I dreamed that the wind kept blowing for days and we were trapped in the camper and laid in bed reading books. The wind did stop by the morning and we awoke with a wild donkey braying outside our window and a naked man taking a video of it. This must be hippie heaven!
After breakfast we walked around the lower spring pools and decided to hike to the upper spring, locally called the Donkey Spring, to take a private soak. We packed our lunch and hiked to the middle spring, Palm Spring, where there were more campers including a Unimog camper from Germany and a full sized Teepee.
The Steel Pass Road was washed out so we walked uphill in the gravel past a giant rock peace sign on a hill to the left. The upper spring was surrounded by a chain link fence and two nearby donkeys gave us the stink eye while we climbed through the gate. The two small connected hot pools were rock lined, mossy and surrounded by bushes that made convenient drying racks for our sweaty clothes while we soaked and ate lunch.
Walking back down to Palm Spring we saw fresh scrapes on rocks and scattered chunks of aluminum. By the time we got to the spring we had collected a large portion of a wheel. We learned that 5 college kids blew a tire coming from Steel Pass in a sedan and couldn’t change it because the lug nuts were frozen so they kept driving and broke the rim. The next day the camp host put on their spare tire which had a bulge in the sidewall. The spare blew out on Lee Flat and they broke that rim before stopping and eventually getting rescued.
The camp host enticed us to use the wonderful outdoor hot shower and soak in the freshly cleaned pool. We were soon joined by a naked man who arrived riding a mountain bike with a beer in his hand. “Where else can you camp for free, take the world’s best shower, and ride your bike naked with a beer!” he happily exclaimed.
After dinner in the camper we soaked in the big pool at the lower spring and watched the stars. Campers gravitated up to Palm Springs to socialize so the lower springs were very quiet.