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Carson Hot Springs

As cliche as it sounds, I began thinking of my health as the new year has been looming. Because today is the first day after the hustle, bustle and pigging out of the holidays I began to take seriously the options for improving my health. The gym was the obvious answer but as much as I hate exercise, I hate crowds even more. The thought of beginning a vigorous workout routine among the new year resolution crowds was too daunting to consider seriously. As of late I had really been missing the hot saunas readily available in Europe. I knew I needed to find somewhere to begin sweating regularly- other than the gym.

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My obsession with healing via hot springs began in Bormio, Italy and I further fed the obsession by visiting Bad Vigaun and Bad Reichenhall in Austria and Germany respectively. I can’t get enough. Each time I take the waters, I feel completely treated. In addition to healing waters, all of the thermal baths I went to in Europe (and even the public swimming pool) have saunas with varying temperatures. On a recent health retreat, I was taking a sauna three times per day by recommendation of the resort’s ayurvedic doctor. Upon leaving the retreat his parting advice for my home regiment was a bath followed by a sweat in a sauna.

Today I made a special trip to Carson in order to test the waters literally. Tuesday’s special is $25 + tax for a soak and wrap. With the use of the sauna included in the price, both of my boxes were ticked. Upon arrival I went into the old St Martin Hotel to buy my ticket and headed into the bathhouse. Two rows of antique claw foot tubs lined the bathing room with white modesty curtains separating the individual baths. I met my attendant and gave her my ticket. She gave me the option to choose the length of tub, I opted for a long one. She said my 25 minute time begins after the tub fills up, but she usually gives an extra 10 minutes so that folks can fiddle with the temperature.

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After stripping down I headed over and sunk down into my long tub. The smell of sulfur hit me right away. It stinks to high heaven and lets you know that this isn’t just tap water. It seemed to provide more buoyancy than a bath at home. When the tap was on it felt like a hot tub jet was going. Bubbles were shooting under me. I was reveling in the bubbly stinky water and wondering if 25 minutes would be enough. The attendant checked on me and generously told me to take my time in the water and to come out for the wrap when I was ready. The leeway was much appreciated.

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When I was able to pry myself away from my hot bath, I was ushered into a room with beds covered in linen sheets. I chose my bed under an open window. The attendant wrapped me tightly in linen, covered me with a cozy blanket and provided a wrap for my head. She said she would be back in a half hour, but I was welcome to get up before that if I so desired. The weather was cool and stormy. The notorious gorge winds were blowing and it was absolute heaven laying in warmth listening to nature’s music. Occasionally I got a refreshing whoosh of cool air over my face. I stayed in this indulgent state for about 10 minutes and opted to start my time in the sauna.

The dry sauna is nowhere near as hot as the ones I relish in Europe, but it would have to do. Because I was out of practice I decided to do ten minutes in the sauna, cool off with a shower, then go back in the sauna for a longer run. I was delighted to find that the showers were also pumping out the stinky mineral water. It isn’t often you can have a spa day for the price of a cheap haircut, but that’s exactly what I did today.

Details: Bath and Wrap is provided on a first come, first serve basis. The cost Monday-Thursday is $30 +tax with Tuesday being discounted to $25 +tax. Friday-Sunday and holidays are $35 +tax. Massages and facials are available. There is a larger common soaking pool which has it’s own rate schedule and requires a swim suit. The bathhouse and soaking pool are all strictly 18 and over. Check out Carson’s website for more details. https://carsonhotspringresort.com/services