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Chena Hot Springs Resort


Today we had a relatively short travel day and I needed to once again have to go back to Walmart to pick up a prescription they didn't get right the day before. The pharmacy didn't open until 9:00AM and we were in need of gasoline, plus I needed time to prepare the previous post and upload it, so Winston and VerJean went on ahead of us and secured two great campsite at the FCFS (first come first serve) campground at Chena Hot Springs Resort's campground.

That also afforded us the time to check out two state park campgrounds we passed on the way in today, so now we know where we'll both be camping on the way out in three days.

We are on Campsite #16 and Winston and VerJean are on Campsite #18 on the far right.

We both have this swift moving, babbling brook flowing behind our campsites.

SUNDAY - Yesterday and this morning we walked around the property and checked out all the "old yard art" from when this place was first being developed as a resort back in 1905.

Some of the pieces are obviously newer, but they all seem to fit right in with the look of the place.

Check out this old wagon.

This plane was "flown in here" and then decommissioned
to become the largest piece of yard art on the property.

How about a rusty old dragon?

Or this fish with a porthole view into his heart!

At 11:00AM we had signed up for a 45-minute tour of the Aurora Ice Museum. After we had a 2-hour window to enjoy a delicious meal in the restaurant before we started a Greenhouse Tour where they grow their own decorative flowers and many items that appear on the restaurant menu. After that we toured the Geothermal Enery Plant where they create all the electricity that runs the resort.

On the way back to our campsites we checked out the rest of the property, which includes an active runway where guests are still flown in by small planes to enjoy their stay at the resort's lodge.


That's me checking out the sign on the front door of The Aurora Ice Museum.
Just inside of the front door is where the workshop is located.
This is where the talented ice sculptors do their creative work.
Someone is hard at work creating more martini glasses out of ice.
Two jousting knights in melting armour.
Welcome to the Aurora Ice Bar where they only serve one kind of drink.
If you paid the extra $15 you'll be served a Sour Apple Schnapps Vodka Martini in a glass sculpted from ice.
For your $15 you get to keep the martini glass (for as long as you can that is).
A half dozen people on our tour opted for the martini, Cheers Everyone!
For $600 you can spend the night in 1 of 4 bedrooms located in the back of the museum.
If you get too cold they also reserve a room in the lodge for you (just in case).
The base of the lodge's front desk was made using two authentic ore carts, complete with track, from the mining days in this area.
Winston and VerJean were easily coaxed into posing for this photo, thanks guys!
There are some unique funrishings in the lobby where we waited for our turn to be seated in the restaurant.
This cozy little bar sits in the corner of one of the dining rooms.
This burl wood table is beautiful and must be worth a small fortune.
Next up was our tour of the greenhouse where they grow all the decorative flowers found around the resort.
During our visit they were just beginning to replant them in the flower beds found all around the resort.
Every color and variety you can imagine was found in here.
These were my favorites.
This closeup really shows the detail and why I liked it so much.
These were outside getting ready for the planter beds.
Nothing escapes being decorated with flowers around here.
Give them another week and this place will be absolutely stunning.
After the flowers we were shown their greenhouse garden where they grown most of the vegatables served in the restaurant. There are 33 varieties of lettuce in this room.
This room was filled with nothing but hydroponically grown tomatoes.
They also have outdoor gardens, but they only see use for several months in the summer each year.
Last on our tour today was the onsite GeoThermal Energy Plant which runs partially on the heat from the hot springs.
All of this rusty equipment was used to build and run the old power plant in the early 1900s.
Todays equipment in the rear with the retired equipment in the front.
Everything that possibly can be is recycled here.
Aluminum and other metals are crushed into cubes.
Old tires are repurposed around the property.
Winston and I made sure the fire truck is in working order, just in case of a plane crash.
They have a very long and wide runway here.
I hope the wildlife around here knows how to read!
There is plenty of wildlife, like these butterflies drinking up the fresh water on the ground.
There are numerous ducks hanging around all the manmade ponds on the property.
There are even a few goats on the property.
This lucky young lady was enjoying her $50 an hour guided horse ride.

MONDAY - It's our last full day here and we saved our soaks in the hot springs for today. Our first of two trips to the hot spring was around 10:00AM and as you can see in the photos hardly anyone else was around.

For $15 you get an all day pass that allows you full access to the outdoor spring, indoor pools and hot tubs, plus showers in the locker rooms from 7:00AM until nearly midnight.

This is a photo of the spring pool we took on Saturday when we arrived.

They have two small indoor hot tubs...

....and an indoor pool area for adults and kids alike.

There's also an outdoor sun deck with another hot tub for everyone to enjoy.

This covered walkway leads to the adult only hot spring pool.

There are several water canons spraying cooler water to keep the temperatures down a bit.

Come on in Winston, the water's fine!
Don't worry about all that steam coming off the water behind me.




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