This is the closest hot spring to the location of the tragedy of Donner Party.
Because of its easy accessibility, it is one of the most fragile and valuable undeveloped hot springs.
Just as you had the right to know, others have the right to know too. When visiting this "secret" place, please bring your own trash bag and take home twice as much trash as you bring in. And remember to be respectful and kind to others.
Industrial heritage in the wild
In the 1840s, there was a dramatic increase in the number of pioneers moving to the western states of Oregon and California, and Donner Party was one of them.
The tragedy of Donner Corps is known as an incident in which a group of 87 people from ordinary families were trapped by heavy snow in the Sierra Nevada Mountains; and as a result of food shortage, about half of them became victims of cannibalism.
If you are interested, you can look it up on Wikipedia.
It is an excellent read that shows how cannibalism became a historical story that people were interested in because it is forbidden.
This time, I heard that there was a hot spring along the Truckee River, about a 20-minute drive from the distress point.
Take Interstate 80 and get off at the Farad exit.
There was a hydroelectric power plant here that was established in 1899 and finished operation in 1989.
It is a short hike to the hot spring, about a mile round trip.
Going up the hill to go around the remains of the power plant.
Cross the conduits with a footbridge.
Thick conduits were covered with primitive wooden boards.
The sight of a wonderful industrial heritage decaying was heartbreaking.
The remains continued along the trail.
The flumes on the right were supported by a wooden structure that reminds me of the days of the western frontier.
Some of the structures were from different time periods, and there was no end to my interest in them.
On the other side of the Truckee River runs the Union Pacific Railroad, with its long freight trains coming and going.
On the slope beside the mountain path, I found a small spring with bubbling water.
The surrounding area was muddy and not suitable for soaking, but I had a hunch that I became close to the hot spring.
I found a square object in a wider area of the riverbed.
I thought it was something for agriculture, but this was my destination.
The place was spared from the vandalism that is common in undeveloped hot springs and appeared to be used with care.
When I peeled off the thick plastic tarp, I found a pool covered with another plastic tarp to stop the water.
The water was tasteless and odorless.
Although the water was lukewarm, the entire pool felt warm enough, probably due to the heat retention effect of the plastic tarps.
The inside of the pool was comfortable and free of mud buildup thanks to the covering.
I guessed it was maintained by some hot spring enthusiasts with noble intentions.
I took my time dipping in the hot water, thinking of the people who had been impoverished and cannibalized beyond the tranquil valley.
Farad Soaking Pool (Mystic Hot Springs), Farad, California, U.S.
Rule: Clothing optional
Water temp: Up to 97 degrees F