Friday the 13th was supposed to be a nice sunny day wih only 10% chance of rain. I have been working alot and ended up sick for over a week and thought to myself, I’m going to be working even more hours soon, I’m finally feeling better, and I could really use an afternoon of fun.
Some of my friends were heading up to San Antonio Hot Springs via Thompson Ridge in the Jemez Mountains for a hike and a good soak. They invited me. I jumped on it. I was to meet them in the early afternoon, so I packed up my teen, some munchies, water and gas. We met them at their house. They were running late. We didn’t get up there until 5:30 that evening. No problem, it was only about a 45 min hike to the springs, steady uphill, straight down a mountain. 15 minutes into the hike it started to rain. No problem. This is New Mexico. It normally will rain for a little bit then clear up and move out.
We ducked under some trees to wait out the storm. 10 minutes later it started to hail. We huddled together under the trees and the only umbrella we had and debated on hiking back to the car. I didn’t want to, this was to be the only day off I would have for a while. The rain eased into a sprinkle so we decided to hike it to the springs.
The weather should have cleared up right? There was only a 10% chance of rain after all.
About 15 more minutes, closer now to the springs and the thunder started booming around us. Rain poured down and we were stuck under trees again. Granted, this time our area had a bigger, taller crop of trees to keeps us semi-dry. The the winds kicked up and it got chilly. I had on a spegetti strap shirt, my jeans and boots were almost soaked through, and the only dry clothes I had were in my backpack for the treck out. Hmm, I dug into my pack and brought out some Pisqo Brandy. It warmed us up enough to make it to the springs after the downpour turned into sprinkles again.
The mineral springs were awesome and just what I needed. Normally on a nice sunny day they are almost too hot to get into, that night they felt fabulous from the weather. The sky spit water at us the whole time (I wish it hadn’t so I could have gotten some pictures.)
The springs are on the side of a mountain, facing another mountain, with a road in between. The clouds from the storm would mix with the steam of the springs and drift through the canyon. It was a spectacular sight. We stayed for about 2 hours, until it got dark. Deciding that it was not going to stop sprinkling anytime soon, we put on our dry clothes, mine was a sweater and my son had a jacket. Remember only 10% chance of rain! And started the incline straight up the mountain, back to the main trail, in the dark, with a few flashlights. We booked it back to our vehicles under the misty moisture.
The moral to this story: Friday the 13th, slight chance of rain, hiking through the mountains, make sure your prepared for anything.
I have no regrets and would do it again. Now I know, carry those dry clothes with you. Bring an umbrella, hat, or waterproof poncho, even if your pack already weighs what feels like 50 pounds with that gallon of water:)