On Becoming a Noodle   11 comments

I will be the first to admit that I am not a snow bunny. Yes,  I live in Alaska where we have long winters, but I really prefer to be warm when I’m outside.

So what am I doing here? Well, in brief, because summer is not the topic, … the midnight sun.

But this week’s topic is Favorite Winter Time Activities and I live in a state that has six months of winter, so ….

First, check out what my fellow blog hoppers have to say on the subject.

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My favorite wintertime activity is to go to Chena Hot Springs and soak in the hot springs.

Chena Hot Springs Resort is located at the end of Chena Hot Springs Road, a forested paved road that parallels the Chena River, 56 miles east of the Steese Highway and Fairbanks. For the last 25 miles, the road passes through a state recreational area, so there are no houses, just the river valley and adjacent alpine terrain. We do a lot of hiking, fishing, camping and canoeing in this area in the summer. Chena Hot Springs is a privately owned, 440–acre, year-round resort that was discovered by gold miners in 1905. By 1912 Chena Hot Springs was the premier place to soak for residents in the booming town of Fairbanks.

In those days, you used dog sleds and horse-drawn sleighs to get there. These days, we drive.

Although all of our pictures are during the day, we usually do this at night so that we can enjoy the aurora while soaking.

The springs are at the center of a 40-square-mile geothermal area and produce a steady stream of 165 degree water that must be cooled before you can soak in it. The facility has several indoor and outdoor tubs, Jacuzzis, an indoor family swimming pool and outdoor Rock Lake – a boulder-ringed artificial lake that provides a wonderful and relaxing vantage point for watching northern lights and, sometimes, moose in winter.

We plan for an entire evening. If we can, we rent a nearby public cabin so we can come back the next day. Sometimes we eat in the restaurant (which features fresh veggies grown in the resort’s onsite geo-thermally heated greenhouses), but more often we pack a picnic dinner and eat in the recreational hall.
Mostly, we’re there to soak. We don’t do much of anything else. The rock pool is filled with languid people who speak in hushed tones through the foggy air. If we’re lucky, we lay claim to one of the just-below-the- water rock shelves so we can completely relax. Our hair is contorted into an ice sculpture (see the example to the right). Your body is completely warm, but your head is above the water and, baby, it’s cold up there
When our hearts start beating too hard, we go inside to take a dip in the cooler family pool and drink some water, maybe lay down on the of the lounge chairs around the inside pool, then it’s back out through the -20 degree (yes, that’s 50 degrees below freezing) air to slide back into the water.
Driving back, we are usually extremely relaxed because when one sits in hot water for several hours, one becomes somewhat … noodle-ized. Hence my odd title for this blog hop.
*I am breaking a long standing tradition in that my husband and I both appear in one of these photos (not the one with the ice sculpture hair, those were some people we know). If you want to play “Spot Lela” now may be your only opportunity.
PJ Fiala writes romances that feature motorcycles and the women who ride them.  When not writing a new story, she can be found riding her motorcycle and exploring this great land. Her writing revolves around people anyone would love to spend time with. No self-absorbed billionaires for her. Currently she has three published books, Designing Samantha’s Love, Dog Days of Summer and Rydin’ the Storm Out. She loves to hear from fans, so look her up and touch base.

Posted December 7, 2015 by aurorawatcherak in #openbook

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11 responses to “On Becoming a Noodle

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  1. The hot springs sound great fun! To see the Northern Lights at the same time must be awesome!

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    • It is. You can’t really see them from the rock pool … too much fog. But there is an outdoor Jacuzzi that we have literally sat in for three hours at a time watching the aurora. It’s not so hot your heart starts skipping beats, but it’s warm enough that you won’t freeze to death. When it is cold here is when the sky is clear here … best aurora viewing. We do have warm-ish days in winter, but those are cloudy, so the aurora isn’t visible. And you can’t see aurora here in the summer because the sky never gets dark.

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  2. The hair picture is pretty awesome! Alaska seems like such a cool place!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I’m learning an awful lot about Alaska from you. I don’t think I could handle the minus 20 even with a hot spring on the other end. brrrr

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    • Our houses are built for it, our cars are modified for it, we all know how to dress. I’m good to about -20 and then I start thinking about warmer climes, but then summer rolls around and it’s, like, “winter, what’s winter?”

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  4. Becoming a noodle sounds awesome!

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Never knew there were hot springs in Alaska. I’d love to become noodle-ized!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Alaska is the most seismically active state in the United, so we have lots of hot springs and earthquakes. Most of our hot springs are not accessible by road, however, or they’re not warm enough to be worth the effort. Fairbanks has four springs within driving distance that are actual hot springs. Chena Hot Springs is the most accessible.

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  6. Thanks so much for sharing. I can see from the other comments that I am not the only one learning that Alaska has so much more to offer than snow, cold and the most talked about characteristics. The pictures are so beautiful and the hot springs are just incredible. Enjoy.

    Liked by 1 person

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