I’m on a mission to see more of this beautiful area we live in and get my kids out into nature as often as possible. I’ll take any excuse to fill up the CamelBak and hit a trail. Mother’s Day proved to be a great excuse: It’s my day, they have to do what I want (insert evil laugh here)! And I wanted to hike to Eagle Falls near Lake Tahoe.
But Mother Nature had other plans, when Saturday brought a snowstorm, frigid temps, and gale-force winds. I like to think I’m adventurous, but that just didn’t sound fun to me. So when Sunday – Mother’s Day – rolled in with clear skies and a light breeze, we decided to still get a taste of nature, but not on a trail at Lake Tahoe. We packed our swimsuits and drove south to Markleeville and Grover Hot Springs.
I’d never been to Grover Hot Springs, but I’ve never said no to a hot pool on a cool day! And this led my husband and me to a conversation about what our kids will carry on from their childhoods. We’ve taken them to several hot springs and are always on the lookout for ones we haven’t tried. Will our kids always like hot springs?
Will my eldest watch Days of Our Lives and remember catching snippets of it while her mommy watched? Will my youngest, who loves to inspect the strawberry patch for red berries, grow up believing that back yards must come with berry patches?
Will they both continue to camp and hike when they’re old enough to do it on their own, and not because Mom and Dad made them?
Even if these adventures don’t “stick” for them and they end up never camping after the age of 18, I hope these memories we’re creating are as special to them as they are to us. I’ll always remember Mother’s Day 2014 as the first time we visited Grover Hot Springs, and I’ll remember the sunburns we came home with, the snack break we took while reading about how the hot springs were discovered and settled. I’ll remember the beautiful blue sky and the girls alternating between the hot and cold pools, not able to make up their minds which one they liked better.
I hope someday my daughters will call me on Mother’s Day when they’re mothers too, and they’ll tell me about an adventure they forced their kids to go on, ” just like you used to do to us, Mom.”
If you go: Grover Hot Springs is in Markleeville, Calif. From Carson Valley, take Highway 88 toward Lake Tahoe and turn left onto Highway 89 when you get to Woodfords. Follow the signs for the hot springs when you get to Markleeville. Pool admission is $7 for adults and $5 for kids ages 16 and under. The hot pool has a maximum capacity of 50, and the cold pool has a capacity of 25, so get there early so you don’t have to wait. There’s tons of room for picnics, so bring some snacks, and don’t forget the sunscreen because it’s mostly in the direct sun and the high elevation means easy sunburns! Enjoy!