Sunday, October 25, 2015
Attempt to hike to the Spanish Fork Hot Springs
The nice weather is coming to an end. I didn't have any plans, but I wanted to be outside. There isn't a lot of pretty fall colors left, so I thought I would go to the hot springs so that I could have the pretty hot springs to see. Well, that was the plan. That plan didn't quite pan out the way I thought it would.
The stupid part about this day is that I have been to the Spanish Fork Hot Springs... many times. There are two different ways to get there. I only know the back way. Don't know why. That is just the way I was taught... which is weird. Most people don't know that way. Apparently the back way takes longer to drive there and it takes longer to hike there... and the hike is a little harder. So I decided I wanted to go the other way... the normal way that everyone goes.
First off, I went by myself. I feel like that in itself is a gamble for me. I'm terrible with directions and if I don't have any one to figure it out with me, then anything could happen.
So my first mistake, besides going by myself was putting into my GPS "Fith Water Hole Hot Springs". I get to a lot of my hiking trails this way, so I figured it would work for this too. So I put it in the GPS and was on my way. My first clue that it wasn't right should have been that it was taking me towards the back way... I was told that the other way was a lot closer to the bottom of the canyon. It's amazing actually that both ways lead to the same hot pots because both ways to get there are so far apart from each other. For some reason I trusted my GPS and I kept going. I kept going even when it had me turn down a dirt road. When I took this dirt road, I didn't realize how rough it was going to get. Turns out, that road is for 4 wheelers... not normal cars like mine. Once I was on it, there was nowhere to turn around, so I kept going. Not going to lie, there were several parts of this road that gave my anxiety... like it was going to mess up my car and I would be stranded in the middle of the mountains where nobody would find me. However, my car is awesome, and it made it like a champ. My GPS told me I had reached my destination which was a cliff... with no path in sight. Obviously this was not it... I looked at my GPS again... wondering what I should do. The reviews on google said DON'T USE GOOGLE GPS and then gave directions. Ha! I guess I should have read the reviews first. So I head back down the canyon to start over. So that whole adventure put me back an hour on time... but at least I know what my car is capable of now.
So I followed the directions and I went back up the canyon to the correct turn off. The directions were actually pretty easy and I found the parking lot to the real trailhead. I saw lots of cars there and thought it was a no fail now.
I parked and got my backpack ready and then realized there were two different trails. Nobody was around to ask... except this one guy walked by and I asked him. He said he wasn't sure because it had been so long since he had been there. He was pretty sure it was the path across the bridge. So I trusted him because he had been there before and I had not. So I headed on that path. I saw a couple of people coming down that path so I thought... ok, must be right. The guy and his group were right behind me.
I think I hiked for a half hour with this group behind me when I realized we were not on the right path. My clue? We should have been following a river and we were doing a lot of uphill climbing. Also... with all the cars that were in the parking lot, I should have at least passed one or two people coming back to their cars and I did not see one person. So I stopped and asked the group behind me. Non of them had been before except for the guy that told me to go this path. He said he still thought we were on the right track. They also told me I could hike with them... even though they were on a double date, so we all continued to hike together. The girls ran ahead on the trail and left me with the two guys in the group, so I chatted with them while we hiked for about a half hour. After an hour, we should have seen the hot springs and FOR SURE should have seen other people. We knew for certain now that we were on the wrong path. Well... I already knew that, but whatever. So we all started hiking back. On the way back, we ran into some dirt bikers that confirmed we had hiked up the wrong canyon. Cool. So I stayed ahead of the group and hiked back as fast as I could because I was starving and wanted to get to my car before it got dark. I made it back to my car RIGHT as it was getting dark. I was happy about that.... all I could think about is where I wanted to eat.
I was bummed that I didn't make it to the hot springs. In hindsight I should have just gone the way I knew... especially when I was so close with my off roading adventure the first time. Or I should have just read the directions from online the first time instead of trying to put it in my GPS. That would have given me an extra hour of light. And maybe I would have run into people that knew the right way to go. It is what it is though... can't change what happened. It was an adventure even though it wasn't the one I wanted that day. I made some friends, I off roaded in my car, I still got outside and got to hike. So the day wasn't a total loss.