lifestyle

Hot Springs near Jackson Hole

Hot Springs near Jackson Hole

This is the third in a series of three articles about hot springs near Jackson Hole. Of course, ‘near’ is a relative term – so I’m talking about drives of ninety minutes or so from the town of Jackson, Wyoming. And this all started with the question: what do Jackson Hole Massage Professionals do during the off-seasons? – And just about any other local who gets to stick around for the slow times.

To find the third hot springs near Jackson Hole  we’re moving on to Granite Hot Springs

 Granite Hot Springs near Jackson Hole

– which is South of Jackson Hole off  Hoback Canyon on the way to Pinedale. It takes about 45 minutes to get to the Granite Creek Junction, deep within Hoback Canyon (Granite Creek is a tributary of the Hoback River). From the junction there, it’s ten miles east on a well-graded (mostly) dirt road to the hot springs. It’s a bumpy, dusty, stunningly beautiful drive up there – deep into the Gros Ventre Mountains which are massively high in the background behind the hot springs camp site. The camp site itself is lovely – not to do with the hot springs themselves…no – this just happens to be a Forest Service camp ground nearby – and it’s a great value at $14 per tent site. (Last time I looked.) Anyway – great spot of you’ve got a pop-up camper and want to spend some fun time in the out-doors, surrounded by Pine forest. In winter it’s a popular snow mobile destination – but in my view that kills the whole idea. It’s a long way on skate or classic Nordic touring skis – but do-able and the hot springs afterwards is a treat.  You don’t have to pay to go into the hot springs pool itself – there’s another hot spring in a rock wall and there are pools below to catch the hot water – which mixes with Granite Creek itself to cool it down. This is a neat spot because a major waterfall roars right beside you. Not bad for hot springs near Jackson Hole.

Image showing waterfall beside Granite Hotsprings

The hot springs pool is different from the other two mentioned. It’s completely open with just a short fence around it – and it’s curved outer wall hugs a mountain alcove – down whose slippery walls runs this steaming hot spring water.  Where the water falls into the pool – is where it is hot. The further you move away from the source of the spring – the cooler it gets. So it’s fun to cruise in and out of warm and cooler zones that circulate the pool. Right in against the cliff is where you hand out for warmth. There’s no specific temperature set for this pool as it is affected by snow-melt. The pool is an azure, milky blue and of course it’s just dreamy to be there like all the rest of them.

Image showing Granite hot springs 3

Be well,

Hamish and Rochelle

 

 

Hot Springs near Jackson Hole (Part II)

Hot Springs near Jackson Hole (Part II) – Heise Hot Springs

Rochelle celebrated her birthday for the second year at Heise Hot Springs just last week.

image showing Heise Hot Springs

There were about sixteen of us (not all massage therapists) and we all made the pleasant drive over Teton Pass, then Pine Creek Pass (turn left in Victor, ID), past the ‘World-Famous’ Square Ice-Cream Store at the Swan Valley Junction.

 

Then it’s 30 minutes of driving through vast potato plantations and all the while alongside the mighty Snake River. So to put you better in the picture, it’s about 3/4 of the way to Idaho Falls from Jackson Hole – turn off the road (right) at a couple of large potato silos, drive a few miles towards the Snake River (delightfully, the hot springs are right on one of the Snake River braids) through small farming communities (Ririe) – and you’re there. Here’s a Google Map: 5116 E. Heise Rd., Ririe, ID 83443

 

The hot pools and buildings themselves are standard fare, though a handsome old two-story brick house with dormers dominates the scene. That’s where the owners live. There’s an open-air ‘warm’ swimming pool (92’F)- surrounded by walls to keep out the weather, and at one end of that, covered by a canopy, is the hot pool – kept at 104’F. We found this to be a delightful temperature to hang out in for half an hour at a time. These two pools are kept open all winter and it’s a wonderful way to spend a day when skiing just doesn’t sound that great and the longs months of winter in Jackson Hole are getting OLD.

