One thing that gets me every time in the back country is the unpredictability. I am told, go that way, turn here, keep an eye out for that, if you see this than you went to far, it is on your right, here is a map. The map confirms this simple explanation. I get out there and there are five unmapped roads and any number of small two-track paths heading in every direction. The maps time and time again are slightly off at times as well, forcing you to pause and scratch your head for a minute. At one point during my adventure, I was so taken by the massive snow-capped Warner Mountains that it did not dawn on me that I was heading east instead of north until my partner commented on how beautiful the Warners were. Oh yes…we are heading away from them not towards them. Well then, how did we end up going east? Ahhh, this road here, it is actually 200 yards further down the road!
We finally got our bearings properly set when we came across this hot spring. The steam rising from the warm water created a snaking trail visible from quite a distance before passing under the road and on toward the Alkali Lakes. A fresh layer of snow had fallen the night before making the green and yellow grass on the banks pop out. Small yellow flowers grew at the water’s edge every so often, reminding me that spring had officially begun almost three weeks ago, although the air was still a cool 36 degrees that afternoon. Following the spring to it’s source, we found a pool in the middle of nowhere where the warm water had been forced from the depths of the Earth into the light of day.
Treasures like this always remind me that it is not so much about the destination, but the journey.