Monday, June 20, 2011

Back To Bowery

We spent four summers at Bowery Guard Station in MOAN Country. We logged over 2,000 official volunteer hours there during in 2004, '05, '06, '07 and probably another 2,000 unofficial hours as well. We hadn't been back to Bowery since we left in mid-August 2007 to move to Idaho Falls and get a job. Even though we visited Heather's Dream Ranch in June of 2009 and 2010, we just weren't motivated to go back to Bowery. This trip was different and we both felt a strong urge to see the place again and enjoy those wonderful waters of the Bowery Hot Springs. It was a great visit and sure brought back a lot of memories.
Bowery sits in the very headwaters of The East Fork of the Salmon River. Galena Peak and the Boulder Mountain Ridge are on the horizon here. It's still quite cold and snow covered in the very highest part of The Land of The East Fork. Bowery itself is nestled below the horizon about the middle of the photo.
The grand old Bowery Guard Station sits as stately as ever alongside the East Fork. We were happy to see the facility is still in decent condition. Ironically, both Bowery and our Idaho Falls home were built in the same year: 1939.
Bowery Hot Springs lies perhaps 150-200 yards upstream from the Guard Station and is perched literally right on the edge of the East Fork. The hot thermal water comes right out of the side of the hill. The Forest Service put in this hot tub and built the deck so that people would be drawn to this spot. The geo-thermal area actually covers 40 acres but it also populated by an endangered flowering plant. So, the Forest Service correctly guessed that the use of the hot tub would keep people from wandering around and hurting the fragile plant.
It was part of our volunteer job description to maintain these hot springs for four summers. Tough duty. This spot is so far from anywhere that days would often go by without any people using the springs. So, it wasn't a surprise to find it empty and inviting on a cool and cloudy Saturday morning. Soaking in those wonderful hot waters next to a noisy, rushing, clear mountain stream is a unique joy in life.

Many Cheers! jp


stasea said...

what a great visit to the blog today! Lots goin on as usual and all smiles!! The new Suzuki is pretty, I like the white!! Cracks me up when I find a pic of myself on the blog!! Glad you guys had a great weekend!!

Marti Spudboater said...

Wow, that sure brings back memories, though believe it or not, I don't remember that tub. Was it there in 2007?Must have had too many 7 and 7's on 7-7-07 with you all. I think I might have to sign up for your old job duty there. Would be nice to find someone to share it with me. More later on my blog regarding the Middle Fork Adventure. Best trip ever!