Wednesday, August 25, 2010

The Baranof Hot Springs

On Sunday afternoon, we anchored in Warm Springs Bay on the east side of Baranof Island. Our goal: a dip in the rejuvenating, warm waters of the Baranof Hot Spring.

The real highlight, however, was watching schools of salmon swirl through the clear waters before attempting the waterfall up to Baranof Lake. Which looked insurmountable to us. Perhaps the salmon give it a go, realize it's fruitless, and then head elsewhere.

The tiny community welcomes travelers with a sign touting the properties of the famous hot spring. Unfortunately, they are its poisoning properties, not its healing ability.

What they don't mention is that the water is also really hot. As in 110 degrees Fahrenheit hot. As in the only water in recorded history that Esther declared to be too hot.

And the bottom of the hot spring? Sharp stones covered with slippery, heat-loving algae. Frankly, we were happy to get out of there alive. But at least we can check "bathe in hot spring" off the bucket list. And fondly remember the roaring waterfall and swirling salmon.

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