What do you think is the common type of hot springs in Japan, but rarely seen in the U.S.?
It is alkaline hot water with a strong slippery feeling.
All-you-can-drink Crystal Geyser
The famous Crystal Geyser is a mineral water produced in the United States.
Of the two water sources, the water from the foothills of Mount Shasta in California is said to be particularly tasty.
When I heard that the spring water was available for unlimited drinking in that area, I had no choice but to go.
The location was in Mount Shasta City Park.
I had brought an empty bottle of Crystal Geyser with me, and when I packed the fresh water overflowing from the rocks, it was a veritable Crystal Geyser!
Deep in the mountains, a 20-minute drive from the Mount Shasta City Park, there is a spa that uses mineral springs water.
Passing through the massive gate, I saw a slope descending to a mountain stream on the right.
I parked here due to icy road conditions, but parking is usually available adjacent to the facility.
After crossing the stream on a bridge, a dark-colored building approached.
Overnight stays are available here, but walk-ins are also actively welcome.
The walk-in fee was $35.00 for adults (as of this writing).
This facility used to be clothing optional, but the rule for soaking was changed in 2017.
Now, bathing suits or rental sheets are required in common areas.
After being shown to a waiting room with a fireplace, I was assigned one of the 13 private baths.
I was told that I was free to use that room assigned to me during the 75-minute time limit.
A one-person tub occupied half of the small one-person room.
With the door closed, of course, you are allowed to be naked.
The water is from a cold mineral spring of 39 degrees F.
The boiled mineral water could be mixed in the tub.
Touching the water, I was surprised at how slippery it was.
In my experience, for some reason, this is a type of mineral water that is common in Japan but rare in the United States.
Upon entering, I was warned not to rub my skin in the tub.
The spring water is that stimulating.
In fact, I immediately felt a sense of dizziness, so I took the next step.
Stewart Mineral Springs recommends going back and forth between the tub and the mountain stream.
I crossed in front of the fireplace to the terrace.
Directly below, Parks Creek was flowing.
It's already cold.
The riverbank was completely frozen.
Despite extreme caution, I slipped and fell into the water.
This was already a near-death experience.
I escaped the icy water with my life and rolled my way to the sauna.
At the far end of the hallway lined with private baths was a shared sauna.
Warm...glad to be alive.
I repeated that kind of routine over and over again.