 

If lazing around in warm or hot pools isn’t your ball of wax – and you have kids with you – then in the summer time there’s a whole plethora of activities: zip line, open air swimming pool (open only Memorial Day through Labor Day), flume, RV and camping, gorgeous park by the river with picnic tables and BBQ grills. When we were there, the willows overhanging the river were just coming into leaf – like in the photo here – and it was a beautiful scene.

 

– and there’s even golf. Pizza can be had at a basic small restaurant on site – and it’s nice to sit out there on their sheltered deck and watch the golfers coming in. But we were there just to ‘chill’ – or, I should say, warm up while we chilled – oh well…you know what I mean.

Next week…another hot springs near Jackson Hole – Granite Creek.

Be well,

Hamish and Rochelle

 

 

 

Ski Resort Cycles

Ski Resort Cycles

If you’re looking for some deep wisdom about massages, giving massage, receiving massage, the benefits of massage, the business of massage – you might not wish to read on. Occasionally I digress into discussion about life in Jackson Hole – as lived by massage therapists here. Overall – we lead not such a bad life – especially when it’s end-of-ski-season PARTY TIME.

As I write this post, Rochelle – otherwise an almost completely sane massage therapist in Jackson Hole, has gone skiing with a tutu round her waist and a small stuffed bird attached to her shoulder. Yes folks, it’s ‘Gaper’ Day on the slopes of Jackson Hole Mountain Resort. As if concerts by Karl Denson, Blues Traveler and Michael Franti weren’t enough – it is PARTY WEEK here in Jackson Hole. Over the weekend we had the ski-season-end multi-faceted race – the PPP (Pole Pedal Paddle) – but we’ll get back to that soon. Meanwhile – back to Gapers…What’s a Gaper? You might ask… Well – it’s a rather derogatory term for people who are well behind on the ski fashion curve – to put it mildly. It’s a throw-back and a poking of fun at how absurd ski fashions looked – oh just so recently – and how we thought we were so cool in wearing them.

 

 

Here’s the Wiki definition:

The day (usually April Fool’s Day or thereabouts) when all the mountain employees and locals who don’t have to work dress up in absurd tourist outfits and imitate all the dumb gapers we have to deal with the rest of the year. Usually involves lots of neon clothing, ridiculous stunts, and massive amounts of alcohol.
“It’s gaper day! I’m going to wear my dad’s 80’s onesy.”
Now, this isn’t to say that Jackson Hole has dibs on Gaper Day – no way – it’s a phenomenon that has spread throughout ‘cool’ ski resorts all over the country (and maybe Europe for all I know.) But frankly – it’s hilarious wherever it takes place.
The other thing I mentioned above is the Pole Pedal Paddle, or PPP (which this year has added two additional legs for the first time and so it becomes the PPPPP). As the name suggests, it a multi-legged, multi-skilled race from the top of Jackson Hole’s aerial (the first leg is on Alpine skis) tram to a place on the Snake river many miles away and several thousand feet lower on the banks of the Snake River (the last leg is in kayaks or other river craft). In between those two legs, there’s Nordic (cross-country) skiing, and road-biking.
There are ‘serious’ race classes, where athleticism counts and winning is a serious goal. There are more casual classes, where simply competing and completing the course is the goal; there are relay teams if all of the various skills are better shared among a group of friends or business colleagues; and then (again), there’s the ‘party’ class – where costumes count and nobody really cares who completes what – just get the prize for the best costume. Again, this race is not just a Jackson Hole thing – many ski resorts, with a river nearby, will have their own PPP races.
It’s a great and fun event for all. Entry fees and other fund-raising activities to to help finance our very own Jackson Hole Ski and Snowboard Club.
Teams are formed by local companies – whether serious, relay or costume based – and the whole thing helps, among this entire week of festivities, to round-out yet another ski season at Jackson Hole Mountain Resort.
Yet the end of one season is the beginning of another. Whilst many may lament the end of ski season – well, we’ve had it since November and it’s time to move on…spring and summer in the Tetons are just around the corner – and I’ll have lots to write about that in my next post.
Be well,
Hamish and Rochelle

Jackson Hole is Awesome

Jackson Hole is Awesome

Why is Jackson Hole Awesome? I’ll tell you why Jackson Hole is awesome…we get an end-of-ski-season concert – Michael Franti and Spearhead – FOR FREE!!!  Howdya like that??

