Sunday, May 1, 2016
Northern Oregon Hotsprings Review- Austin and Bagby
I am not an athlete. That is the data from my wristwatch yesterday. The Bagby Hike is roughly 12:00pm-4:30pm, give or take a few minutes.
So, being currently unemployed, for my wife's birthday, we decided not to go to a hotel and take a cheap road trip instead. Was going to be really cheap by going to Austin Hot Springs, which for many years had been abandoned by a private owner and left to ruin. At the last minute, we heard that the Warm Springs Confederated Tribes had bought the place, so we chickened out and bought $5 wristbands for Bagby.
Bagby was another hour down the road further than Austin, but is more maintained. What I didn't realize is what a horrid hike in it is- the actual hot springs is a good 750 feet higher than the parking lot, and 1.65 miles in. Nothing to a real hiker, but to a sedentary slob with tendencies not to get out of bed, it was a grueling hour and 35 minutes in. After a soak, on the way back down, I remembered my Rosary- and it was still 20 decades of the Rosary and a Chaplet of Divine Mercy coming back out. Wish I had taken my phone with me for better data collection and distance on trail.
On the way back, we took a ten mile detour to check out Austin anyway. Doesn't look like anything is done yet as of Early Spring 2016. If I were the Warm Springs fish and wildlife, I'd open this place up with a conscession stand whenever the fish weren't spawning. Heck, even create some nice spawning beds with automatic mixing of hot spring water and cold river water, that could double as hot pools when the fish were not spawning for people to play in. Post open schedule on the internet, and I'd bet from the parked cars of tresspassers I saw, you could pay for an armed guard the rest of the time on concessions sales alone.