It isn’t just pressure and folding. The Coast Range sits on the North American edge of the Pacific Ring of Fire – a natural phenomena that June Carter Cash did not write about. Spotted throughout these grass and oak studded mountains are geo-thermal sites fueled by molten rock fairly close to our earth’s crust’s surface. The cracks formed in that on-going folding process allow the heat to escape – or at least play tricks on the surface water that seeps downward.
|(c) Wilbur Hot Springs|
I TOOK THE LONG WAY HOME after my trip through the Capay Valley. Following Bear Creek, I zigged across State Route 20, finding myself on a Prius or Civic-able stretch of nicely grade gravel road. The late winter hills still wore cloaks of rust and gold; but tiny shoots of green pushed through. The occasional clump of lupine spoke to the unending rhythm of the seasons. And the purple redbud blossoms, somehow, didn’t cause me to think of Judas. I just rode.
Four miles on, substantial steel bridge crosses Bear Creek. The intersection is marked Wilbur Springs Road. Clever. I would not be lost this day!
She accompanied me across the road to the spa area, commenting knowledgeably about my BMW, parked where I knew I shouldn’t have parked it. She pointed westward toward the 1800-acre preserve that followed the upstream course of Sulfur Creek, which, later I would investigate on foot.
Across the way, several pools are spaced – each maintaining a different temperature of mineral-infused waters ranging from 107 degrees to 98 degrees. Attire is optional.
Meg had shared: “We have no internet up this way. No cell coverage either. Sometimes, we ask folks to simply leave their watches in their vehicles.” I drove away thinking about the vortex and how easy it would be to slip through to the other side.
RESOURCES: Check out Wilbur Hot Springs informative website at www.wilburhotsprings.com. The link shares area history and available accommodations. See you there! (Just probably not “nekked.”)
Church of the Open Road Press