Ellen G. White: The Progressive Years: 1862-1876 (vol. 2)


A Week at Hot Sulphur Springs

Now it was an easy trip across the valley to Hot Sulphur Springs, their destination. They picked wild strawberries as they traveled, adding to their dinner rations. An old hunter, Mr. Byers, known as “Buckskin,” had leased the hot springs. He helped the newcomers find a good camping place, lent them a sheet iron cookstove, and left them much to themselves. But not his Newfoundland dog, who soon challenged Lion, Mr. Walling's Newfoundlander. Lion won the contest and was put in charge of guarding camp for the week they were there. They found twenty or thirty people camped near the hot springs, and people coming and going. In addition to the sulphur springs, people were attracted by the beautiful scenery and fishing and/or hunting possibilities. In his Youth's Instructor series, Willie described Hot Sulphur Springs in detail: 2BIO 353.5

On the hillside, a few rods back from Grand River, stands a long log cabin, and at the left stands a strange-looking affair built of logs on three sides, and leaning against the perpendicular side of a huge rock for the other. Its roof is made of bark laid on poles. Through a large hole in the roof, a column of steam is constantly rising, showing this to be the location of the famous Sulphur Springs. 2BIO 354.1

There are three or four of these springs close together. Their waters bubble up through the rocks at almost scalding heat, and, uniting in one little stream, fall over the ledge that forms one side of the bathhouse, into a natural basin in the rock over which the bathhouse is built. 2BIO 354.2

The basin and fall afford a fine chance for hot sitz ... baths. The water is so hot that at first you can hardly bear your hand in it, being 110 degrees F., and a sudden plunge into it could not be borne; but by entering gradually you soon come to enjoy the heat, and can stand directly under the stream as it dashes over the rock. Then you have a bath as is nowhere else to be found. 2BIO 354.3

Wonderful stories are told of the healing properties of these springs. The Indians used to bathe in them, put their sick papooses into them, and sometimes try their healing powers on lame horses. They were loath to give up control of them to the whites.—Ibid., February, 1873. 2BIO 354.4

As to the wildlife in the area, Willie listed grouse, sage hens, deer, antelope, and elk, with now and then puma or a grizzly bear. Just before the Walling-White party's arrival, a grizzly bear and a cinnamon bear had been killed. Streams were full of trout. The Indians inhabiting the park were said to be friendly, but they had gone over to Denver to trade and to receive their usual allowance of provisions from the government. 2BIO 354.5

Considering the time of year they were in the park, they experienced no problem in securing good food. Wrote James in his Reformer article: 2BIO 355.1

We found no difficulty in securing the most healthful food. And here the health reformer has the decided advantage in packing his supplies, as his meal, flour, rice, dried fruit, and the like are much lighter than those commonly used. These, well cooked, with the wild fruit, which is abundant in August and September, are enjoyed with a keen relish by those who have a clean, hygienic appetite. 2BIO 355.2

The sweetest cake we ever ate was one made of corn meal, mixed with pure water from a Colorado creek, and baked before a campfire, upon a tin plate, supported by a stone at the back.—The Health Reformer, March, 1873. 2BIO 355.3