Wednesday, September 13 (continued)
Smoky mountains in northern Wyoming
Reggie, Roger, and I roll out of Lovell on our way to our next camp.
This is a fly-by-the-seat-of-one’s-pants sort of travel day.
I don’t know where we will spend tonight. We’ll keep rolling until I’m ready to quit driving . . . .
Route 310 takes us south, followed by Route 14 east, and we reach Greybull. We turn south again on Route 20. We pass through Basin and Worland. This is flat country, lots of dry grass.
We come to the town of Thermopolis.
Even though it’s only about 115 miles from where we started at Bighorn Canyon, I’ve had enough of driving.
Gosh, I’m tired. Must be that late start. Hmmm . . . After Thermopolis is Wind River Canyon. I want to be fresh and alert for that. We could stop now and go through the canyon in the morning. Let’s see . . . Here’s an RV park. This’ll work . . .
I turn in and park at the office.
As I hand the park lady my credit card to pay the $41.31 for one night (water and electric, no Wifi) including tax, she points out that the pool is being cleaned.
“That’s okay,” I respond.
I’m not interested in the pool. I want a hot shower, a place to do laundry, and electric for powering the laptop and air card. It’s supposed to rain tonight. We can run the electric heater in the morning. That’ll be nice.
As I drive around looking over the sites, I notice the strong odor of sulphur at one end of the park. I pull into a site at the other end and run the Best Little Trailer’s cord for 30 amps at the power post.
I tether the crew to the handle next to the front door.
Reg and Rog busy themselves sniffing around our “yard.” I set up my camp chair to relax for a few minutes. I know the crew will want to walk around the park soon.
Workmen come and go from the pool area.
The pool is mostly blocked from viewing from the RV part of the park. I don’t think much about it as I wouldn’t feel like swimming anyway on a cool day like this, one with the feel of rain in the air.
I walk the crew around the park.
Roger barks at every dog and person as we pass. I do my best to prevent this behavior, picking him up and talking softly in his ear before he’s triggered to bark. I’m not very successful.
Oh well, the guy’s been cooped up in the PTV and he’s been good all morning.
After a late lunch, I sort laundry.
With a laundry basket stacked high, I leave the crew in the BLT and head over to the laundry room. Inside is an elderly couple, the woman in a wheelchair. She’s giving instructions to her husband who is fussing around with the knobs on the washers.
He’s tall and lanky and none too happy. Glancing at me he reports, “This washer doesn’t work. Those two washers don’t have hot water.”
That leaves one washer which he commences to fill.
Hope springs eternal.
Then he adds, pointing to the four dryers, “Three are out of order and that one has somebody’s clothes in it.”
The clothes lie forlornly at the bottom of the motionless dryer.
I smell defeat.
I go out the door and trudge back to the BLT, toting my basket of dirty laundry.
I let the crew outside for a while and then . . .
I dive into my laptop.
Blogging, reading comments, reading and answering emails, catching up on the news, checking for Amazon orders, having a grand time being online again in the comfort of my little home.
Another walk-around for the crew. I decide to postpone the hot shower until morning.
I don’t want to sleep with wet hair. (I don’t own a blow-dryer.)
Thursday, September 14
The BLT is warm and cozy with the heater on. The first potty-run of the day is a quick one. Rain fell during the night and it’s still coming down lightly, on and off. The crew and I are not used to this damp cold.
After breakfast and a cup of hot coffee, I’m ready for the hot shower.
The rain has stopped. The sun is warming a new day.
I sing to myself a little ditty of my own creation . . .
“A shower for me, a shower for me, oh how lov-a-leeee it will beeeeee . . . “
I grab my shower tote out of the PTV. In it are my shower shoes, shampoo, detangler comb, soap, back brush, etc. I add a towel, wash cloth, and clothes, and hustle on over to the bank of shower rooms with quarters in my pocket.
There are five (if I remember correctly) in a row, each with its own exterior door. The first two doors have signs on them: “Out of order.” The third door has a sign: “Employees only.”
The fourth and fifth doors have no signs.
Great! I’m in!
Oh, boy. This is gonna’ be soooo nice.
Cheerily I set up the shower stall with the items I need, hang the towel within reach, strip naked, and, then, poised to jump in, I drop quarters into the machine.
Plunk, plunk, plunk, plunk, plunk.
Five of ’em.
I want to be sure to have enough of the delicious hot water . . . .
By now, dear reader, you probably have figured out what’s next.
Immediately the water comes on.
I stick my hand in. Lots of water pressure and it’s cold, of course.
But it doesn’t warm up. Noooo. In fact, to becomes colder. And colder.
“Sonuva –” I groan.
Dammit, I have to wash my hair at least!
I stick my head into the icy stream, keeping my butt out of the stall. I shampoo like mad, rinse like a maniac, plop on some creme rinse, frantically rinse again . . . .
“OH DEAR SWEET JESUS! MY HEAD IS FROZEN!”
I am so fed up I don’t even consider trying the fifth door.
I dress and trot back to the BLT. I open the door and Roger bolts out like he’s shot from a cannon. Where does he go? Over to the pool area where a big sign says “No Dogs In Pool Area.”
I don’t go after him. I step inside and shut the door.
I can’t deal with him right now. He can go jump in the pool for all I care.
(Yes, he came back on his own and no management or residents complained.)
Later, I walk Reg and Rog up the doggie trail.
We can see the pool from this vantage point. It’s gigantic and it’s full of water and it’s steaming (although it doesn’t show in the photos).
Okay, this is really stupid.
I’ll share it with you anyhow. Why? I don’t know. I guess I lack self esteem or something.
It isn’t until this moment that I connect Thermopolis + Pool = Hot Springs. I read the sign at the entrance (see second photo) and never gave it a thought that the “fountain of youth” would be hot springs.
I know. Where was my head?
Well, I don’t have a bathing suit and wouldn’t have gone in anyway. Nice pool though.
I can almost hear the groans across the planet from all my readers who love hot springs.
“You didn’t even go in!” you holler in exasperation.
If you could, you’d probably throw a shoe at me. Yes, you would.
Moving right along . . . .
Here’s the fountain for which Fountain of Youth RV Park is named.
Shortly after our walk, Reggie, Roger, and I board the PTV and we pull out of the RV park to head south toward Riverton. We wind through majestic Wind River Canyon.
I’ll show you the canyon in the next post!
~ ~ ~
As for our Thermopolis experience . . .
Well, most folks associate the town of Thermopolis with soothing hot water.
Maybe someday we’ll be back to change that.
NOTE: This post is about my experience at the RV park. I do not want it to deter anyone from patronizing this establishment. I imagine managing and maintaining an RV park with a huge pool and all the rest is very labor intensive. It probably wouldn’t take much — life happens and things do break down all at once — to put maintenance behind temporarily. I encourage you to stop at Fountain of Youth RV Park and enjoy a soak in that beautiful pool of hot water. If I go that way again, I might do so myself. — Sue
THANK YOU FOR VISITING MY BLOG!
“Meeting a man of the road at North Fork” — Olympic National Park, Washington, August 2013