eyelashes and eyebrows. Lee’s hair froze solid into little spikes that you couldn’t bend! It was very funny. In the Rock Lake, they have colored lights that give the pool the feeling of being in the Aurora. Unfortunately, the real aurora didn’t show. But it still felt wonderful!
The next day our car wouldn’t start – it got down to 45 below in the night and the resort apparently doesn’t have enough plugs. So while the staff was trying to plug everyone in with extension cords, Lee and I went for a walk. There are quite a few hiking and skiing trails around the resort so Lee and I set out to explore. It was still -40 out. But running helped keep my toes warm! Here I am running down the mountain!