 

And just to warm us up, the party started on Friday evening with Blues Traveler – and if you need warmed up for that – there’s even a previous FREE concert on Thursday evening with Karl Denson’s Tiny Universe (Who??? – Think Lenny Kravitz’s band and Slightly Stoopid.)

I tell you what – being a massage professional in Jackson Hole is just the best. Not only do we get free rock concerts night after night at the end of season, we get to ski in the mornings (skiers don’t generally want massages before 2pm – so that’s fine because all the powder is gone by then anyway). Let’s see – oh yes – before I’m off the concert thing – three years ago we had Grace Potter and the Nocturnals…boy – can she belt it out!

 

So what else is great about being a massage professional in Jackson Hole – well – it’s just gob-smacking gorgeous around here for one thing, and the opportunities to get out there and play in it are never-ending. Grand Teton National Park is right on our doorstep with the magnificent and mighty Teton Mountains to go hiking in.

 

You don’t have to be into big scary mountaineering to enjoy them – there’s no end to possibilities for those who are into just nice day-hiking – or you could get more abitious and get up into the really high-country, take a tent with you, and spend a night or more out there in the wilderness. A couple of years ago Rochelle and I hiked the Teton Crest Trail – three nights on the watershed ridge that separates the two Teton Counties of Wyoming and Idaho. (I wrote and photographed for an article about this, which will be published in Teton Valley Magazine this summer.)

Image showing Hamish and Rochelle hiking the Teton Crest Trail

Oh no – I’m already running out of space and I haven’t begun to tell you about the bicycling we do here – be it road biking or mountain biking – easy or gnarly trails – there’s just tons of it. You can’t go mountain biking in Grand Teton National Park, however because of the no mechanized vehicles on park trails. (A good thing in my view.)

 

And then there’s rafting on the Snake River! We’re very lucky to have our own boat – and have had for many years.

 

The Snake River has a large variety of river sections from mellow and peaceful flowating through the park, viewing the Tetons, to a fun white-water run through the Snake River Canyon – about 11 miles south of Jackson. Commercial rafting is a big industry around here in the summers. Jackson Hole supports maybe a dozen river outfitters. If you want to float or have a whitewater experience on the Snake River, I recommend Barker-Ewing (for who I rowed many years ago), or Dave Hansen Whitewater (for whom my son rowed last summer).

 

Maybe I’ll write another post on this topic when I can get into the parasailing, nordic skiing, horse-back trail-riding, mountaineering, kayaking and all the other ‘ings’ you can think of.

But the best thing about being a self-employed massage therapist in Jackson Hole is that we don’t have to go anywhere to immediately immerse ourselves in a ‘wonderful world’ – it’s  literally right out of our front door. In fact, I think I’ll go for a walk right now…

 

Be well,

 

Hamish and Rochelle

Taking it Easy

Taking It Easy

We are fortunate to provide massage services in beautiful Jackson Hole, Wyoming. Unlike summers, when visitors are here to experience the National Parks of Teton and Yellowstone, in winter they’re here primarily for skiing. And it just so happens that Jackson Hole Mountain Resort is one of the gnarliest ski mountains there is – in terms of steeps, difficulties and oodles of snow.

Image showing map of Jackson Hole

 

From a massage perspective – this is good for us – people come here, ski hard and then are in dire need of massage. Sounds simple enough – but this post comes as a note of caution. Hey – don’t get me wrong – I’ll take the massage clients as it’s what I do for a living…but can I really make people better? Am I really the answer to what ails them after a hard day of skiing?

Jackson Hole has recently been graded as number 1 in ‘SKI’ magazine – and so folks flock here to ski. Even if they just ski for that one week or two per year – they choose this challenging mountain to do so. Skiing at Jackson consists of long, hard days using muscles that are not in shape.

