This is now a new tradition for me since the first The Hatchelorette Part 1: Celebrating the Woman Who Was, Is and Will Be. To take some time before the coming of a new human, celebrate and appreciate what is then, now and to be.
The first of many days I’ve been looking forward to. The Hotsprings. Last time I was pregnant I searched and made a list of all the natural undeveloped hot springs I wanted to visit. (To read about that journey check out The Hatchelorette Day 4: Secret Hotsprings and Reflection Time. ) I wasn’t able to check out all of them but this one was on my list and beyond thrilled to be able to finally experience this particular location.
In respect for the natural hot spring community its etiquette to not exploit and over share these sacred areas and therefore please respect that I won’t be giving out exact locations to these peaceful areas.
The drive from Missoula, Montana was about 2 hrs long and we arrived around 10:00 in the morning. We had been warned about potentially steep and icy conditions, and packing in a toddler also presented some other possible risks that we wanted to be prepared for. The day began roughly around -10 degrees Celsius and we are ourselves with hiking poles, traction aids for our shoes, snacks, tea, towels and down jackets…
By the time we began the trek and arrived at the pull out it was a beautiful -2 with the sun beginning to peep through blue skies. Good thing I pretty much stripped down to nothing under my down snowsuit or else I would have passed out from heat exhaustion!
The hike took about 30-40minutes and about 2km in to the first pool. It was a little icy, mildly steep in some areas and overall an easy jaunt that didn’t require our Gators (but if it had been snowing it would be a wise decision.) in our condition hiking poles was also a good choice but not necessary for the average outdoor humans.
There were a series of several pools, someone which we couldn’t access at this point due to both our current conditions. Adam recently undergoing ACL surgery and myself being 8months pregnant, we had to be pragmatic about our choice of springs.
We work up early to avoid any chance of running into a high traffic time and we were graciously rewarded because we had the entire spring to ourselves!
It’s quite common practice to be nude when indulging in natural hot springs. My logic is what’s the point of getting out of a beautiful hot spring only to have to peel off wet cold swimwear and pack out heavy water logged pieces of clothing when you can just throw on a jacket and pants or in my case a giant down onesie and be off!
Though there were three main pools with subsequent smaller pools around each, we settled on the middle pool. It seemed to have the most toddler, pregnant lady, ACL injury, friendly access. It also was a great depth and temperature for our little human.
It was so aesthetically appealing, with this beautiful sitting boulder situated right in the middle of the pool! One end of the pool you could lean up and watch the flowing river adjacent and the other end presented with a cozy little cave, from which the source of the hot springs seemed to release from.
Hands down my favourite moment is when my Little Human began to get comfortable enough she would begin to splash, play with the silt and floating pieces of nature and laugh at the novelty of a “outside hot pool.”
The temperatures were so ideal we probably stayed in the pool for almost an hour with no issues of being too hot or too cold.
To be able to share this journey with my Adam and my Little Human brings about many powerful and important emotions and revelations. My Hatchelorette and pregnancy pilgrimages have been a way to celebrate the past while welcoming the future with confidence and positive energy. (To read about the first Hatchelorette check out The Hatchelorette Day 3: Lesson 3 Take the Road Less Travelled. )
People often have looks of shock and confusion when I tell them I am leaving for mat leave 2 months early. I have learned in life that to be successful and calm, in times where life challenges us the most, the greatest thing we can do for ourselves is to prepare mentally. By having these weeks to myself to spend with my loved ones and exercise and practice mindfulness, I will have the power to keep a sound mind during labour and the struggles that come along with child bearing and rearing.