Every year around this time my parents would wake us before dawn, shuffle us in to an already packed car, grab the snacks, crank up the tunes and away we would go.
We were off for our annual extended family road trip, destination, Radium Hot Springs.
These are among some of my fondest memories, family, fun, adventure and best of all, hot springs!
As the years go by our lives have changed, families have grown and traditions have faded, but not for the true die hards.
My sister and I still keep the tradition alive, every fall, meeting to enjoy each others company, the great outdoors and the beauty that is Radium.
Radium is just one of many hot springs that litter western Alberta and much of British Columbia. There are provincial hot springs, private ones, even natural ones that you trek out to find.
Hot Springs of Western Canada, by Glenn and David Woodsworth provides history, locations, comments and tips on all things hot springs and it is amazing to see what our earth creates and spills out for us to enjoy.
Their beauty and their simplicity carry many possibilities for many visitors.
Hot springs exude tranquility, ease, healing and calm with the sole purpose of soaking your cares away. They encompass the true meaning of pure relaxation.
What a joy to watch someone slip into the springs and physically see the stress and strain melt from their face.
The smiles come out, achy muscles are soothed and warmth seems to permeate to the depths of the soul.
With lives crammed full of work, family, school and countless other things, it can be difficult to find ways to de-stress and relax.
What better way than to visit a place where there is pure joy in doing nothing.
A friend asked me this year, “What are your plans, what are you and your sister going to do?” My answer was simple. “Absolutely nothing!”
What a concept.
In the book, How to Relax, by Thich Nhat Hanh, he talks about the pleasure of relaxation no matter where you are and offers techniques and meditations to help cultivate that.
The chance to connect back with oneself, the luxurious pools can be a place to do that.
In B.C. we are lucky as we are surrounded by a multitude of hot springs. If you have never been to Ainsworth, take a trip and check out the extraordinary cave, or for a peaceful, private soak Nakusp is the place.
Whatever you need whether it be adventure, time with others, quiet or fun there is a hot spring out there for you.
The Columbia Valley Guide, by Denise Lemaster or Camping British Columbia and Yukon, by Jayne Seagrave offer a wealth of information if you are looking for a trip.
Find your way to a hot spring this year, you won’t be disappointed.
Carly Tanasichuk is an assistant community librarian at the Summerland Branch of the Okanagan Regional Library.
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