August 26th and 27th, 2014
South of Manti we meet the Sevier River again and enter the Sevier Valley to find the town of Richfield. With its 7,500 people, Richfield is the largest town in central Utah. I stay here two days in a motel with a good internet connection in order to get caught up on some work. As mentioned earlier, as I travel I continue to work on translations and corrections of scientific articles.
Currently working on: Sewage sludge application in a forest plantation: effects on trace metal transfer in soil-plant-snail continuum
Like Manti, Richfield is a pleasant town with many nice old houses (many of them even nicer and more characteristic than in Manti), but I’ve already taken enough pictures of houses. Richfield also has all the services you might want and so I seek some advice about my computer at Intermountain Computer Services where Noah is very helpful. I also get a very good haircut from Julie at Tangles.
One day I drive out of Richfield to the town of Monroe, about 15 minutes south, where an old hot springs resort now called Mystic Hot Springs is to be found. The proprietor, Mystic Mike, took over the resort in about 1996 and also organizes concerts and other artistic activities on the site. However, I get the impression that Mystic Mike is a bit overwhelmed by the magnitude of his undertaking. The grounds are not kept up very well, yet Mystic is still an interesting place. I cite their mission statement and disclaimer:
“Mission Statement: Mystic Hot Springs creates an authentic environment which raises self-awareness by direct experience with nature, art and antiquities.”
“Disclaimer: Mystic Hot Springs is a one of a kind place. You will not find it anywhere else. Some say it’s like stepping back in time to the 60’s or 70’s. Things are imperfect. We realize that there’s a lot we could do to improve it. We understand that things are always changing. We have learned to appreciate it for what it is at this moment.”
You can learn more about Mystic Hot Springs here.
What is remarkable here are the solid rock formations that have that have been created through the flow of the heavily mineralized waters:
Hot springs parsnips perched upon a giant tomato?
With some background scenery:
The waters flow from this spring…
…through a series of ditches:
At one point the ditches pass under these greenhouses…
…where we find these plants…
The waters soon reach the soaking tubs and pools. But first we are informed of Mystic’s policy:
No alcohol, no glass, no dogs…these are standards at any developed hot springs resort. But no nudity? I find that disappointing as it seems to me that soaking in hot springs while nude is the most natural thing in the world. Yet I understand that, in the midst of a very conservative community, Mystic Mike can’t exactly allow the locals to think that a bunch of people are running about naked just blocks from their homes.
Mystic has many individual soaking tubs that are, in fact, real bath tubs:
One of them is being absorbed by the rock:
The main pools:
The waters finally flow into these ponds:
Since it overlooks the Sevier Valley and the town of Monroe, Mystic is a good place to take pictures:
As you can see once again, the desert is never far.
And neither is suburbia:
On its grounds Mystic has a number of bungalows that can be rented:
This one is an old pioneer cabin that has been transported here from elsewhere. Up and down the Sevier Valley I’ve seen many old structures such as this one.
Some of the bungalows seem not to have been finished yet:
There are also a number of other inhabitants at Mystic:
The day’s soaking experience is quiet and relaxing. Mission accomplished.
I’ll soon be leaving this area. A whole series of national parks awaits me in southern Utah.