A quick visit to my home of 20 years, an organic inspection of the vineyard I manage, and a week later I am on the road again, the same road. But this time I’ve done my research.
But that doesn’t mean I’m going to share it.
The precise location anyway.
Of the Hot Springs. The Best Hot Springs.
Somewhere along the eastern flank of the Sierras, let’s say, I take an unmarked dirt road either west or east off a major highway.
I climb, vocally praising my all-wheel drive vehicle.
Soon I spot some pink creatures, pink except for the green and yellow towels. Their hair is clinging to their shoulders and they move slowly.
As I pull up they take a last swig from their water bottles, smile at me, close their doors and slowly drive away.
The steam gives the pools away.
I have camped nearby, less than an hour’s drive, so it is still early enough on a mid-July morning, for the steam to be visible in the clear Nevada, er, California air.
I quickly drop a foot into the milky water. The rest of me follows.

Hot springs. Somewhere.
Hot springs. Somewhere.

Ah.
Ahhhh.
My phone buzzes.
Somewhere.
Somewhere far away.
It can wait.
Ahhhhhhh.
.
.
.
I hear a car start up the dirt road.
By the time it pulls up, I am wrapped in a towel.
I become aware that my hair is clinging to my shoulders.
I smile at the newcomers.
Nothing is urgent anymore.
I take a long swig from my water bottle.
Slowly, I climb into my car
And continue on my journey.