With our three nights at Page Springs behind us, we headed up the escarpment and south for NW Nevada’s drier and more open territory. The Black Rock Desert has been described as America’s biggest chunk of nothing, but its mystique and grandeur (as well as the promise of hidden hot springs) was too great to be denied.
We had already surmised we should stop at every glimmer of a gas station due to the availability of dinosaur wine out toward the desert. When we spied the sign for Fields (the smallest font on the map) we pulled in, prepared for the sticker shock.
What we weren’t prepared for was a smashing burger and 2lb milkshake served to us; prepped, cooked and vended by an inked-up woman running the whole show out in that lonely land.
While we supped, I talked to the weight and measures man working the old-timey pumps. When he mentioned a hot spring just across the state line on a private ranch that allows public access, we decided that might just be worth a shot for the evening.
A few miles west of Denio Junction, a dirt road led into the sage. We looked carefully for the steam that would show us the way to the spring, and sure enough, we found it!
A chalky field bordered some incredibly hot seeps that flowed into an old irrigation ditch. We arrived before sunset, and had just enough time to walk the creek and find a hole both deep and cool enough to soak.