 

As a long-time skier, having lived in Vail, Colorado for twenty years, and Jackson Hole for thirteen – I can opine that skiers should pick their terrain according to their ability. Perhaps the first good thing they can do for their bodies (prevention is better than cure), is choose a ski area where there is much more intermediate terrain – like Vail – because let’s face it – if you only ski once per year – you’re probably intermediate. At least your muscles are. And you’ll have a better time as ego creeps in as you master those easier slopes with ease. (I’m just talking about ski terrain here – Vail itself – well – I left there for a reason. Jackson and its environs are fantastic – but the skiing – is hard on the body.)

Massage – seekers come to me and ask if I can fix their considerable pain (usually lower-back) so that they might ski (hard) again tomorrow. I’m as fanatic a skier as the next guy – but whoa – there comes a time when it just makes sense to take the day off. No matter how good a massage therapist might be – there’s nothing that can be done for all the over-use of those hip-rotators, glutes, hamstrings, quads, erectors – and just about every other muscle in your body. Sometimes I have to even turn people away, saying that massage may hurt their (acute) problem even further. The muscle spasm in the lower back is a natural splinting mechanism that is in place specifically to protect the body from further harm – and massage can be contra-indicated.

Take a day or two off skiing. Visit the hot tub, relax in bed, go shopping, read a book, veg in front of the TV, call your Mom, BREATHE. Sometimes massage isn’t the answer to everything.

 

Be well,

 

Hamish and Rochelle

Inspiring Well-Being Quotes

Inspiring Quotes

From a sense of well-being, massage is certainly inter-connected with yoga. To that end, I submit this yoga-related post on our massage blog.

These quotes are a knock-out. They really struck a chord with me and I thank Mandy Burstein for putting these together. And Mandy’s list (among many other useful and interesting topics was circulated by Alissa Haines of ‘Writing a Blue Streak

 

1. “True yoga is not about the shape of your body, but the shape of your life. Yoga is not to be performed; yoga is to be lived. Yoga doesn’t care about what you have been; yoga cares about the person you are becoming. Yoga is designed for a vast and profound purpose, and for it to be truly called yoga, its essence must be embodied.” — Aadil Palkhivala

2. “Change is not only inevitable, but always happening. When you truly embrace this concept of change being constant, the only thing left to do is grow, detach, venture inwards, touch the spirit and find your source — the one responsible for keeping you grounded through the ever-changing seasons of life.” — Julie Weiland

3. “Don’t move the way fear makes you move. Move the way love makes you move. Move the way joy makes you move.” — Osho

4. “Yoga is not a work-out, it is a work-in. And this is the point of spiritual practice; to make us teachable; to open up our hearts and focus our awareness so that we can know what we already know and be who we already are.” — Rolf Gates

5. “If you choose to see everything as a miracle, then where you are right now is perfect. There is nowhere to run to; there is nothing else to do except be in this moment and allow what is to be. From that place of radical acceptance, major change can happen. The first step in any transformational experience is acceptance and surrender to the present moment, the way that it is. From that place we have the awareness, humility and power to change what is.” — Mastin Kipp

6. “In meditation and in our daily lives there are three qualities that we can nurture, cultivate, and bring out. We already possess these, but they can be ripened: precision, gentleness, and the ability to let go.” — Pema Chodron

7. “The chakras are very intelligent – they are like the software of the whole computer body.” — Dharma Mittra

8. “Follow your nature. The practice is really about uncovering your own pose; we have great respect for our teachers, but unless we can uncover our own pose in the moment, it’s not practice — it’s mimicry. Rest deeply in Savasana every day. Always enter that pratyahara (withdrawn state) every day. And just enjoy yourself. For many years I mistook discipline as ambition. Now I believe it to be more about consistency. Do get on the mat. Practice and life are not that different.” — Judith Hanson Lasater

9. “When you inhale, you are taking the strength from God. When you exhale, it represents the service you are giving to the world.” — B.K.S. Iyengar

10. “There will always be people who can do it better than you, but that’s a good thing! Start to see competition as inspiration — without envy.” — Kathryn Budig

*Bonus: Namaste. — Possibly the most beautiful word ever said in yoga. There are many interpretations, my favorite being: “The divine light in me bows to the divine light in you.”

Be well,

Hamish and Rochelle.