Just a two-hour drive from Tucson, Arizona, was a spa facility with the philosophical name, Essence of Tranquility.
It was an unusual spot, full of handcrafted touches.
The campground, which draws thermal water, had such an unassuming appearance that you might accidentally pass by it.
Rates are $15 per person for up to one hour and $35 for up to three hours (as of this writing).
Pulling the bell string attached to the wall, the owner appeared.
And before that, I was greeted by a cute guard dog.
The first thing I saw on the grounds was a communal outdoor pool where clothing was required.
The water temp was the warmest of all the pools, around 99 degrees F.
The water quality was excellent, with a sufficient amount of water input.
Although the water was clear and colorless, it had a salty taste in the mouth, and I found that it warmed the body well.
Ingenious private pools
There were a total of five private baths, and the water temp was a moderate 102-106 degrees F.
They were all indoor pool in simple huts, but I was able to freely come and go during my stay, which was set at one hour, to find the space of my choice.
The rooms were diverse, ranging from Asian-inspired to beach resort-inspired.
This was an indoor pool that seems to have been modeled after an ancient Roman bathhouse.
The three walls were covered with fabric reminiscent of Roman baths, perhaps to make the room feel larger.
Soaking in the Roman bath with its flimsy atmosphere, I thought about the weight of the phrase, "Rome was not built in a day."
Here, the thermal water was poured from a high outlet into a deep pool
The sound of water was just echoing in the dimly lit hut.
I looked up and saw sunlight shining through a gap in the crude tin roof.
I thought that the essence of tranquility might be found in such an unpretentious atmosphere.
Related Hot Springs
It is a state park that is only a five-minute drive from Essence of Tranquility.
A hot spring of similar quality was also springing up in this park and seemed to be very popular among the campers.