Follow by Email


Wednesday, July 21, 2010




FISH HILL SUMMIT = Climbed This Hill Twice


Having taken a motel in Soda Springs, intended to hitch a ride to Lava Hot Springs & walk back to Soda Springs . Then, remembered the 8 miles of intensive Road Work going on starting at the Soda Springs side of Fish Hill.

US 30 carries lots of traffic at this point. The Work Zone is VERY narrow with no appreciable berm to walk on...short would be dangerous to walk there. So, I drove out to the end of the Work Zone, parked the Van & started climbing Fish Hill. On the other side of 8-mile long 5% grade - a real MOUNTAIN - is Lava Hot Springs .

Half way up. an intense Storm Cell formed. Lightening zigged & zagged all around & thunder crashed through the black low hanging clouds. A short distance away, the bottom of the clouds were ripped open hanging like stage curtains...RAIN falling. Luckily, the cell moved quickly to the East, getting me only a bit wet. Was a super show but viewed from from the right-wing balcony seats. I kept walking.

Of course, I left my raincoat in the Van.

At the top of the 6,066 foot summit. bright sun bathed me. All around, the sky was littered with big Cumulus clouds looking like globs of Dream Whip thrown here and there. Dark shadows moved along under the roiling clouds...the Sun bathing the "tween" areas.

I started down the 5-mile 5% plunge off Fish Hill. 20 minutes later, a monster black cell moved over & around the high mountain peak some 5 miles to the West South West. It came at me like a tumbling roaring landslide. Flashes of lightning ripped through and out of black mass...some reaching the ground...others in battle with bolts from another portion of the massive storm. Thunder actually shook me. The air was filled with Ozone, leaving a taste in my mouth.

I turned & started back up Fish Hill, looking for a place to get off the exposed 4-lane roadway. I thumbed every vehicle...none even slowed. 1/2 mile from the top, the bottom of the cell came apart directly over me. Light flashes searched me out...talking about feeling naked before God...marble sized hail bounced off my wide brim Aussie hat. I turned to look back down the hill. The pavement was solid white as snow.

Then came the rain. Accompanied by light flashes and cymbal-like crashes of thunder. I was well tested and clearly reminded just Who was in charge here.

I was now soaked. I kept climbing. As sudden as it started, the cell moved away, pounding the hillsides off to my right. I stopped, mesmerized by what I had just experienced. The cell continued with flashes and thunder as it moved over the summit of Fish Hill, still a few hundred feet above my head. I watched as it disappeared to the East North East.

Turning around, the plummeting roadway was already dry. The Sun crawled up the Highway and once again bathed me in instant heat. In five minutes I was completely tho nothing at all unusual had just happened.

I did manage a few pics...hope they are presentable.

I decided to continue down to Lava Hot Springs, still some 4 miles away.

As I neared the bottom of Fish Hill, another "Land Bridge" train passed by 100 yards away. I gave my usual full-armed wave over my head and was rewarded again with the double toot toot///pause///toot toot.

I walked off US 30 into the Lava Hot Springs exit. It crossed a bridge over a river of foaming tumbling white rapids. A number of folks were shooting the rapids on brightly colored monster tubes....2 - 3 clinging to each tube.

A few steps further on was a panorama of tents, green grasses, and bikini clad bodies dangling feet into steaming manicured pools of water...Lava Hot Springs. "Drop In's Welcome" the folding roadside sign said. I looked down the 3-block long main street of "Downtown", took a picture and turned into Lava Hot Springs.

I could have been entering a movie set. Everything was trimmed, painted, and polished...beautiful nearly naked bodies strolling by 4 to 94 year-olds splashing all of several pools.

I enter the door waiting at the bottom of the wheel-chair accessible ramp. A thirty-something beauty (Karen) is explaining to a Couple that the furthest pool to the right is at 112 degrees. Each successive pool is a couple degrees less to the 102 degree pool lowest down to the left...and, yes, stroll around and look over the grounds. Without speaking, I, Aussie Hat, Backpack, & Water Bottles hanging from my waist belt, go out the inner doorway and "stroll around".

I like what I see. I return to Beautiful Lady

What is the cost?

Pointing to a rather large printed Menu behind her, she says...$5.50 for all activities for all day...until 10 tonight when we close.

Bathing Suit?

Yes, $3.00, which you get back when you return it.

I pay, take my bathing suit into the 5-star changing room. I have no need for the 2-quarter locker. I leave everything on hooks above the bench, where my shoes sit. Am I becoming too trusting...or just plain stupid.

I venture out in my tiny new bathing suit (I have lost 40 pounds), feeling like I really belong here. I test waters beginning with 112 and slowly work my way down to 105 or so.

That is when I meet Brenda...Slender, Vivacious, Disarming Smile; rushing inside to get paper & pen - to write down my Blog and E-Mail address..

Of course, I will read & follow you. And, I will E-Mail you. Got a feeling we are going to meet again,

We did, when I later walked into the Chuckwagon...there sits Brenda with her Mom & Auntie.

Oh, I'm down from Pendleton, Oregon to visit Mom...

Hugs accompany Brenda's "Bye, Bruce"

I walk back up and over Fish Hill, wondering about the extraordinary day I was experiencing.

No comments: