Quote of the Week, Perhaps a Bit Longer

"The biological community is a vast and complicated system for sharing and distributing the energy of the sun among a diversity of life forms." ~Martson Bates

3/10/10

Please Don't Bite Us, We Just Want to Relax

Reflection off of a Pinto Mountain hot spring pool

On Friday Dan, the kids and I went for a wonderful hike to the Pinto Mountain hot springs at the north end of the Black Rock Desert. The day started out gorgeous as we enjoyed our leisurely stroll to the springs. The light was really nice for taking pictures so we stopped often to do so. We also stopped at the sand dunes and I took a bunch of pictures of tracks that little animals left as they scurried across the sand. I'll have to get my scat and tracks book from Reno so I can identify what critters made the tracks.

Critter tracks, I want to find out what these are, if you know let me know (I'm thinking rabbit?)

Bodie and Dusty in front of Pinto Mountain on the Black Rock Desert

Dan heading up to the Pinto Mountain hot springs

When we got to the springs there were several stunning pools, all of which were too hot to get into. We followed the flow down a little ways and found another pool that was at a nice temperature for soaking and had been set up for doing just that. There were several boards that had been placed across rocks to allow for easy access and to make under water benches.

A very hot hot spring, not suitable for bathing

More of the hot pools

I love all the different colors that come with hot springs

Dan and I decided that it was a perfect day for a dip, it was a little cool out, but not so cool that getting out and walking the hour and a half back to the car would be uncomfortable. We hopped in and found the temperature to be quite pleasing, although the deeper you went the cooler the water got, but if you stayed on the bench it was quite pleasant. Dan and I sat and talked for a bit, then I noticed my shoulder starting to itch. I didn't think too much about it at first, but then I noticed Dan itching his shoulder and then my shoulder really started itching. I looked back and noticed a bunch of little red spots all over my shoulder. I shouted "Dan there are tiny red bugs all over me, we need to get out." So we quickly hoped out and helped each other brush off all the tiny red critters. Luckily, they seemed to be only on the surface of the water and only the parts of our bodies that were resting at the surface were covered with the critters.

We didn't know what the critters were at the time, so we had the heebie-jeebies all the way back to our car. When we got home we did some research and found out the the tiny critters were red spider mites, which are a common pests of gardens, but who also infest hot springs and areas around hot springs. From the reading I did, spider mites will not do much harm to a person, but they will cause you to itch. Also, they get into your clothes and will continue to bite and cause itching, so if you have a run in with red spider mites be sure to wash all the clothes you were wearing. After that experience, I do have no desire to bath with red spider mites again. I read on a forum that some people don't mind them, they just get out when the itching is too bad, but I don't think that is for me. I sure hope red spider mites are not on the move, infesting some of my all time favorite hot springs.

Red spider mite

Nice clouds on our walk back to the car helped us keep our minds of the heebie-jeebies

4 comments:

Kimberly said...

I'm glad you guys survived the mite attack. It's good to know that they might be lurking at hot springs, it will make me check the water before I get in. Great photos Renee!

Erin said...

at least you gained some knowledge about a critter from your heebie jeebie experience. does not make me want to dive into a hot springs any time soon...

danwinnemucca said...

haha, I still feel them sometimes! But it still was an awesome day :)

Renee said...

Dan, when I wrote this I was itching all over :)

Kym, thanks! They're super tiny, but if you look closely you can see them running around on the surface of the water. I am definitely going to check for them the next time I go hot springing.