Crane Hot Springs

They keep getting more developed…but all come out of the ground at 108-135 degrees.

This is an observation I sent to my research department at home, but in fact did not–as the diabolical phone sent it to my boss instead. Near heart attack, then a resolute calm settled on me. I thought about what to do.

But first, got on the road heading north after a nice morning looking out over the edge of the dry lake bed. I texted in sick, shook off the guilt, had a cup of cowboy swill with Coffee Mate in the camp store, and started up the next long leg of gravel road. When the road got full of ‘washboard’ I stopped to turn off the main propane valve under Janet and took one last good look at the east face of Steens Mtn.


Along this road I saw that Mann Lake, and a couple of others are all bone dry right now. Does not bode well for this summer’s fire season. Just before I hit Hwy. 78, I saw six pronghorn antelope, who were close to the road and then loped off insouciantly. Very cool.

On 78 I turned north, and marveled at how truly boring and useless the land looked. I suppose most of this corner of the state is, really, and it’s just these few places that are more interesting that get the attention. But if you aren’t set up to run a 30,000 acre ranch, there is nothing to do.

So then, I got to this Crystal Crane Hot Springs Resort. Developed, but bare bones and simple but clean amenities. I walked around the grounds, and saw that they have an extra hot pool near where the water first enters. The main pool is left with a natural rock bottom, and the overflow is large and goes to a nice natural pond. I also look forward to taking a shower and doing dishes in a real sink.

Then I saw that the comment I sent to my friend had actually gone to my boss.

Oh dear. After my tortured attempts to make him think I was languishing at home. There is no way that could have happened by anything that I did. My friend said later that she has it happen occasionally, and called it a phone lapse or something. I have been thinking about how tech has not made our lives better, and is now fully over to the side of making them worse. At least the photo that I took went to the right person.

But then, I thought, who cares? He received a fragment of a conversation about an unidentified topic. I decided to do nothing. If he wrote, I’d just say whoops thanks for telling me, I’ll resend it. Sorry to interrupt you! Only someone a) extremely suspicious, or b) extremely guilty (me) would do anything more. The less said the better.

I still had unpleasant, almost anguished feelings, so I laid on Janet’s little couch, and thought hard. And a protective voice came up and said ‘Are you hurting anybody?’ No. ‘Are you cheating anybody, in the least?’ No. ‘So what are you doing?’ Protecting myself. Yes. From an unreasonable, unfair corporate policy. We are treated like children. Many companies let you use your accumulated time off in any way you see fit. Take the gamble, and if you are not a sickly person, why should you be punished for it? It’s high absenteeism that makes a bad employee, and I timed this to be easy on them, and haven’t ever called in sick. In over six months. I earned this time, according to their corporate policy. When my brain kept trying to needle me on the subject, I said “Back off,” and what do you know, it quit. Rationalization: Successful.

I realized a lot of country people, and you see this out here even more, ARE adults. They might be simple types, they might be uncultivated, they might be unpleasant, they might have serious faults, but they make their own decisions, have their own opinions, and take risks and suffer extreme physical conditions in order to run their own lives as they choose. I finally got that attitude. City people have lots of money and lots of ‘cultural’ experiences, but nowadays so many of us are children. I see childlike behavior every day at my job. Our activities and opinions are monitored if we make them known in any media. It’s everywhere. That pathetic guy with the cool sprinter van and cool looking dog was not an adult. Even his dog knew it.

Must get something warm on, it’s dark and cooling off fast. I am going into the springs in the morning, as the wind picked up something fierce this afternoon. I sat in Janet  and watched tumbleweeds roll around and jam up against the fences, and wiped up dust that had blown in through the open door.


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