Three days and four nights. In this tiny little town with three 20-foot tall Cowboys and 25 churches for 2000 people. We won't even spend that long in Yellowstone or New York. But at least we made it to Oregon?
We knew we wanted to spend one more night -- down the road a couple miles was Hunter's Hot Springs -- and this is the Unofficial Official Hot Spring and Brewery Tour of America the Beautiful (UOHSBTAB for short). So we went to Safeway and bought like 90 lbs of food and gallons and gallons of water and toddled down the road to Hunter's soft, soothing, mineral-rich swimming pool. Those rooms are nice! And only $60. The hot springs are actually in a converted swimming pool and they were only hot the first night, but they have the best view of sunsets, baby geese, and the only geyser in Oregon. Old Perpetual shot out of the ground when Harry Hunter drilled into the ground while developing a health resort. Contrary to Wikipedia, it is indeed erupting every 90 seconds nowadays, unless you believe in commercial conspiracy theories.
Long story short, the hot springs were so nice, and the rest so sorely needed, we decided to stay another day. We had to catch up on the blog and the website for you after all! And we were tired. And relaxed. We'd leave Saturday, bright and early, to start the 2-day 130 mile trek across the waterless Oregon outback.
Except Friday night I lay down exhausted and three hours later my eyes were still plastered wide open. Neither Rachel nor I could sleep. I think we maybe combined got 8 hours total. Scratch leaving early for the desert.
We tried to hitchhike out on the main road all morning. A couple of folks pulled over but no one was going that way or had room for us. A scraggly vet in a blue Land Rover pulled over and talked to us for 45 minutes about peeing on a bear and other adventures in the Bureau of Land Management. Eventually, we arranged for a craigslist ride to pick us up at 4 pm, hung up our hammocks on four perfect trees outside the hot springs and kicked it.
Um the Craiglist guy, Zac, never showed. He had terrible grammar anyways.
So that evening we found ourselves at Doug's and he invited his son over (nuclear physicist reformed vet tech). They talked for like 9 hours and we weren't always sure what to believe, but hell, the stories were as wild as the west used to be and Doug fed us key lime pie and gave us a roof to sleep under and we were eminently thankful.
We woke up with the sun on Sunday morning and headed into the desert.