Since we refused to let the axle thing get in our way, we decided to rent a boat for the day. You can rent the boat from the office in Willow Beach, and they have several different styles. You can even rent a kayak. We opted for the cheapest boat. There’s a spot up the way called the Arizona Hot Springs. It’s accessible by either boat, or by a long hike from the road. We opted for the boat ride.
We pulled into the hot springs, and obviously we were not alone. It’s only one of the things Willow Beach is kind of known for. The hot springs are a short and very pretty hike into the cavern. Watch the sniffles though. There is potentially a deadly amoeba that feasts on your brain. Judging by many of the drivers I have come across in our travels, it must be an epidemic(seriously though the condition is rare, but fatal).
We walked back to the end of the hot springs and had to climb up to the top. Each level we crossed the water would get warmer. It never got uncomfortably hot. Finally it became larger pools. Then the next level it was very warm water, but not as deep. And we found the “start” of it. It’s funny to think that this is how many rivers start. Maybe not as a hot spring, but as a little bubbling bit of water. Something to keep in mind when you think it’s just a small little thing, or some small gesture. Such small things can become great. This one, fizzled into nothing but a damp spot. All right, bad example.
After we left the hot springs we cruised up and down the river. Initially we were going to check out the other hot springs, and some of the other sites, but a rented boat and a narrow entrance tends to put me off… As you get closer to the dam, the water begins getting faster. The river is almost as it was before the dam. There are areas where the water swirls and can get pretty swift. I actually held it in one spot for a bit because a couple of ducks decided to hang out with us. So we headed up to the point where you are not allowed to go past. Of course while we were there the tour boat went right past us. I don’t like the idea of breaking the rules about trespassing. Especially trespassing on federally owned property. After hitting that end, we headed back past the marina and went south. Oddly enough going down stream was a bit easier.
We returned the boat to the marina. The marina guys were great. And a little hilarious. They were extremely helpful, and they made sure everything was taken care of. Just remember they are trying to be as helpful as possible. Treat them nicely, and they are sure to treat you well.