I didn’t make time to go for a run last week, and if I don’t run on a regular basis, then my right leg/hip starts aching. So I decided that I would have to take some time from my holiday weekend car camping and get that run done.

On Sunday morning, after breakfast had had some time to settle, I set off from the Queens River Trailhead campground back towards the Middlefork Road. The road was dirt and rocky. Near the campground, it was rutted and changed levels step by step, but it got smoother the farther I went. There were still rocks, but they were small.

My hamstrings were still aching from some heavy deadlifts on Friday, so I started slow. I wore hiking pants and a button up hiking shirt. A buff kept my ears warm, since the air temperature was still in the 50’s. I knew I’d warm up eventually, but as I started I was wishing I’d brought more clothing.

The road loops around and meets itself not far from the trailhead. At the point of that intersection, I looked up and saw a tiny fawn startle off into the trees and brush at my right, towards the Queens River. Cold or not, that gave me a grin.

The downhill to a small bridge over the river was a nice break, but at the same time I knew I’d have to come back up it. The rushing of the water grew to a roar as I trotted down to the bridge. I noticed a small campsite across the river, complete with a fire ring.

The plan was to get at least 20 minutes consecutively and then see how I felt. But I also wanted to take a closer look at the mystery hot springs. Supposedly, there are hot springs on this road. I mean, they’re there. I’ve smelled them as we’ve driven by and there’s a road leading down to a structure where steam rises near the river. But we’ve never explored that road, perhaps out of an excess of caution.

After all, there’s no sign marking whether it’s private property or open to anyone. There’s a string of reflectors across the road, but that seems more like a safety thing than a declaration of ownership. I’ve looked up information on the hot springs and never been able to find anything more than they exist. There’s no indication that the structure is owned or can be reserved or anything.

I was at 13 minutes when I passed that road, so I kept running until I hit about 17.5. I turned back, chugging back up hills and then hit my 20 and paused for a call of nature. Then I was off, ready to run down that road to the springs and finally figure out what was up with them!

Except there was a vehicle down there. And I just didn’t have the guts to head down there while it was occupied. For all I knew, this was their private property and I would be inviting trouble by intruding. So I slowed to a walk and examined what I could from afar. Water definitely flowed under the structure and then to the river, and there was a pipe at the back of the house that had water flowing as well.

Someday, I’ll figure that place out.

I ended up with about 35 minutes of running on the day. It was a nice way to start off my day.

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