March 25, 2011

Location =  Jemez, NM  
Distance =  13.28
Time =  2:21:46
Ave. Speed =  5.5
Max. Speed =  17.6
Monthly Dist. =    184.52
Yearly Dist. =  327.24

I have been wanting to go to the San Antonio Hot Springs in the Jemez Mountains for a long time. During late Fall, Winter, and early Spring, there is a gate across the road that leads to the hot springs forcing people to walk 5 miles in each direction, or in my case, ride a bicycle. I drove to the the Jemez, parked the car by the gate and then rode my way in.

The road in was rolling hills with most of the distance being downhill. There were some patches of snow in the shady spots, but only one place on the way in was there so much snow that I had to ride through it rather than around it. At the end of the road there was a parking area and a little foot bridge over the river. It should have been obvious to me that the hot springs would be up the hill from the foot bridge but sometimes the obvious escapes me. I decided to go through a gate and look for the springs further up the trail. I was following some other bicycle tracks and I thought they would lead me to the springs. Wrong! I walked through some mud along the river and through a pretty meadow and valley. There were some sandy areas and interesting rock formations, but no springs. Eventually, the other bike tracks ended and I knew that this was not the way.

I returned to the parking area and started walking up the hill above the foot bridge. Now, I could see the hot springs. Steam was rising in the air and there were some green plants growing close to the water. Excellent! I dropped my bike, stripped off my clothes and made my way into the water.

The San Antonio Hot Springs has three pipes sticking out of the mountain and hot water is gushing out of them. At first, the upper pool seemed too hot for me so I started out in the second pool underneath the first one. After about 15 minutes in that pool I climbed into the upper one and found it to be perfect. It was not too hot or too cold. It was just right.

I soaked for about an hour and then a German couple from Santa Fe showed up. It soon became obvious that my idea of going to the hot springs on this day was not unique to me. A little while later a young couple showed up and then two more couples after them. I was going to cook a hot lunch at the springs but I had forgotten my main course so I decided to leave. On the way out I passed several more groups of two or three people that were on their way in. It was going to be crowded in those little pools.

I had a very nice little getaway for a day. I think that I will return in the Fall for another relaxing soak. It would be nice to be there all alone, and next time I won't forget my lunch.

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