We were told that there are hot springs in the Leasburg Dam State Park but haven’t been able to locate them. The volunteer at the park told us that there are four hot springs right at the foot of the dam. But one has to wade through the mud and river to get close to the hot springs. We walked to the Rio Grande River again this morning but didn’t have the desire to wade through the wide river bed. From the overlook point, we saw the hottest pool at the foot of the dam. Other pools were hard to locate.
The volunteer at the park also told us that an old hotel near the greenhouse by the upstream of the river was once a bathhouse. The railway used to carry passengers for hot spring bathing. But now the railway only functions as a freight line. In the afternoon, we took the route to the old red hotel by the railway. Stephen saw steam on the surface of stream by the road. Wow! Would that be hot springs? We drove to the gate of the greenhouse and returned and parked by the underpass of the railway. The water flowing from the pipe under the road was warm. The stream runs towards the greenhouse. We walked across the road and immediately saw steam rising from the foot of a low rocky hill.
Steaming water and mud were spitting out from underground like boiling water in a pot. The gargling sound of water was melodic. The hot water created a winding hot creek among grass and weeds at the foot of the hill. And then it was channeled through a pipe across the road towards the greenhouse. We stared at the hot springs with awe! We have been staying in Radium Springs for the winter and haven’t found the hot springs until now. We put our hands in the pool. The water was hot! There was another small pool next to it with bubbling hot water. The water was odorless and the soil around the springs were brown yellow. It might be stained by the minerals from the hot springs. The greenhouse uses the heat from the hot spring to heat the greenhouse in winter. We were surprised that the hot springs were not fenced up. And we were thankful to the generosity of the property owner.
The warm sunny day gave way to a calm and cool night. We sat by a nice campfire for the first time this year watching the sunset. The bright Venus and a less bright Mercury shone in the twilight. Sirius twinkled above us. And the seven stars of Orion constellation were clearly visible with naked eyes. Other stars peaked through the clouds as the sky got darker. The flame from the burning salt cedar (bought from the park) warmed us and brightened our camp site. Under the thousand-star sky, a north bound train rumbled by and ran right by the natural hot springs – a rare find for us.