Trina Machacek: A rural Nevada spa day
Taking a spa day takes careful planning and, oh, such attention to detail. One needs to begin the journey with care and knowledge that a spa is all in the interpretation of the spa goer. You just have to go with the flow, as it were. Now enjoy this tale of spa-ness I recently planned, and I am still giggling at the outcome of the day.
I have two wonderful girlfriends visiting from Chicago. Good friends that I have not seen in several years. Good friends who are also such good sports to put up with the to-do list I have hoisted upon them during the past few days since they landed in Las Vegas and I hauled them to my little corner of the world. Ha, ha.
Oh, they enjoyed what felt like a 50k-mile ride from Vegas to Eureka. But! Yes, a “but” with miles on it. Hey, we did take the shortcut up through Lund on Highway 318. Saved like 18 miles. The first full day of their visit we piled back into the pickup and off up the mountain we went. Of course, I didn’t warn them first that we were going up, up, up. Just said we were going to take a tour of my neck of the woods. As we started up this very rocky, spine-jarring road, I was asked how I knew where this road was. Well, as I hit a rock and I saw two heads bounce up and nearly hit the roof, I dryly said I knew where the road was because my husband put it in in the 1960s. Up we continued, finally arriving at the very sharp, slope-defined parking spot that led to the view of one of the few remaining Charcoal Kilns that sparsely dot the landscape along the lower hills of Diamond Mountain. The view of the kiln was only surpassed when they turned around and saw the view overlooking Diamond Valley as it is spring and it seems like everything is green. It was a good day.
These friends have taken me on journeys through the streets of Chicago when I was back for some training to become a travel agent and then on some adventures as the agent they turned me into. So for me to top all they did I needed a special surprise. Bigger, more life-defining, something they would never expect from this meek little gal living in central Nevada. But what? Ah, a spa day, a Nevada spa day. One where you could just relax and recover from a day of mountain climbing. So we set out early on their second day, well, OK, like 10 a.m. after coffee and Facebook time and, of course, talking and the like. Swimming suits on under clothes and bottled water in tow. Such city girls.
I traveled out U.S. 50 to the spot to turn off. Oh, great, another dirt road. Then, we turned off the main dirt road to the little dirt road, then to the littler dirt road, then to the almost no road, which took us to our destination. It got kinda quiet as the spot looked like, well nothing was there. I said, “Here we are,” and jumped out. There were some words like, “What,” “Where,” “How,” “You’ve got to be kidding.” I pointed to the two, yes, two, places to “spa.” One, you need to walk through a little mud to get to the hot springs, but I would lend a hand to get them there and I shed my Levi’s and T-shirt and squished onward to the cast iron trough like thing that holds the water and climbed in. Yes, it was squishy and a little algae-lined, but it was warm and wonderful. Well, not too warm, I saved the easier to get into warmer spot for the second dip. There was laughter, good sportsmanship, some very strange faces and some, “What’s on the bottom that’s all slimy?” We sat and talked and laughed until we got a little chilled because the wonderful Nevada spring winds were flowing as usual so we slogged out through the mud, giving our knees such a wonderful mud bath. Climbed into the warmer “spa” and flicked ants off each other, deciding to call that portion of the spa day getting exfoliated by ants. Such fun at the spa.
All said and done we drove back to U.S. 50 where I pulled off to point at the spot we had just come from so they could see just how far off the beaten path they were. Wouldn’t you know it…? Someone pulled in right next to us looking for the nearest hot spring to go to. You couldn’t have scripted a better end to the perfect Nevada spa day.
Trina lives in Eureka, Nev. Find her on Facebook or share with her at firstname.lastname@example.org. Really!