The Polar Plunge for New Year’s Day

Catalina spa_171I followed a great tradition this morning, celebrating the first day of the year with a plunge into wintry waters.  However wintry waters in Desert Hot Springs for me consisted of 94 degree F crystal clear spring water in the lower pool at Catalina Spa and RV Resort.  Not a bad way to start the year.  I floated silently on my back watching the stars and then swam a slow breast stroke while seeing the sun brighten the skies to the east.

Catalina spa_181It was only 5:45 am or so, and Mo slept peacefully back at the rig with Abby and Jeremy while I ventured the short walk to the pool. By 6:30 other folks appeared in the pool and spa area for a morning soak.  These pools are my favorite part of coming here in the winter.  The water is exchanged at a rate of some 35,000 gallons per day, with no sulfur but plenty of healing minerals for achy bones. The swimming pool is cooled from the springs temperature of 130 degrees by adding cooled water, and the spa tub is kept just hot enough at 104 degrees or so.  Gotta watch out for the exchange jets, though, that water coming in is HOT!

Catalina spa_177We love the desert, the silence and emptiness of it all.  This part of the desert isn’t exactly silent and definitely not empty, but the air is still desert fresh and the skies are blue and cloudless most of the time.  As much as I love being alone in the wild, I also love being tucked into a spiffy spot in a pretty park with goodies all around.  It is a completely different experience, yet just as wonderful. 

Catalina Spa and RV Resort Desert Hot Springs, CAThere are more than a dozen different parks in this area, all of them with springs and pools of some sort.  Some are expensive and elegant, some are members only resorts, some are just trailer parks and others filled with manufactured homes.  It is definitely a snowbird haven with open desert to the east and Palm Springs and shopping south and west. 

mid day volleyball at the upper pool at Catalina Spa and RV Resort Desert Hot Springs, CACatalina Spa and RV Resort seems to be the one we have settled on, and neither one of us has much interest in looking around for anything else.  Since this is a members only resort, we can only stay here for seven days with our CampClub USA card, now converted to Passport America, although the folks at Catalina are as yet unaware of the shift.  We taped our old CampClub card back together when we realized that maybe we would still need both cards.  Good thing.  The rate here is fifty bucks a day plus internet without some sort of discount.

In the Desert_055There are two areas, the older section called the “lower” park and the newer section called the “upper”.  The Upper has a bigger pool, a fancier clubhouse, and 50 amp spaces for the big rigs.  The lower section has a funkier adults only pool and only 30 amp sites.  It also has older eucalyptus trees and big shady tamarisk rows with oleanders that have to be cut back every year to keep from taking over all the space.  Perfect for us since the MoHo is a 30 amp rig.

Catalina Spa and RV Resort Desert Hot Springs, CAWe stayed up until midnight to watch the ball fall last night, but since that was midnight eastern time, I got plenty of sleep before my early swim this morning. Yesterday we spent a long day driving around the Salton Sea and visiting The Slabs, but that is a story for another day.  Today will be a quiet one, with a trip to town for groceries and washing the Tracker, an afternoon of reading and knitting, and finished by a movie trip tonight to see “Warhorse” on the big screen.

Perfect.  Just Perfect.