The weekend was supposed to be rainy, and that was actually good news for us. When there’s rain in the forecast, it doesn’t always come, but it always prevents at least some people from coming out into the woods! 

We didn’t have a campsite selected before we set out. The idea was simply to drive along Middle Fork Road until we decided it was time to stop. We weren’t going to go all the way to Atlanta, but we were open to exploring past our usual spots. 

The clouds were incredible on the drive out.

I was following our route on Gaia GPS, and I saw a place where there was a spring, near Alexander Flat. The spring wasn’t specified as hot, so I figured it probably wasn’t, but at the same time, I wanted to check. Loftus hot spring had been, predictably, very occupied, so I was hoping to find another hot spring to take a soak in. 

The water level at Arrowrock Dam is really low for this time of year.

More awesome clouds.

Inaccessible hot spring – and no pool. 

More inaccessible hot springs across the river.

And as we slowed to look for the water, I saw a camping spot. There was another site occupied in the general area, but decently far away, with some trees for concealment. The site was undeveloped, so no pit toilet, but it was also quite pretty, for a car camping spot. We parked and walked around a bit, exploring the area before I put up the tent (Ambrose drove, so I put up the tent). 

A fire ring is a sign of a developed site, though we wouldn’t be using it.

Ambrose helped bring things into the tent after I pitched it.

After that, we went looking for the spring, hiking up a bluff to find that it was just a normal, cold spring. Pretty, but nothing to take a dip in. Then we just chilled. I read the entirety of Cougar Dave: Mountain Man of Idaho, 1855-1936, and started on another book while the rain visited us intermittently. It never really stormed, but there were several showers – live versions of one of our favorite YouTube videos – 10 Hours of Rain on a Tent. 

Ambrose looks for the spring.

This is pretty much it.

The next day, we got up in a leisurely fashion and headed home. I was driving, and I decided to pull in at Sheep Creek and take a look at the hot spring there. I’ve never actually used that hot spring, because every time I go there, there’s no pool worth using. Too shallow or too cool for my tastes. 

This year was no exception. 

There was a pool of decent depth, but it was very close to the river and hardly warm to the touch. The higher pool had heat, but no more than two or three inches of water. Ambrose tried to build up the outflow to make it retain more, but we didn’t have the tools for the job, and I wanted to get home. 

On the drive out, we had to wait for some guys trying to turn boat trailers around, but they did let us pass once it became clear that we could travel faster than they could. Minorly irritating, but then something really cool happened. As we slowed to allow another driver to pass us by coming the opposite direction at a good passing point, they slowed as well and lowered their window. 

A man leaned out and asked us if we could tell him how to get to a camping spot, how far he should keep driving. I gave him enthusiastic instructions – for an official campsite, I recommended Badger Creek or Willow Creek and for dispersed, drive past the bridge past Twin Springs and pick a spot you like. It was a nice cap to a nice weekend. 

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