DAY 106 - ABANDONED HOT SPRINGS
Day 106 - Warm Springs, NV - 3646 km
Warm Springs was one I had marked on the map, because there might be water. Reading the map you think it’s a town, but it’s nothing more than an abandoned bar with a hot spring and some older historic remains of a settlement. A hot spring sounded attractive to spend the night. When I arrived at the end of the afternoon there was already a young couple with a car, Rich and Felicia. They were from Ohio, on a short road trip through Nevada.
The property is entirely fenced off, but the gate is unlocked. Probably the owner, who lives somewhere else, doesn’t make much of an issue of people trespassing. It’s right on the main road and obvious that we were there. The water of the pool was pretty hot. When you dipped in your feet, you need a moment to adjust. But once you’re through, it’s amazing. Another truck arrived and joined the camp. Tom, a German in his 40′s, thin grey beard, burnt white legs, was on a road trip from Calgary, Canada. He had been living there for already 20 years, but his accent was still clearly German. The dashboard of his old truck was full of bananas, his favourite snack. On his way he visited all the hot springs because he had been in a car accident. He had been replacing his wheel and didn’t attach it properly, which made roll off while driving at high speed and he ended up in the ditch. While recovering from the accident he had trouble sleeping and didn’t spend more than two hours in bed because of the pain. The hot springs basically relaxed his muscles freeing him from the pain. He was full of big stories. I wasn’t sure at which point I stopped believing them. Perhaps the one when he talked about having a wolf in his tent. He was standing there in his rolled down speedo and his pink legs, most of the time he was in the hot spring pool.
After the nights I spend on my own it’s was enjoyable to hang out and camp with some other people. The skies were darkening again and another storm was about to come. I see storms every day now. This one came fast. Rich was hammering his pegs in the ground like crazy while Felicia stayed in the tent to keep it at its place. Tom didn’t bother and stayed in the hot pool the whole time. He was standing there in the middle for hours.
I explored the abandoned bar, the back door was open. Inside it was a mess. A dusty pool table, a fridge and some old stoves. Dated magazines with bleached out colours all over the floor. In a side room, which was previously the kitchen, the floor was covered with black particles, looking like chocolate sprinkles. When I looked up my headlight shown on to a family of bats, hanging off on the sealing. In seconds I was back out of the building again.
The storm went on, I sat down watching the fire. Rich was offering me something to smoke. I offered him some bourbon in return. It hardly rained, just the roaring wind. Sparkles of the fire flew far over the parking lot and I worried it would set the dry grass on fire. Tom was still in the pool, he didn’t say a thing. Felicia was softly singing in her tent. I could barely hear it through the noise the wind, making the buildings rattle, but it comforted me. Later Rich went to bed and I stripped my clothes off to enter the pool. It was cold with the winds still going at full speed and rain coming down too. Stepping in the pool was the sweetest thing of all. Hiding in the hot translucent water while everything above it was cold and dark. Tom told me earlier he didn’t have a phone and a computer, I asked him why. ‘Ah, you know, it’s mind control’. I asked him what he meant by that. ‘I can’t explain that in less then one hour’. Fair enough…
It got midnight and when I was warmed up I set up my tent, which took more time than usual. My head was light of the hot water, the bourbon and the weed. When I was almost sleeping Tom, still in the pool, shouted that there was a police car coming. I sticked my head out of the tent and looked over the plains. Very far away we thought we saw a red and blue flashing light. We watched it for minutes, but at some point we were not sure if it was really moving. It probably wasn’t and in the morning I woke up without trouble.