Chuck Mack: Family reunion, sightseeing trip: Part One |

Chuck Mack: Family reunion, sightseeing trip: Part One

My best buddy in the whole world, our great-grandson Nathaniel, our son Mike, his wife Deb, Alberta and I all took off for Montana with our GMC, “White Lightning,” pulling our camp trailer, “Tag Along.”

And what a wonderful time we all had.

We got an early morning start driving first up to Rawlins, Wyo., where we spent our first $150 for fuel.

We filled both fuel tanks to the brim, and then took off in a northwest direction, headed for Thermopolis.

Thermopolis, Wyo., boasts they have the world’s largest hot mineral springs.

I’m not going to argue with them one bit because it is an awful lot of hot water emerging from the ground, enough hot mineral water to fill several pools and supply two swimming pools.

We spent a lot of time there going through the park and enjoying the sights.

Then, we were lucky enough to find a camping spot in the Fountain of Youth Campground, and when settled in the campground, we spent the rest of the evening in a hot mineral swimming pool.

Way back in 1918, someone decided to drill an oil well. But instead of oil, they struck a hot mineral spring.

That mineral spring comes out of the ground at a temperature of 135 degrees and runs into three separate concrete pools.

The first pool is what they call the cooling pond because the water is too hot for human use.

The water runs from the cooling pond into the upper swimming pool; the water in that pool is just about the same as a hot tub.

From that pool, it runs into another swimming pool, where the water is just right for swimming.

The lady who owned the campground was right there in the pool swimming with us, and she told us all about the place.

She said the spring puts out enough water to completely change the water in all three pools every nine hours.

From the pools, the water runs into the Bighorn River.

We had gotten to see quite a bit of this river because the highway we were on followed along the river for quite a ways.

Wyoming, Montana and Idaho have so many rivers and streams that it makes stream fishermen like Nathaniel and I continually itching to fish along those wonderful-looking streams.

I keep telling myself and Nat-haniel that someday I’m going to buy an out-of-state fishing license and he and I will spend the whole summer fishing in other states.

We found out that, with all the museums and other interesting things, there is too much around Thermopolis to see in a day, but one day is all we had to spend.

We should have left earlier, but we just couldn’t seem to tear ourselves away from all that coolness and brook trout fishing on Rabbit Ears Pass.

Gosh, we have spent more time up there camping this summer than we have spent at home. So, Thermopolis will be a place we visit in the future when we have more time to kill.

And that will be alright with Nathaniel, because he almost had to be dragged away from that swimming pool.

Truthfully, we all had to be dragged away from that campground with the swimming pool.

Nathaniel, Mike and Deb are into Geo Caching; using a hand-held GPS unit to locate things that other people have hidden away.

So far, I haven’t gotten the bug even though I tagged along with the three of them on some of their GPS safaris.

On this trip, they found quite a few of the caches around Thermopolis.

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