Yesterday I posted a question to my facebook friends: what's the most magical place you've ever been? I got responses from over twenty-five of my friends sharing places like Iceland, Cinque Terre and beaches in Costa Rica. After spending the past month on the west coast of the United States, I'm starting to dream of new destinations. I'm feeling particularly attracted to spiritual places like the west coast of Costa Rica, Bali and India. However, today, on my drive from Eugene to Bend, Oregon I was reminded that magic and spiritual experiences are all around us, we just have to be open to them. While driving from western Oregon to central Oregon today, a drive I've done nearly fifty times, I decided to take a turn onto the Cougar Resevoir road. I was literally in no rush and am really focusing on slowing down so I decided to follow my intuition and head down a long and curvy road following signs for hot springs. I was fully jamming out to my west coast love playlist, filled with songs by The Eagles, Fleetwood Mac, The Grateful Dead and Pink Floyd. I finally arrived at a clearance point—the destination I was intuitively guided to was Cougar Hot Springs, which is just about halfway between Eugene and Bend. I met the park rangers where I was told I needed to buy a permit for usage of the trails and hot springs. I panicked for about one hot second because I had literally no cash and they wouldn't accept anything but cash. After a bit of begging, we bargained a day pass for a dozen gorgeous pastured pale blue and brown eggs. ONLY in Oregon. You guys, the whole experience was unreal. You walk about a half mile through an old growth forest to get to the hot springs. When you get close you'll know, because you will start to see steam filling the air. When I arrived at the actual springs, I was blow away by how fairytale like the whole thing was. The golden light was streaming through the trees in the old growth forest, steam billowed from the light blue water and everything was in perfect order. The hot springs were busy but not too busy. I seriously blissed out soaking in the hot rock pools. I honestly couldn't believe it was real life. Soaking in the mineral pools felt so incredibly healing. I can't explain the level of relaxation that I fel during and after my soak. I fully lost track of time. The whole experience was so whimsical and perfect. It was the combination of the spontenity, the bargaining with pastured eggs, the gorgeous light, the warm pools and the calm energy of the hot springs. So now I answer my own question, Cougar Hot Springs is the most magical place I've ever been. Of course there we're some old hippie dudes naked in the pools, but it honestly wasn't really that weird at all. Everyone minded their own business and it was just such an amazing experience. Wherever you are in Oregon, Cougar Hot Springs is absolutely worth a trip. Don't be like me and forget cash. The day pass will set you back $6! Also remember a towel and something to keep you hydrated (I suggest water and kombucha; Oregon style!)
I'd love to hear from you—what's the most magical place you've ever been?