Next stop, Radium. Early Oct, 2011

According to Webster: Radium- A radioactive, metallic element found in some Uranium, which undergoes spontaneous atomic disintegration.

This doesn’t seem like a very good name for a town if you want to attract new businesses. I have a little concern just going there for a visit. I’m wondering, should I even drink the water?  Press on, it’s an adventure, right? As you might recall from before, I’m traveling towards Glenwood Springs on a dirt road called County Rd….something or other. Radium lies a few miles down an off shoot road and looks to be right on the Colorado River.

(Insert picture of Radium here)

I would have but the town is so small it’s not even a town that I could find. So is that what ‘spontaneous atomic disintegration’ might be? Radium must have spontaneously disintegrated into nothing. Yea, that makes sense, right? Anyway, it does have a nice open place to camp right next to the Colorado River and a great boat launching ramp.

Boat ramp at Radium, Colorado River

 Standing there watching the River roll by stirred my kayaking urge. If there would have been one for sale right then and there, plastic would have been thrown down and I would have been paddling in a flash! (Note to self; buy book on how to kayak) This entire region of the Colorado River is super famous for boating, rafting and fishing. There is a water type for every level of experience and expertise.

My bucket list increased by one. Learn to kayak and do this river. Although there were many camping spots open here, I declined because it’s a fee area. As you remember, I don’t do fees. Two or three miles back, I passed a BLM or DOW camping area that had open camping available so I opted for that.

As I pulled in, the best spot to camp was being vacated by its previous tenants in a great looking rig. Which by the way, matched these two beautiful women perfectly. Sorry, I digress. After introductions and small talk, I find out there is a hot springs over the ridge and down a ways and then follow the river a bit and there it is. They point to a steep trail across the road saying all you have to do is follow it.

My camp along the creek along the road to Radium

 This is great news to me. After being shunned at the last hot springs, I’m going soaking for sure. After setting up my little gypsy camp and eating a snack, I grab my Native American flute and head for the trail. Not only is it steep, its covered by loose gravelly rocks providing near zero footing. Darn it….thats going to leave a mark as I look down at my skinned up knee.

Trail to hot springs (steep)

 As I reach the top and hike towards the river, I notice there is foot trails and ATV trails everywhere and in all directions. Something my gals forgot to mention I guess. After many backtracks and wrong turns, I come to a bluff and there is the river below.  Far, far, far below!

Colorado River & yet undiscovered hot springs

Still having multiple choice trail options, I approach the edge and start climbing down. I’m thinking about now I really need to get around to writing that Will. And people actually climb down this thing?? Seriously! At last, I reach the river level but not a sign of the hot springs.  I thought by now it would be obvious. Maybe I should have been listening better to those gals and not doing so much… ok, I make a 50/50 decision of up river or down and I won. See that rock like looking thing in the river picture? That is almost to the hot springs. As you can see, walking along the river bank is no picnic.

At last the springs come into view. Cool, I’m the only one here. On second thought, I’ve been way over an hour getting here and no one knows where I am and it’s a bitch of a climb out of this river bottom…. Maybe some company wouldn’t be so bad after all. I wonder what time it’s getting to be?? Did I just feel a rain drop?? Was that thunder?? Oh crap!

The Hot Springs pool!

What?? were you expecting to see something more than this for the pool? The only thing that separates the “pool” from the river is the ring of rocks you see. Sitting over by them the river water seeps through quite a bit and the temp is cool. The other side is much warmer but nowhere is it hot. It is really pretty here regardless of what temp the water is! It’s super quiet and peaceful with the exception of approaching thunder. None the less, after getting this far, I’ll be darned if a few drops of and claps of thunder will chase me off. Off go my clothes reveling my multi-purpose bathing suit and into the water I slip. The rocks are covered with soft green moss that makes for a bit of cushion for the bare bottom of my suit. After soaking a bit, I feel the urge to play a song on my flute in celebration of the beauty of this place. The notes come easily and the soft tones of my flute echo off the rocks and float across the ripples of the river.

view of the river from the soaking pool

   My back is to the river and my eyes are closed as I dance my fingers across the flute letting fly songs of thanks for being able to experience such a place. It was as if I were in a trance and I was both the snake charmer and the snake…

Within a fraction of a second, I was violently jerked from my trance like state by a voice from nowhere!!! The voice of God in the wilderness??? Not hardly. I spin around to see a fishing raft a mere feet five from the pool edge with four guys in it.  “Hey, nice music!”, this one dude says.  So from this particular situation, where does one go with conversation? “Catch any fish?” didn’t seem right so I simply said thanks, wished them well and returned to my music. During my time there in the pool, several boats floated by and then for the grand finally, just one the other side of the river, a Am Track passenger train roars by. I could nearly see the flashes of cameras through the windows! My pristine quiet secluded little pool by the side of the Colorado River was much like soaking in a Wal-Mart parking lot! But a heck of a lot harder to get to.

Having enough, I decided to make the accent back up and over to camp before dark. I rationalized walking back in the rain that it would have done no good to have brought a rain coat since my clothes were already soaked as they laid by the pool.

At Last! Home sweat home!

Nothing like an adventure to keep the heart young I say! Man my knee hurts. Dang it.


3 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. The Good Luck Duck
    Nov 10, 2011 @ 13:40:59

    Ha! I had to read back a couple of posts to discover what your “multi-purpose suit” was. This frames your story in a whole new way.


  2. Tesaje
    Nov 11, 2011 @ 07:27:37

    Good story. Just goes to show that with 7 billion of us now, there is no where that is truly private anymore.


  3. Carolyn
    Nov 11, 2011 @ 19:23:30

    You’re freakin awesome! and yes… 7 billion man oh man … I feel crampeder and crampeder


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