We went to Valley View Hot Springs
First thing we noticed when we arrived Friday evening (around 6:40PM)was that most, if not all, the people were mostly dressed. Of course, the office personnel are usually dressed, but even our friend Daniel, who was there the day before and set up a large tent for us to share, had shorts on. That was unusual! The air was rather very cool. Apparently, since this is a clothing optional place, most people that come, come for the hot springs, are not that interested in the nudist lifestyle as a true Nudist Resort would be. So it's not that hard to get people to get back into their clothes. However, the next day, when it did warm up, more people were nude on the property.
It was cool that evening, but not bad. I still wore shorts and a shirt that Friday night as pretty much everyone was clothed even more so, and I guess I felt a little out of place. I should have been fine though, it was just me. But the next morning, cool or not, I was nude and stayed that way all day. Many more were nude as well, including Daniel.
Later that morning, we found out we could take a tour of the power and water system they have. They are a self sustained Land Trust and Conservation group. They own hundreds of acres along the mountain side that goes down into a desert like valley. At first, my wife and I used the hot springs that were more man made, still using the hot water from the mountains, but the pools were built by hand. Very nice pools. But we also walked up the trail to the higher sources where natural pools (adjusted a bit by hand) were, which was a very steep climb up a quarter mile, the altitude was over 8000 feet, so it was a bit hard on the breathing. I'm sure if any of you near sea level would have a very hard time, at least we live at 5800 feet altitude. So its only a 3000 foot difference for us. See the second picture of the scrolling screen on VVHS website, that was the top spring we hiked to.
Anyway, later that day, we got to go on that tour by a resident geologist who took us through the area talking about the history of the power use and how they created and distribute their power. In order to upgrade to more power with a larger water turbine, they had to drop over 500 feet through 9000 feet of pipe to get enough back pressure to run the turbine. That is nearly 2 miles! That took us out of the main area (riding the back of a pickup truck) out down to the valley (desert) where we drove in from to the power station. By the time we got back from a geological tour of the mountains and how they were formed and the faults that caused the hot springs (view from valley gave us an overall picture of the mountains) and the ride out to the station and back, I was burnt all over! Since we were mostly in the shade (lots of trees) and using the hot springs a lot, I never put on suntan lotion and we did not know were going out to the desert valley for a good hour on our tour. I am still feeling the burn, but it is healing over. I coated myself with coconut oil for the last two days and staying nude as much as possible. If you look at the link I provide above, you can see the first picture of the valley.
Saturday night, a rain storm came and it rained for about three hours. We had a canopy I brought over our "kitchen" area and we sat in there, but Daniel and I insisted in staying nude. The cool air and moisture sure got us cold! We waited for the storm to settle down, which it really didn't but just enough for me to go to bed where my wife and daughter are already huddled in to keep warm. Daniel walked (quickly) to the main office where he left his laptop to do some work online. I laid in bed for over an hour or so freezing, couldn't get warm. We had an air mattress and since my daughter was cold, she huddled in between us. They went to sleep, I struggled for room and tried to stay warm while my body was stinging from the sun burn. I eventually got up, put on a shirt and sandals, went out to the kitchen and got my shorts, looked for a flashlight. I started to get shakes all over and managed to stumble my way to the office where the office personnel were still getting ready to close and Daniel was on his laptop. I drank a cup of Sleepy Time Tea to warm up and hopefully settle me down. I was going into thermal shock. After a rough night, I actually felt better the next morning, but by was I red all over! Sunday was a good day over all, though I was very careful in the hot springs. We packed up by noon (lots to pack) and left around 2PM. That night after we got home I had a good look at myself in the mirror! OUCH! Worse than I thought.
But overall, we had a wonderful time, other than my stupid error of being in the sun too long and causing my body to not handle a simple rain storm, we did great. My wife and daughter (13) both enjoyed it.
There is a bat cave about a mile up (part of the property so we could walk there nude) but we didn't visit it this time. We had been there twice before, so no big deal for us. The hike up the quarter mile (35 degree angle up) was a good hike on Saturday so we didn't miss the bat cave.
See the link I provided for the Orient Land Trust. There is a lot of cool history of the place.
We are looking forward to going again...only more prepared. Never go camping in the mountains of Colorado, even in the middle of July or August, without some warm clothing and weather gear!